The Cape Playhouse of Dennis, MA -- one of the oldest and last of the New England summer stock theatres -- will rid itself of a two-week case of Hay Fever on July 15. The play by Noel Coward began its run at the theatre on July 3.
Hay Fever concerns the eccentric English Bliss family -- feckless son, romantically cunning daughter, prickly novelist Dad, and retired diva actress Mom -- whose clueless and somewhat vindictive eccentricities make for a less than blissful weekend for the four guests they invite to their country estate.
Next up will be Jeff Baron's comedy, Visiting Mr. Green, running July 17-29. In Mr. Green, the title character, an elderly, retired gentleman is run down by 29-year-old gay executive, Ross Gardiner. As punishment, Gardiner is forced to serve community service with the old man for six months. In that time, the two move from comically hating one another to a deep and loving friendship.
The work premiered in New York City a couple seasons back, with Eli Wallach in the title role. It has since become a popular staple for regional theatres nationwide. *
Sharon Gless, who has been hitting the regional theatre circuit of late, will find her next role at the grand old Cape Playhouse. Gless will star opposite Randall Duk Kim in James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, Aug. 14-Aug. 26. The witty drama about England's King Henry II and his wife Eleanor received a Broadway revival a couple seasons back at the Roundabout Theatre Company, with Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing.
"Cagney and Lacey" star Gless appeared in Claudia Allen's world-premiere showbiz comedy, Cahoots, at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago this past spring. Gless is no stranger to the stage, having starred with Tom Conti in Neil Simon's Chapter Two at the Gielgud Theater in London, with Bill Paterson in a stage version of Stephen King's Misery at the Criterion Center in London, and opposite Kim Hunter in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine at the StageWest Theater in Massachusetts.
Kim's recent theatre credits include David Henry Hwang's Golden Child on Broadway and A Majority of One Off-Broadway.
The 2000 summer season will also see the Cape Playhouse share two productions with fellow New England "Straw Hat" circuit theatre, the Ogunquit Playhouse of Maine: Accomplice; and the musical The Will Rogers Follies.
Coming from the Olney Theatre in Maryland will be a new staging of Noel Coward brittle comedy of a warring, upper class artistic family, Hay Fever.
The schedule runs as follows:
• Visiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron, July 17-29
• The Will Rogers Follies, July 31-Aug. 12
• The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, Aug. 14-26
• Radio Gals, by Mike Craver and Mark Hardwick, Aug. 28-Sept. 9
2000 marks new Cape Playhouse artistic director Evans Haile's first season. Haile conceived and staged 1995's Yes, There Were Giants and 1999's Broadway's Best Sing Gershwin, seen at both the Cape and Ogunquit Playhouses. The Dennis theatre was founded in 1927.
For more information, call (508) 385-3911.
-- By Robert Simonson