After finishing up The Good Person of New Haven, Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre is already looking ahead to season 2000-2001. On the bill will be Charles L. Mee's Humana Festival hit, Big Love, 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies' The Model Apartment, a reworking of Charles Strouse's musical, Golden Boy, and the world premiere of Modern Orthodox, a new play from Adam Baum and the Jew Movie's Daniel Goldfarb.
But first comes a production of Moliere's The Bungler, put into modern English verse by renowned Moliere translator Richard Wilbur, running Sept. 20-Oct. 22 on the mainstage. Artistic director Doug Hughes directs the production, the first time the 1653 work will have been performed in the United States. (For those wishing a sneak peek at this work, the Long Wharf will host a reading of the play June 22.)
Golden Boy follows, Nov. 8-Dec. 17 on the mainstage. Alongside playwright-director Kevin Glover, Strouse revisits this story of a Harlem boxer on the rise, which he co-authored with Clifford Odets and William Gibson. Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the original production.
We zip from Harlem to the Czech Republic for the world premiere of Joe Sutton's The Third Army, playing Jan. 10-Feb. 11, 2001 A thriller, Army follows the twists and turns of economic opportunity and dangerous politics in the Republic after the fall of communism. Greg Leaming directs.
Mee's Big Love, based on Aeschylus' "The Suppliant Women," the classic story of fifty unwilling brides pledged to marry fifty eager brothers, runs Feb. 28-April 1. In this story of the battle of the sexes, fifty women are engaged to fifty brothers without their consent. They run away to Italy, but when finally tracked down by the grooms, they each vow to give a wedding night their husbands will never forget. Three actors and three actresses stand in for the hundred brides and grooms in the play, which is extremely physical and features musical interludes wherein both men and women throw themselves about vigorously. Les Waters directs. Finishing off the mainstage season is the Tony Award winner from Tom Stoppard (The Real Thing), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, April 25-June 3. Two popular Long Wharf actors, Christopher Evan Welch (OB's Scapin) and Jefferson Mays return to the stage after their last joint appearance in The Importance of Being Earnest. Darko Tresnjak directs.
Stage II's season opens with the world premiere of Goldfarb's Modern Orthodox, Oct. 11-Nov. 19. A comic examination of courtship in today's world, Orthodox complicates the lives of its young couple with a New York Yankees yarmulke, an online dating service, more than a little unresolved guilt, and a gun.
The final Stage II offering is Margulies' Model Apartment, running April 4-May 13. In this drama which was staged Off Broadway, a Brooklyn couple find their hopes for a quiet Florida retirement shattered by the startling return of their Holocaust memories -- in the person of their ungainly, uncontrollable daughter. Hughes directs.
The season's middle slot, Jan. 31-March 11, 2001 has not yet been filled, but a new American play is promised.
For Long Wharf subscription information ($330-$93), call (203) 787-4282. The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org.
-- By Christine Ehren