The Drama Dept., which made its debut Off-Broadway with Tennessee Williams' Kingdom Of Earth, has announced its second annual staged reading series, scheduled to run Mondays, Nov. 11-Dec. 2
Nov. 11 will bring Frank Pugliese's screenplay, Dion, about pop star Dion DiMucci. Pugliese, the author of Aven'U Boys, will also direct the reading.
Nov. 18 will bring the late Harry Kondoleon's Christmas On Mars, directed by David Warren and starring playwright Nicky Silver, author of the current Off-Broadway hit, Fit To Be Tied. Co-starring will be John Slattery and actress J. Smith Cameron (Don Juan In Chicago).
Nov. 25 brings John Steppling's The Shaper, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, who staged Tennessee Williams' Kingdom Of Earth for Drama Dept. Last season.
Dec. 2 offers Too True To Be Good, which George Bernard Shaw wrote for Beatrice Lillie. Now the part will be played by Charles Busch. Randy Rand directs the reading, which also features Billy Crudup (Arcadia) and Cynthia Nixon (Kingdom Of Earth). Full productions scheduled for Drama Dept.'s upcoming season are George S. Kaufman/Ring Lardner's June Moon (Jan. 8-Jan 19 at the Ohio Theatre), and an as-yet-untitled spring production written by artistic director Douglas Carter Bean and directed by Mark Brokaw.
June Moon, directed by Mark Nelson (currently reprising his Off-Broadway role as Einstein in Picasso At The Lapin Agile in San Francisco), is a play about a group of musicians working in the 1920's equivalent of the Brill Building.
"The neat thing is," Douglas Carter Beane told Playbill On-Line, "all the actors play the piano. None of that Kawasaki fake stuff here!" The play originally opened on Broadway in 1929 -- three weeks before the stock market crash.
Beane couldn't yet elaborate on his own play, which will be the company's first original play done in full staging.
Tickets to the readings are only $5 (minimum donation) and are available by calling (212) 629-4656. A $50 "Silver Pass," named for company member Nicky Silver, buys admission to all three events.
-- By David Lefkowitz