Call it a sign of the times: Look Back in Anger, one of the major signposts of modern theatre, will receive a production by a new company that bills itself as "post-modern." The Ohio-based Charenton Theatre Company, who launched in January with Waiting For Godot and will do American Buffalo in February 2001, will stage Look Back in Anger Aug. 10-26 at the Here Here Gallery in Cleveland. The company will then bring the drama to the Oakland Center for the Arts in Youngstown, Sept. 7-9.
John Osborne's look at domestic strife was written in the '50s and is the story of Jimmy Porter, who lives in a cramped flat with his wife Alison, his friend Cliff, his trumpet, and his rage. When Alison's friend, Helena, comes to visit, Jimmy escapes through infidelity, but that turns into just another meaningless activity.
Starring in the Charenton staging are Jason Markouc (Jimmy), Tonya Beckman (Alison), Laura Stitt, Christopher M. Bohan and Michael Regnier. Jacqui Loewy directs, with Melissa A. Tilk producing.
Look Back was first performed in the opening season of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre in 1956 and later on Broadway in 1957. The work and its author helped usher in England's "Angry Young Man" period of theatre. Last season, Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company mounted a revival that starred Reg Rogers and Enid Graham.
In its mission statement, Charenton Theater Co. notes that it, "endeavors to educate and cultivate greater Cleveland audiences through the inspiring atmosphere of live theater, utilizing the wealth of Cleveland's theatrical talent... [and to] cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop an understanding of the theatrical arts in a community-responsive fashion through the production of significant post modern plays." The group took its name from the name of the asylum in the experimental drama Marat/Sade. A message on the company's website (www.charenton.org) adds, "we recognize Charenton as a perfect, yet tongue-in-cheek, reference to our commitment to the city of Cleveland and its artistic community."
For tickets ($10-15 at Here Here, $15 at Oakland Center) and information on Look Back in Anger call (216) 781-9987.
-- By David Lefkowitz