Kicking off the Connecticut stage's 40th anniversary season, 8 by Tenn will be directed by artistic director Michael Wilson. The collection of one-act plays will feature a number of world premieres from the American scribe. The show will be performed in two separate evenings of four plays each — denoted as Rose or Blue.
The Rose night features the world premiere of The Palooka - about a boxer in the twilight of his career who mentors a younger boxer; Portrait of a Madonna - about an impoverished Southern belle who is convinced a former lover is breaking into her apartment; the world premiere of The One Exception - Williams’ final stagework that centers on a once-famous artist heading to an asylum; and the world premiere of Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws - a wild play that focuses on two catty women conversing until interrupted by two male hustlers and the restaurant’s manager.
The Blue program features The Lady of Larkspur Lotion - a short play wherein two dreamers combat their tough landlady in a New Orleans rooming house; Something Unspoken - in which a haughty woman vies for office with the Confederate Daughters while confronting her feeble secretary about relationship; The Chalky White Substance - a futuristic fantasy that visualizes the breakdown of human relationships following a catastrophic event; and The Gnädiges Fräulein - "the generous young woman" (literally translated from German) tells the tale of a gossip columnist who hits the jackpot when she visits a boarding house and meets its tenants, among them the title character who is a former nightclub singer.
Annalee Jefferies, Denny Dillon, Helmar Augustus Cooper and Remo Airaldi are also among the cast who play multiple roles in the various plays.
The rest of Hartford Stage's 2003-2004 season (subject to change) is as follows:
Home Life and The Zoo Story - May 20-June 20, 2004 Tickets to 8 by Tenn at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford, CT are available by calling (860) 527-5151. For more information, visit www.hartfordstage.org.