Orson's Shadow to Fade at Williamstown, June 25

News   Orson's Shadow to Fade at Williamstown, June 25 Orson's Shadow, the latest drama from Austin Pendleton (Booth, Uncle Bob), now having its East Coast premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, will end its run there on June 25. It began performances on June 14.

Orson's Shadow, the latest drama from Austin Pendleton (Booth, Uncle Bob), now having its East Coast premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, will end its run there on June 25. It began performances on June 14.

Orson's Shadow boasts the same creative team, headed by director David Cromer, featured in its premiere at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company earlier this year. The play will journey south to the Westport Country Playhouse after its Williamstown gig, playing there June 26-July 8. A New York engagement is expected to follow, and Shadow is also slated for San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in September.

Orson concerns the imagined interactions between theatre legends Orson Welles (Jeff Still), Laurence Olivier (John Judd), Vivien Leigh (Lee Roy Rogers), Joan Plowright (Sarah Wellington) and Kenneth Tynan (David Warren) as they rehearse a 1960 London production of Ionesco's Rhinoceros. At the time, Olivier was going through a nasty divorce from his second wife, actress Leigh, who named actress (and, from 1961, Olivier's third wife) Plowright as co-respondent in her divorce filing. Tynan was London's leading dramatic critic and all-around enfant terrible, a friend of both Welles and Olivier (he would co-found the Royal National Theatre with Oliver in 1963), and a frequent sparring partner of Ionesco's.

Pendleton, best known as an actor (The Diary of Anne Frank, Finian's Rainbow) and director (The Runner Stumbles, The Little Foxes), is the author of two previous plays, Booth, a bio-drama which starred Frank Langella as legendary actor Junius Booth, and Uncle Bob.

Designing the Williamstown mounting are Takeshi Kata (sets), Jennifer Keller (costumes), Jeff Nelis (lighting) and Jerry Yager (sound). *

In other Williamstown Festival news, Blythe Danner, Charlotte D'Amboise and Bill Irwin head the cast of Coward's Tonight at 8:30. The show started June 16 (at 8 PM, actually) and costars Terrence Mann (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Joan Copeland (The Torch-Bearers), Stephen Collins (The Old Boy, Putting It Together), Alix Korey (Off Broadway's The Wild Party), Christopher Fitzgerald (Saturday Night) and Jack Gilpin.

Williamstown presents six of the original ten one-acts which made up Coward's play. The one-acts are be divided into two programs, which are performed in repertory by different casts.

A monstrously complicated undertaking, Michael Greif (Rent) directs Program A, while Ann Reinking pilots Program B. Danner and Collins are featured in the Program A only, which includes Hands Across the Sea -- about a family of rude Brits who, after inviting some party guests from the U.S., forget who they are and neglect them completely -- as well as We Were Dancing and Family Album. Program B features d'Amboise and Irwin in Star Chamber, Shadow Play and Red Peppers, the last about a husband and wife vaudeville team who comically argue backstage between their worn-out routines.

The credits for the two Tonight at 8:30 evenings run as follows:

Program A

Directed by Michael Greif
Sets by Allen Moyer
Costumes by Ilona Somogyi
Lights by Rui Rita
Sound by Kurt B. Kellenberger
Musical Director: James Sampliner
Stage Manager: Alex Lyu Volckhausen

Family Album

Jasper Featherways: Stephen Collins
Jane Featherways: Blythe Danner
Lavinia Featherways: Alix Korey
Richard Featherways: Julian Gamble
Harriet Winter: Jennifer Harmon
Charles Winter: Jack Gilpin
Emily Valance: Jessica Stone
Edward Valance: Saxon Palmer
Burrows: Denis Holmes
Singer: David Turner

We Were Dancing

Louise Charteris: Blythe Danner
Hubert Charteris: Jack Gilpin
Karl Sandys: Stephen Collins
Clara Bethel: Alix Korey
George Davies: Saxon Palmer
Eva Blake: Jessica Stone
Major Blake: Denis Holmes
Ippaga: Robert Wu

Hands Across the Sea

Lady Maureen Gilpin: Blythe Danner
Com. Peter Gilpin: Stephen Collins
Lieut. Com. Alastair Corbett: Jack Gilpin
Mrs. Wadhurst: Jennifer Harmon
Mr. Wadhurst: Julian Gamble
Mr. Burnham: David Turner
The Hon. Clare Wedderburn: Alix Korey
Major Gosling (Bogey): Saxon Palmer
Walters: Jessica Stone

Program B

Directed and Choreographed by Ann Reinking
Sets by Allen Moyer
Costumes by Linda Cho
Lights by Rui Rita
Sound by Kurt B. Kellenberger
Musical Director: James Sampliner
Stage Manager: Matt Silver

Red Peppers

George Pepper: Bill Irwin
Lily Pepper: Charlotte d'Amboise
Bert Bentley: Rick Holmes
Mr. Edwards: Terrence Mann
Mabel Grace: Joan Copeland
Alf: Christopher Fitzgerald

Shadow Play

Victoria Gayforth: Charlotte d'Amboise
Simon Gayforth: Bill Irwin
Martha Cunningham: Deborah Rush
George Cunningham: Terrence Mann
Lena: Elisabeth Waterston
Sibyl Heston: Rachael Warren
Michael Doyle: Rick Holmes
A Young Man: Logan Marshall-Greene

Star Chamber

Xenia James: Deborah Rush
Johnny Bolton: Bill Irwin
Hester More: Barbara Sims
Julian Breed: Rick Holmes
Dame Rose Maitland: Joan Copeland
Violet Vibart: Cheryl Lynn Bowers
Maurice Searle: Christopher Fitzgerald
Elise Brodie: Kathleen McCafferty
J.M. Farmer: Terrence Mann
Jimmie Horlick: Jimmi Simpson

First Performance: Program A: June 16; Program B: June 17
Last Performance: Program A: July 1; Program B: July 2

*

The entire Fest's summer line-up of new and classic plays runs June 14 through August 27.

Next in the WTF line-up is a revival of Lanford Wilson's 1970s hit, The Hot L Baltimore, July 5-16. Joe Mantello will direct Sara Gilbert, best known as one of the daughters on the sitcom "Roseanne."

Kate Burton and Harris Yulin will star in Jon Robin Baitz's new adaptation of Ibsen's classic, Hedda Gabler, July 19-30. Burton appeared at WTF in The Factory Girls last summer. Yulin was recently seen on Broadway in The Price, a pr©8ý