New York City’s Pan Asian Repertory Theatre presented a staged reading of The Poet of Columbus Avenue by Dennis Escobedo in November 1999. A full production followed the following June. Who knows if similar luck will befall the company’s three new free readings, taking place November at Musical Theatre Works?
On Nov. 6, playwright Judy Soo Hoo's Texas will be performed. In this dark comedy a student stranger gets invited to stay with two brothers in their trailer home. Ron Nakahara directs this different angle on the perspective of the American dream.
Then on Nov. 17, Ernest Abuba directs the stage reading of Diary of a Madwoman. Singapore playwright Chin Woon Ping wrote the play for a cast of 15 and an assortment of animals and lizard puppets. Using words and multimedia imagery, it explores the relationship between womanhood and madness.
Concluding the reading series Nov. 20 will be Forbidden City Blues. The Alexander Woo play has a cast of characters that include "a blind American blues singer, Chinese-American man, a beautiful white American woman, Ricky Nelson, a deputy U.S. Ambassador to China cross-dressing as Bozo the Clown, and a beaver named Yuri." The kaleidoscopic comedy is directed by Nakahara.
All readings are free and start at 7 PM at Musical Theatre Works, 440 Lafayette Street. Open discussions with the directors and actors will follow each performance. Seating is limited and can be reserved by calling (212) 505-5655. — by Ernio Hernandez