Charles Busch, fresh from his Broadway hit The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, will see his new adaptation of Truman Capote-Harold Arlen's House of Flowers premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse June 20-July 27, 2003. The musical comedy joins a season featuring the world premiere of Bicoastal Woman and the American premiere of Noel Coward's Star Quality.
House of Leaves, created by novelist Capote and composer Arlen (St. Louis Woman, Saratoga), is set in a brothel in the West Indies, where a madam and her main competitor duke it out and one woman falls into a complicated love triangle. It is based on one of Capote's better known short stories.
In the updated version penned by Busch with Kenneth Elliott, the Afro-Carribean elements in the show will be brought out and made more authentic. The score includes "A Sleepin' Bee," "I Never Has Seen Snow," "One Man Ain't Quite Enough," "Two Ladies in de Shade of de Banana Tree," "Turtle Song," "Madame Tango's Tango," "Something Cold To Drink" and "Woman Never Understand." In its 1954 premiere at the Alvin Theatre, House of Flowers established Pearl Bailey as a Broadway star and kick-started Diahanna Carroll's career.
Bicoastal Woman is a romance from Gary Socol, author of The Shadow of Greatness and The Bar Off Melrose. JoBeth Williams stars in this story of success and failure and love. When forty year-old divorcee Glenda Mortimer falls for the much younger Paul Strickland, her best friend Joy ponders what the relationship will hold for a woman she's known for years and who has secret truths that should remain hidden. Bicoastal Woman will play April 25-June 1, 2003.
In 2001, actor-director Christopher Luscombe took a Noel Coward short story and its unproduced theatre script and turned it into a London stage play, Star Quality. Pasadena Playhouse brings the comedy to America March 7-April 13, 2003. The play looks at the trouble a fresh young playwright goes through when he brings new work to the West End and has to deal with the egos of his leading lady, his ruthless director and the jaded old troupers who inhabit the theatre. Also planned for the season are a revival of As Bees in Honey Drown starring "Fraiser"'s Peri Gilpin (Aug. 15-Sept. 21, 2003) and the West Coast premiere of James Still's Looking Over the President's Shoulder (Jan. 17-Feb. 23, 2003). The final production of the season, playing Oct. 3-Nov. 9, 2003, has not yet been announced.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue. For subscription information, call (800) 233 3123. The Pasadena Playhouse is on the web at http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
— By Christine Ehren