Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America will end its run at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum Oct. 27 and, for now, a New York City production is "unlikely," according to a source close to the production. The play based on the best-selling book by Barbara Ehrenreich transferred to the Taper immediately after its world premiere at Seattle's Intiman Theatre.
Nickel and Dimed, directed by Bartlett Sher, replaced Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul as the Taper season opener. The Seattle cast reprised their roles in Los Angeles.
In the opening chapter of her book, Ehrenreich figures out her necessary wage ($7 an hour), a living space (she aspires to afford something as "good" as a trailer in Key West, Florida) and a job (waitressing the dinner shift at the Hearthside for $2.43 an hour plus tips). Through her contacts, she realizes how physically, emotionally and economically hard it is to work for what is considered a living wage.
Adapter Joan Holden, under the artistic advice of Anna Deavere Smith (Fires in the Mirror, Twilight: Los Angeles), has fashioned the book into a stage play. Holden was the principal playwright for the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe from 1970 to 2000.
Sharon Lockwood stars in Nickel and Dimed. Also in the cast are Jason Cottle, Kristin Flanders, Cynthia Jones, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis and Olga Sanchez. Director Sher helmed the Intiman's 2002-03 season opener Titus Andronicus and has had great success directing for Off-Broadway's Theatre for a New Audience. Productions there include Waste, Cymbeline and the upcoming Don Juan, due in spring, 2003.
For ticket information, call (213) 628-2772. The Mark Taper Forum is located at 135 N. Grand Ave. and on the web at http://www.taperahmanson.com.
— By Christine Ehren