The Alley Theatre in Houston ends its revival of Peter Shaffer's 1973 drama Equus Feb. 10 on the company's Large Stage. Stephen Rayne (The Civil War) directs a cast including James Black (Not About Nightingales).
Alley company member Black stars as Martin Dysart, the psychologist who takes on young Alan Strang, a 17-year-old boy who has blinded eight horses with a metal spike, as his patient. Once he starts exploring the reasons why the boy violently injured the animals he seemed to love - even worship - Dysart questions what he believes about faith, sanity and the passionless existence the world refers to as "normal."
Shaffer is the author of Amadeus, Five Finger Exercise, The Royal Hunt for the Sun and Lettice and Lovage. Equus made the Drama League's list of top ten plays of the 20th Century.
Joining Black are Ben Nordstrom as Alan Strang, James Belcher as Frank Strang, Jeanne Ruskin (a Broadway Equus original cast member - she played Jill Mason) as Dora Strang, Elizabeth Heflin as Hesther Salomon, Laura Heisler as Nurse, Teri Lamm as Jill Mason, Ty Mayberry as Horseman/Nugget, David Rainey as Harry Dalton and Todd Waite as Horse.
Peter Lobdell will supervising the mime used in Equus, repeating his work as director of mime and movement on the Broadway production. Designing the show are Jeanne Button and Andrea Lauer (costumes), Kevin Rigdon (sets, lighting) and Malcolm Nicholls (sound). Performances began Jan. 12. Tickets to Equus are $49-$19. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue. For reservations, call (713) 228-8421 or (800) 259-ALLE. The Alley Theatre is on the web at http://www.alleytheatre.com.
-- By Christine Ehren