Off-Broadway's The Civilians Brings Back The Ladies, Feb. 6-29

News   Off-Broadway's The Civilians Brings Back The Ladies, Feb. 6-29 The Civilians, a new Off-Broadway troupe which received positive notice for its Canard, Canard, Goose and Gone Missing, will bring back its 2003 offering The Ladies, Feb. 6-29.

The new piece, by Anne Washburn and directed by Anne Kauffman, will run Feb. 6-29 at Dixon Place at Chashama (111 West 42nd Street). The work was originally given a six-show workshop at HERE, Jan. 17-26, 2003. The piece is presented by Dixon Place, in association with Chashama and Cherry Lane Theatre.

The show is called The Ladies, but few would call some of the half-dozen women depicted in the play "ladies." They include four infamous dictators' wives: Elena Ceausescu, spouse of the former Rumanian Communist strongman; Imelda Marcos, the shoe-collecting half of the Phillipines' Marcos regime; Eva Peron, whose short reign as the wife of Argentina's Juan Peron brought her international fame and derision (as well as a musical based on her life); and Jiang Qing, a.k.a. Madame Mao.

And the other two ladies? Strangely enough, Washburn and Kauffman have placed themselves in this unsavory crowd. The work, which is made up of new text, found text and the women's own words, will explore "the pleasures and perils of the dictatorial impulse."

The six member cast will feature Quincy Tyler Bernstine (as Ceausescu), Jennifer Dundas (as Washburn), Nina Hellman (as Mao), Jennifer R. Morris (as Kauffman), Maria Striar (as Peron) and Alison Weller (as Marcos). Dundas is a Broadway and Off-Broadway vet, whose credits include Arcadia, Good as New and Iron. Striar is one of the artistic directors of Clubbed Thumb.

Washburn earlier explored the legacy of Elena Ceausescu with The Communist Dracula Pageant, a comic drama focusing on the Rumanian Revolution of 1989, which was workshopped at Downtown Manhattan's Soho Rep. Last fall, her Apparition was seen at Chashama. Tickets are $15. Call (212) 219-0736.

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