The Actors Company Theatre will celebrate their tenth anniversary with revivals of 1957 Tony Award nominee, The Potting Shed by novelist Graham Greene and John Dos Passos' stage adaptation of his sweeping experimental trilogy, USA. The opening production, playing Oct. 7, 13-14, is, appropriately, the 1946 comedy Happy Birthday.
Rodgers and Hammerstein produced Anita Loos' Happy Birthday, a smashing success which went on to play 563 performances on Broadway. Helen Heayes originally starred as Addie Bemis, a quiet little librarian, who follows the unknowing love of her life, bank clerk Paul, to the Jersey Mecca Cocktail Bar, where she samples her first drink. Soon the alcohol is flowing and soon-drunk Addie provides a memorable night for everyone at the bar.
Greene, author of "The Third Man," "The Power and the Glory" and "The End of the Affair," lost the Best Play Tony Award to Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. Frank Conroy, however, defeated Jason Robards in Long Days Journey for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the tense drama. TACT co-artistic director Scott Alan Evans will direct the revival, playing Jan. 20, 26-27, 2003.
Paul Shyre and Dos Passos adapted Dos Passos' three book series, USA, for a stage play revolving around the adventures of press agent and advertising flack John Ward Moorehouse as he experiences the major events of the first thirty years of the 20th Century. USA plays May 5, 11-12, 2003.
Also planned for the season are revivals of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Restoration satire, The Rivals (Nov. 18, 24-25) and the US premiere of Peter Meyers' translation of Jean Anouilh's Eurydice (March 3, 9-10, 2003). TACT was founded in 1992 to present neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit with a focus on creating a theatre from its essence. Most recently, they staged J.B. Priestley's Time and the Conways at the New York Historical Society in November. Other recently produced works include Ketti Frings' adaptation of Thomas Wolfe's novel, "Look Homeward Angel", G.B. Shaw's comedy-drama, Widowers' Houses and the world premiere of Noel Coward's Long Island Sound.
The Florence Gould Hall at the French Institute Alliance Francais, TACT's new performance venue, is located at 55 East 59th Street. For more information call (212) 645-TACT or check out their website at www.tactnyc.org.
— By Christine Ehren