Actress Nancy Opel and director John Rando have been constant collaborators this season. The twosome, who worked together on David Ives' Mere Mortals a couple seasons back, teamed on A.R. Gurney's Darlene and the Guest Lecturer in New Jersey in October. Now they're at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, where Rando is directing Opel in Ives' latest, Lives of the Saints.
The new show, an evening of one-act comedies, begins performances Jan. 22, 1999, opens Jan. 27, 1999 and runs until Feb. 21, 1999. Also in the cast are Anne O'Sullivan and Danton Stone (Mere Mortals), as well as two veterans of Off-Broadway's Pearl Theatre Company, Arnie Burton and Bradford Cover.
Ives' longer plays have included The Red Address and Ancient History, but he's best known for his short-play compilations, All In The Timing and Mere Mortals.
Also on tap for the Philadelphia Theatre Company season is the Pulitzer winning Paula Vogel drama, How I Learned To Drive (Oct. 23-Nov. 22), about a young woman's dysfunctional relationship with her alcoholic uncle. Other Vogel works include Desdemona, The Mineola Twins and And Baby Makes Seven. Another Off-Broadway hit, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, arrives Apr. 9-May 9, 1999. Moises Kaufman's biographical drama makes use of actual court transcripts and personal correspondence between Wilde and his beloved Lord Alfred.
The final show of PTC's 23rd season has yet to be announced. Though like every show selected for PTC, it will be a "premiere" of some sort, be it local, U.S. or world. Also on the roster will be fall play readings and a high school new play festival.
For tickets ($22-$30; subscriptions $60-$108) and information on the Philadelphia Theatre Company, which stages shows at the Play & Players Theatre on Delancey St., call (215) 735-0631.