OB's Primary Stages Lets Redwood's "Controversial" Dogs In, March 21

News   OB's Primary Stages Lets Redwood's "Controversial" Dogs In, March 21 You can't see the title in the New York Times and a few other publications, but you can see the play at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages. It's John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, starting previews March 21 for an opening April 2.

You can't see the title in the New York Times and a few other publications, but you can see the play at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages. It's John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, starting previews March 21 for an opening April 2.

Regarding the show's potentially controversial title, author Redwood said in a statement, "The title of this drama, inspired by a road sign I actually saw in the South, reflects the racism which the play's characters must face in their daily conflicts."

Road sign or no, the "N" word has proved troublesome to the show's marketing. A spokesperson at the Jeffrey Richards office told Playbill On Line that the New York Times and other publications have balked at advertising the Redwood play because of the title (though sources close to the production say the Times may opt for "No *******, No Jews, No Dogs"). "The title hits a nerve with people," the spokesperson said. "But that comes from ignorance, because it's a warm and engaging story. The title isn't meant to be inflammatory; it comes from an actual sign the author saw when he was a boy in the South." Author Redwood, who penned the regionally popular The Old Settler, is co-premiering this latest work. Philadelphia Theatre Company mounted the drama in Jan-Feb; while Primary Stages' runs the piece through April 22.

Set in 1949 North Carolina, No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs tells of the relationship between a Jewish sociologist and the black family he's come to study.

Israel Hicks, a veteran of the Denver Center Theatre Company, directs No Dogs at both venues, where it stars Jack Aaron, Adrienne Carter, Rayme Lyn Cornell, Marcus Naylor, Elizabeth Van Dyke (Checkmates) and Charis Marguerite Wilson. Van Dyke plays Mattie Cheeks, a mother trying to protect her daughters and save her marriage. Designing the show are Michael Brown (set), Ann G. Wrightson (lighting), Christine Field (costumes) and Eileen Tague (sound). Michele Volansky serves as dramaturg.

For tickets ($40-$45) and information on No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs at Primary Stages, 354 West 45 St., call (212) 489-6745.

— By David Lefkowitz