Saint Lucy's Eyes, the Women's Project and Productions hit drama, ends its Off-Broadway return run Sept. 2 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. The Bridgette A. Wimberly play, starring recent Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ruby Dee as a wise but controversial old woman, opened July 26, after playing March 28-April 29 at the Women's Project Theatre. Eduardo Machado's Havana Is Waiting is already lined up to take over the Cherry Lane Oct. 9.
In Memphis in 1968, if a woman accidentally got pregnant, she went to Grandma for the "cure." Grandma's abortions performed in the back room of a tenement apartment and her life-learned advice saves and inspires a frightened teenager. Twelve years later, she returns as a successful young lawyer, hoping to give something back to Grandma.
Playwright Wimberley is also the author of The Mark and Forest City. St. Lucy's Eyes was developed with the Mentor Project 1999 at Cherry Lane Alternative under Wendy Wasserstein (Old Money, The Heidi Chronicles).
Billie Allen directs. Once an actress and dancer Off-Broadway and in film and TV, Allen has helmed Kathleen Collins' The Brothers, Anna Deavere Smith's Aye, Aye, Aye..., Last American Dixieland Band and the musical Miss Ethel Waters, in which she also performed.
Dee is both a Theatre Hall of Fame and NAACAP Image Award Hall of Fame inductee, whose theatre credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Boesman and Lena (Obie Award), Wedding Band (Drama Desk Award), Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Glass Menagerie. Remaining with her for the Cherry Lane run are Jitney's award-winning Willis Burks II, Toks Olagundoye and Sally A. Stewart (Livin' in the Wind). Designing St. Lucy's Eyes are Beowulf Borritt (sets), Alvin Perry (costumes), Jane Reisman (lights) and Michael C. Wimberly (sound).
Tickets are $55 with a $20 student rush. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200.
— By Christine Ehren