David Dillon's raucous Party, a hit in North America for its bare-all stagings from Chicago to New York to San Francisco, will open Sept. 24 with a decidedly British accent. The American characters are now Londoners for the show's six-week London premiere, through Nov. 7.
The gay-themed comedy, about a group of gay men who gather one night to play a party game called "Facts and Fantasies" -- and end up shedding their clothes -- will likely have an extension at the Arts Theatre in London's West End if the play proves as popular with audiences in London as it was in the U.S.
Dillon has rewritten his 1992 play, placing it in the London area, adding current references to the Spice Girls and Monica Lewinsky, publicist Tim Innes of Levine Communcations Office told Playbill On-Line (Sept. 21). The staging, directed by Andrew Neil, features an all-Brit cast. Dillon is "supervising" the staging.
A surprise two-year hit in its initial Chicago run in 1992, and Off Broadway at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre in 1995, Party, Dillon has said, is not about flesh, but "celebrates the fact that, as a group, we are positive and honest about our sexuality and free of a lot of the inhibitions and hang ups that exist in other groups."
During its Chicago run, the play, spiked with pop gay-culture references, spawned two spinoffs: the lesbian-themed Girl Party, written with Virginia Smiley, and Third Party, incorporating characters from the previous works. The Arts Theatre is located at 6-7 Great Newport Street in London, near Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Call (011) 44 171 836 2132.
-- By Kenneth Jones