A new production of Chekhov's The Seagull will open at Off-Off Broadway's Nada Show World on Aug. 17 and thus inaugurate the Pure Pop Festival 2000, as well as "33 Swoons: A Portrait of Anton Chekhov 1885-1895," an extended attraction within the festival. The Seagull, directed by Aaron Beall -- the ringleader of both Nada and Pure Pop -- began previews Aug. 10.
The first Pure Pop festival, an off-shoot of the New York International Fringe Festival, was held in 1999 at various theatres on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Beall was one of three founders of the four-year-old Fringe Fest, the others being the Present Company's John Clancy and Jonathan Harris. Harris was dismissed after one year. Then, following the 1998 Fringe, Beall and Clancy had a falling out, resulting in Beall establishing his own, competing festival, Pure Pop.
The Seagull is only the first offering of "33 Swoons." Mondays feature something called The Undiscovered Chekhov; Tuesdays, The Bear and Swan Song; Wednesdays, The Jubilee and The Proposal; Fridays, Chekhov on film, "On the High Road"; and Sundays, The Letters of Olga Knipper (Chekhov's wife). The weekday shows will be run continuously on the weekends.
(Nada Show World presented The Chekhov works often referred to as "Vaudevilles" earlier this year. The run began on Feb. 29 with The Chekhov Sketchbook, a piece adapted by Joseph Buloff and Luba Kadesen from the Russian's diaries. On the same evening, Chekhov's The Bear and Swan Song, both from 1888, opened.)
The cast of The Seagull includes Nichole Kovacs, Rae C. Wright and Ross Benjamin, the son of Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss. Tickets are $8.99-$12.99. Nada Show World is located at 671-675 Eighth Avenue. For information, call (212) 420-1466.
--By Robert Simonson