Manhattan Ensemble Theater Launces New Season with Nine Parts of Desire Sept. 24

News   Manhattan Ensemble Theater Launces New Season with Nine Parts of Desire Sept. 24
 
Manhattan Ensemble Theater, the Off-Broadway company that gave Off Broadway Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Broadway the still-running Golda’s Balcony, returns to the New York scene Sept. 24 with the American premiere of Nine Parts of Desire, its first offering since Golda's Balcony.
Heather Raffo
Heather Raffo

Nine Parts of Desire is written and performed by Heather Raffo. The work, a hit in Britain, is a one-person show that provides "a portrait of the extraordinary – and ordinary – lives of a whole cross-section of Iraqi women," and promises to lift "the veil on exactly what it means to be a woman in the age-old war zone that is Iraq."

Desire is directed by Joanna Settle. Settle replaces the previously announced Kate Whoriskey, who withdrew due to scheduling conflicts. Opening night is now Oct. 9.

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As previously announced by Playbill On-Line, MET will, later this season, return to the work of Randal Myler, who created and directed Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Myler co-wrote (with Dan Wheetman) and will direct Fire on the Mountain, which will begin previews Jan. 16, 2005. Opening Night is set for Jan. 26.

Fire on the Mountain is described as "an unusual blend of musical theatre and oral history. Drawn from field interviews with coal miners from West Virginia and Kentucky, the play's text is intertwined with some of the greatest traditional music and union songs to come out of America in the 20th century. Actors and musicians share the spotlight." Fire is intended as the second installment of a "American Roots Music Trilogy" which began with Hank Williams. The third part will focus on the acoustic country blues of the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s.

Myler has lavished his archaeological talents on many other musicians and musical genres in the past, from the blues traditions of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, to the subjects of Love, Janis (Janis Joplin), Almost Heaven: Songs and Stories of John Denver, Dream a Little Dream (The Mama and the Papas) and the upcoming Nat King Cole & Me: A Musical Healing.

The season will conclude with Manuel Puig's dramatization of his novel, "Kiss of the Spider Woman." The work is best known as a film starring Raul Julia and William Hurt, and as a musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Puig's play has been adapted by MET artistic director David Fishelson and MET’s literary manager David Mishook, from a new translation by Thomas Colchie. Previews begin February 2005. Opening will be in March 2005.

Subscriptions for the MET’s 2004-05 season are available by phoning (212) 925-1900.

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