She must be mad north by northwest.
Don Nigro's dark comedy, Lucia Mad, which was to end its scheduled run Jan. 31, has been extended at Washington Stage Guild to Feb. 14. The show officially opened Jan. 2, after starting previews Dec. 30, 1998.
In Nigro's fact-based script, the lives of James Joyce, his wife Nora and his beloved only daughter Lucia are disrupted by the arrival of Samuel Beckett, Joyce's fellow Irish patriot and protege. Hired to take dictation for the nearly blind Joyce who was writing "Finnegan's Wake," the dour and distant Beckett proves a catalyst for tragedy, when the unfortunate Lucia falls madly, unrequitedly in love with him. Will Beckett remain near Joyce, whom he regards as "the greatest living writer" or flee a relationship with the ardent Lucia?
(According to an article in the "Irish Times," (July 27, 1998) the July 26th birthday of this woman who spent the last 47 of her 75 years in a psychiatric hospital, has been designated as "Lucia Day" by Schizophrenia Ireland and adopted as a national awareness day.)
Stage Guild Artistic Director John MacDonald will direct a cast including Morgan Duncan as Samuel Beckett, William Hamlin as James Joyce, Jenifer Deal as Lucia and Maud Gleason as Nora Joyce, with Philip Baedecker and Scott Sophos in multiple roles ranging from Jung to Napoleon. In its "Lucky 13th" season, the Washington Stage Guild has developed a loyal audience who appreciate its mission of producing lesser known plays by established playwrights, neglected classics, and new plays of merit.
The Washington Stage Guild is located at Carroll Hall, 924 G Street, N.W., Washington D.C. Metro accessible from either the Gallery Place (9th Street Exit) and Metro Center (11th and G Streets Exit), one block from the MCI Center. For further information, call (202) 529-2084.
-- by Barbara Gross
(special to PBOL)