Penguin Repertory Company—the outfit based in Stony Point, NY, which has recently gotten into the habit of giving audience advance peeks at what become New York-bound plays—will present new works by Kira Obolensky, Richard Vetere and Lanie Robertson, as well as an encore production of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, in 2001. The season will run from July 12 to Dec. 2.
The Bessie Smith revue The Devil's Music will kick of the summer. The show was originally produced at the Penguin. It then travelled to Off Broadway, in an early 2001 co-production by the Penguin and the Melting Pot Theatre at Theatre 3 in Manhattan. The Melting Pot previously brought another Penguin premiere, Lee Blessing's Cobb, to Off-Broadway. The show was written by Angelo Parra and conceived by Joe Brancato (Penguin's artistic director), and stars Miche Braden. The Devil's Music will run July 12-Aug. 5.
Next comes Gangster Apparel by Penguin favorite, Richard Vetere. Vetere wrote One Shot, One Kill, which played the theatre in 1998. Brancato told Playbill On-Line that the latter drama, about Marine sniper in Vietnam, will reach Off-Broadway this September in a production starring Scott Glenn. Gangster Apparel is—no surprise—a comic look at the life of the Mob. It will be produced in association with the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, New York, and play Aug. 16 - Sept. 9.
Kira Obolensky wrote Lobster Alice, which had a much ballyhooed but poorly received production at Playwrights Horizons two seasons ago. Now, she has collaborated with Bill Corbett on Hate Mail, in which "passion, mystery, wild swings of fortune, and hot sex" are communicated through letters, faxes, e-mails and Post-It notes. Playing dates are Sept. 20 - Oct. 7.
The season's final selection is A Penny for the Guy, by Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill author Lanie Robertson. Also presented in association with the Emelin Theatre, A Penny is about the explosive meeting between Timmy, a young boy, and Peg, a woman who makes a sudden entrance into his life. It will run Nov. 9 - Dec. 2. Brancato explained the odd spring-to-winter schedule by pointing out that may local theatregoers spend their winters away from New York State.
The Penguin is located in a vintage barn located at 7 Crickettown Road in Stony Point (Rockland County), New York. Call (845) 786-2873.
—By Robert Simonson