If you've been wondering why Mary Zimmerman hasn't been on hand to pick up her awards at any of the recent New York ceremonies, the Metamorphoses director-author has a very good reason: She's busy directing her latest work.
Galileo, Galilei, with a libretto by Zimmerman, Philip Glass and Arnold Weinstein, and a score by Glass, begins previews at Chicago's Goodman Theater on June 14. It plays to July 21. Following its Chicago run, the piece will become itinerant, as Zimmerman creations do. It will travel east to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Oct. 1-5, and then on to London's Barbican Theatre, Nov. 1-9.
Most Zimmerman works typically take on a monumental work of literature or towering historical figure, and Galileo, Galilei is no exception. Billed as "an Opera in Twelve Scenes" the show promises to be a more physical and more performance-art-like venture than Brecht's well-known play on the same subject. Playwright and critic Eric Bentley has also dramatized the great scientist's eventful life.
Zimmerman's Metamorphoses has won the Lucille Lortel Award, the Drama League Award, and tied with The Goat for the 2002 Drama Desk's Outstanding Play prize. Zimmerman herself won a Obie Award for her direction. The play is up for three Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Direction of a Play and Best Scenic Design.
Zimmerman's other works include the NYSF's Measure for Measure in Central Park, Arabian Nights and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Glass' latest collaboration, with JoAnne Akalaitis, In the Penal Colony, is currently playing at Off-Broadway's CSC. —By Robert Simonson