Due to the extension of their Vienna: Lusthaus (revisited), New York Theater Workshop moved its production of Harry Kondoleon's Play Yourself to the Century Center for the Performing Arts. The play as directed by Craig Lucas opens July 10 at the Off-Broadway venue. Performances began June 19 for a limited run through Aug. 4.
Marian Seldes, recently seen on Broadway in 45 Seconds From Broadway, stars in the comedy by Kondoleon (Love Diatribe). Seldes was recently seen Off Broadway at the same venue in Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby. The actress' other recent credits include Helen at the Public Theatre and The Butterfly Collection at Playwrights Horizons as well as the films "Hollywood Ending," "Town & Country" and "Duets."
In the world premiere comedy, Seldes plays an aging film star living with her former East Village-bartop-dancing daughter. The two are visited by an unknowing fan and a man who runs a sanctuary for the desperate. Play Yourself had been in development at Seattle Repertory in the 1986-87 season and at California's South Coast Repertory in 1987-88.
The Play Yourself cast also includes Elizabeth Marvel (An American Daughter, Alice in Bed), Ann Guilbert ("Grumpier Old Men," "The Nanny") and Juan Carlos Hernandez (Wait Until Dark, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told).
Scribe Lucas has taken to the helm recently. He directed the deceased Kondoleon's final play, Saved or Destroyed at the Rattlestick Theatre. [Kondoleon died at the age of 39 of AIDS.] Lucas also directed his latest Off-Broadway co-creation — with David Schulner — This Thing of Darkness at the Atlantic Theatre. Better known for his pen (The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Prelude to a Kiss), he has also been on stage in Sweeney Todd and On the Twentieth Century. The creative team for Play Yourself includes John McDermott (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Ben Stanton (lights) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
For tickets at Century Center, 111 East 15 St. (between Irving Place and Union Square East), call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.
Plans for New York Theater Workshop's next season are firming up. Postponed from this season, Caryl Churchill's Far Away as helmed by Stephen Daldry (Via Dolorosa, "Billy Elliot") will open next season.
Among the other shows chosen is a post-modern production of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (directed by Hungarian director Robert Alfoldi and starring Liev Schreiber as Shylock), Peter Gaiten's Flesh and Blood, (adapted from the novel by Michael Cunningham with actress Cherry Jones mentioned to star), Cavedweller (adapted from novelist Dorothy Allison's book as directed by Rent helmer Michael Greif) and the comedy The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed (Freedomland).
For more information or tickets to NYTW shows, 79 East Fourth Street (between Bowery and Second Ave.), call (212) 460-5475. Also visit their website at www.nytw.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez