Manhattan Ensemble Theater Postpones Fire on the Mountain and Kiss

News   Manhattan Ensemble Theater Postpones Fire on the Mountain and Kiss Manhattan Ensemble Theater, the Off-Broadway company that gave Off Broadway Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Broadway Golda's Balcony, has postponed the remainder of its 2004-05 season, consisting of Fire on the Mountain by Randal Myler and a dramatization of Manuel Puig's novel, "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

The theatre still intends to do the plays and will reschedule them at a future date. The postponement is due to the ongoing success of MET's first offering of the 2004-05 line-up—the American premiere of Nine Parts of Desire, written and performed by Heather Raffo, which recently extended until June 12.

Fire on the Mountain, which Myler co-wrote with Dan Wheetman, 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 Nat King Cole & Me: A Musical Healing.

Manuel Puig's "Kiss of the Spider Woman" 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 from a new translation by Thomas Colchie.