Florida Stage, the Palm Beach County theatre devoted to new American works, closes its world premiere production of Lee Blessing's Black Sheep Jan. 20, as scheduled, in Manalapan, FL.
The new play by the author of Eleemosynary, A Walk in the Woods and Cobb is a dark comedy about family secrets. It had a reading at Florida Stage in January 2001, and summer 2001 reading at the O'Neill Center in Connecticut. Official opening was Dec. 14.
Michael Bigelow Dixon, literary manager of the Guthrie Theatre, directs the work, about a prominent family's "black sheep" cousin, the product of an interracial marriage, who is released from prison. "Only a small wing of the family accepts him now," according to production notes. "But why do they want him back? And what does he want from them? Disturbing games of race, sex and cracked family values are played out in the most savage of all American venues: home."
The cast includes Jonathan Bustle, Caitlin Miller, Brandon Morris, Angie Radosh, and Paul Tei. Designers are Victor Becker (set), Victor Becker (lighting), Lynda Peto (costume) and Michael Roth (original music and sound).
Blessing's plays, seen in America's most prestigious regional theatres, from Yale Rep to Actors Theatre of Louisville to Victory Gardens Theatre, include Thief River, Oldtimers Game, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, Going to St. Ives, Independence, War of the Roses, Fortinbras and more. The Signature Theatre in Manhattan devoted its second season to Blessing's works, including the world premiere of Patient A. He penned the screenplay for the TNT movie, "Cooperstown."
Florida Stage's home is in Manalapan's Plaza del Mar shopping center.
Tickets range $25-$35. Florida Stage at Plaza del Mar is at 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, FL. For tickets and information, call the Florida Stage box office at (561) 585 3433 or (800) 514-3837, or visit floridastage.org.
The Florida Stage production of the musical, At Wit's End, seen over the summer, recently won the 2001 Carbonbell Award for Best New Work.
— By Kenneth Jones