Welcome to Paradise - Paradise Island, that is, opening its world premiere with The New Group Jan. 23. The Benjie Aerenson comedy began previews Jan. 16 for a run through Feb. 25. The Group's associate artistic director, Andy Goldberg (The Bomb-ity of Errors), directs.
Paradise Island describes what happens when one takes a relaxing tropical vacation with beautiful beaches, pina coladas, slot machines, gift shops — and, did we mention, one's mother? This unfortunate travel companion haunts single girl Terri as she and her mother Emma stop off in the Bahamas on a gambling jaunt.
A Miami native, Aerenson is the author of The Possum Play , When Cuba Opens Up, a comedy about Castro and capitalism, and the Humana Festival entry Lighting Up the Two-Year-Old (produced the same year as Steven Dietz's Private Eyes and Richard Dresser's Gunshy). The latter was published in the collection, "Humana Festival '97: The Complete Plays."
Not only the director of the Off-Broadway hit, Goldberg also helped develop Bomb-ity. His New Group efforts include last season's Betwixt, David Cale's first two-person effort, which also featured Cara Seymour.
Lynn Cohen and Adrienne Shelly star as Emma and Terri. Cohen appeared in Lincoln Center's Ivanov, as well as the films "Vanya on 42nd Street," "The Cradle Will Rock" and "I Shot Andy Warhol." Shelly's credits include Food at the Public Theatre, Hal Hartley's "The Unbelievable Truth" and "Trust" and "I'll Take You There," which she also directed. Designing Paradise are Rob Odorisio (An Empty Plate at the Cafe du Grand Boeuf, Imperfect Chemistry), Mimi O'Donnell (Jesus Hopped the A Train), Russell H. Champa (If Memory Serves) and Ken Travis (Epic Proportions.)
Tickets are $35-$25. The New Group Theatre at St. Clement's Church is located at 423 West 46th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. For reservations, call (212) 643-6878.
— By Christine Ehren