Manhattan Theatre Club will stage the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman's Last Dance, a tale of an American poet living in France, beginning May 6, 2003, on Stage II of City Center.
The play, announced by the not-for-profit Aug. 21, is described this way: "Charlotte, an American poet, is living elegantly in the south of France, surrounded by love, poetry and flowers. She just wants to indulge herself in all that life has to offer. If only there weren't so many hangers-on who want her attention."
Norman's best-known work may be 'night, Mother, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow will stage the new play. Opening night is June 3.
The MTC season also includes Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical solo piece, In Real Life, directed by Daniel Sullivan, on Stage II, beginning Sept. 17 (opening Oct. 8); Dael Orlandersmith's Pulitzer-finalist Yellowman, featuring the author and Howard W. Overshown, on Stage I, beginning Oct. 1 (opening Oct. 22); John Corwin's Gone Home, starring Josh Hamilton, on Stage II beginning Nov. 23 (opening Dec. 17); David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo with Marylouise Burke and Ana Gasteyer, on Stage I beginning Jan. 14, 2003 (opening Feb. 4, 2003); David Ives' Polish Joke, directed by John Rando on Stage II, beginning Feb. 25, 2003 (opening March 18, 2003); the U.S. premiere of Charlotte Jones' London play, Humble Boy, on Stage I beginning April 22, 2003 (opening May 15, 2003); and one more production to be announced.
Given the popularity and relative inexpensive nature of Yellowman (the two-actor show has the acceptance of critics and the Pulitzer committee, and has played several cities on a tour of regional theatres, leading to MTC), it's likely to work will have a commercial life in Manhattan beyond MTC. Blanka Zizka directs. Kimberly Akimbo might very well have a longer New York future as well. The daffy work was embraced by critics in Southern California. *
In fall 2003, MTC will open the renovated Biltmore Theatre as its Broadway house, while maintaining its two spaces at City Center. Barry Grove is the company's executive producer. The company launched many playwrights and many famed plays, including two current Broadway attractions: David Auburn's Proof and Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Other MTC-originated works include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Sylvia, Four Dogs and a Bone, Putting It Together, Sight Unseen, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Ain't Misbehavin'.
For MTC subscription information, call (212) 399-3030, or visit manhattantheatreclub.com.
— By Kenneth Jones