Film actress Rosie Perez will star in Jose Rivera's play, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot at the Public Theater in April 2001. The New York premiere drama, which will be directed by Jo Bonney, will play in the Shiva Theater.
Perez appeared in The Vagina Monologues earlier this year. Best known for his film work, her credits include "Do the Right Thing," "Fearless" and "White Man Can't Jump."
Dali was presented by South Coast Rep in California in January of this year. The cast in that production included Svetlana Efremova, Victor Mack, Robert Montano, Ana Ortiz and Wells Rosales. No cast beyond Perez has been mentioned for the Public.
Dali is set in the desert of Barstow, California, where Gabriela, the wife of career soldier Benito, dives into a surreal fantasy world during her husband's prolonged absences, and imagines the mating rituals between a coyote and a cat. The fantastical plotline is not surprising to anyone familiar with the magic realism of such Rivera works as Cloud Tectonics and Sueno. The latter played Off-Broadway's MCC Theatre last season.
* As previously reported, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival's 2000-2001 season will offer:
• John Moran's Book of the Dead, a musical-multimedia rumination on American spirituality in the digital age, at the Martinson Theater in the fall. Moran will also perform in the piece, which is called "genre-exploding" in its style, traveling from "the sunlit optimism of Ancient Egypt, through a day in the life of New York City's Second Avenue...to a Tibetan vision of the afterworld." It is Moran's first New York production in four years. Starts November 14 at Martinson Hall.
• Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, based on her novel of the same name, explores life in the Philippines in the 1980s. This New York premiere, directed by Michael Greif (Rent), will play the Anspacher Theater and mix "tales of politicians, hustlers, beauty queens and radicals...from the excesses of Imelda Marcos to the horrors of assassination." Starts February-March, 2001, at Martinson Hall.
• Kit Marlowe, by David Grimm, is a "raw, contemporary take" on the life of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta), directed by Public artistic associate Brian Kulick. The lover, playwright and spy will be revealed at the Newman Theater. Starts October 31 at the Newman Theater.
• Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks is a "darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity," a tale of two brothers, one named Lincoln, one named Booth. Their names "foretell a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment." Parks' In the Blood (a Pulitzer finalist) played the Public in 1999-2000. To play the Anspacher Theater in March 2001.
Further production are to be announced.
--By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones