Paradise will follow Chloe Sevigny's turn in Joe Orton's farce, What the Butler Saw. The New Group continue their season with the world premiere of Benjie Aerenson's comedy, Paradise Island. Previews start Jan. 16 with an opening Jan. 21. Andy Goldberg (The Bomb-ity of Errors) will direct.
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 your mother? 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, 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.
The March-April 2001 New Group show has not yet been decided on.
As for the upcoming Butler, 2000 Academy Award nominee Sevigny ("Boys Don't Cry") will star as Miss Barclay in the New Group's revival of Joe Orton's dark comedy, beginning performances Oct. 31 at the New Group Theatre at St. Clement's Church. The six-week run opens Nov. 12 with New Group's founding director Scott Elliott (Goose-Pimples, East is East) at the helm. Also joining the Butler's known cast -- Sevigny, Dylan Baker ("Happiness") as Dr. Prentice, "thirtysomething"'s Peter Frechette as Sergeant March and Dinner With Friends' Lisa Emery as Mrs. Prentice -- are Karl Geary as Nicholas Beckett and Max Baker (Goose Pimples).
Like Max Baker and Emery, Sevigny has a New Group connection; she appeared in their production of Hazelwood Jr. High. Other credits include her film roles in "American Psycho," "The Last Days of Disco" and "Kids."
Joe Orton's fast-paced 1967 farce follows the twisted comic seductions of Nick the bellboy who wants Mrs. Prentice who only wants Dr. Prentice to fetch her drink while the good doctor wants nothing more than see Geraldine (who merely wants a job) naked. Enter Dr. Rance, the government inspector, who wants to understand it all.
Derek McLane (sets), James Vermeulen (lighting) and Mattie Ulrich (costumes) will design the show.
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