Contrary to the old song, who needs to go to St. Ives? This winter in Philadelphia, you can go to Ives' Saints. Or, more specifically, Lives of the Saints, a brand new evening of one-act comedies by that master of the form, David Ives.
Directed by longtime Ives associate John Rando, Saints world premieres, Jan. 22-Feb. 21, 1999 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. Ives' longer plays have included The Red Address and Ancient History, but he's best known for his short-play compilations, All In The Timing and Mere Mortals.
Also on tap for the Philadelphia Theatre Company season is the Pulitzer winning Paula Vogel drama, How I Learned To Drive (Oct. 23-Nov. 22), about a young woman's dysfunctional relationship with her alcoholic uncle. Other Vogel works include Desdemona, The Mineola Twins and And Baby Makes Seven.
Another Off-Broadway hit, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, arrives Apr. 9-May 9, 1999. Moises Kaufman's biographical drama makes use of actual court transcripts and personal correspondence between Wilde and his beloved Lord Alfred.
The final show of PTC's 23rd season has yet to be announced. Though like every show selected for PTC, it will be a "premiere" of some sort, be it local, U.S. or world. Also on the roster will be fall play readings and a high school new play festival. For tickets ($22-$30; subscriptions $60-$108) and information on the Philadelphia Theatre Company, which stages shows at the Play & Players Theatre on Delancey St., call (215) 735-0631.
-- By David Lefkowitz