Portland Stage Company in Maine will premiere a new musical in season 2000-01: the Irish American-themed tuner, Leaving Queens. The world premiere will run Jan. 30-Feb. 18.
Leaving Queensis the story of tired news photographer Megan Grant, who follows the path of the broken dreams of Irish immigrants from Ellis Island to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kate Moira Ryan wrote the book and lyrics with Kim D. Sherman providing the music. A co-production with Women's Project and Productions, Queens was commissioned and developed by the WPPA, where it will run in New York City Feb. 22-March 18.
But first in the season is Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight, the classic thriller of a husband slowly torturing his wife into believing she's gone insane, running Sept. 28-Oct. 22. Ingrid Bergman starred in the famous film.
Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca plays next from Oct. 31-Nov. 19. The winner of a 1988 Drama Critics Circle Award, Mecca tells the story of Miss Helen, an elderly South African woman whose art is threatened by a clergyman who wants to put her in a home.
The holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol follows Nov. 28-Dec. 24. This specially adapted version has been playing Christmastime on the PSC stage since 1996. Following Leaving Queens, the wacky and the sombre take the PSC stage. The Compleat Works of Willm Shkspr (Abridged) runs March 6-April 1 with Wit closing out the season April 10-May 6. Compleat Works proports to perform all of Shakespeare's plays in two hours, while Wit is the tale of the brutally strong literature professor Vivian Bearing made human by her fight with ovarian cancer.
For subscriptions ($159-$90), call (207) 774-0465. Single tickets are $32-$20. Portland Stage Company is on the web at http://www.portlandstage.com.
-- By Christine Ehren