Sickness and Passion Are Partners in Baltimore Waltz, Beginning Nov. 16 at NYC's Signature

News   Sickness and Passion Are Partners in Baltimore Waltz, Beginning Nov. 16 at NYC's Signature Mark Brokaw directs David Marshall Grant, Kristen Johnston and Jeremy Webb in Signature Theatre Company's new staging of Paula Vogel's The Baltimore Waltz, beginning performances Nov. 16 toward a Dec. 5 opening at the Peter Norton Space on West 42nd Street.
Kristen Johnston
Kristen Johnston

The 1992 Obie-winning play is about a mysteriously ill elementary school teacher named Anna and how her brother Carl "whisks her away to Europe in search of a secret cure," according to Signature. "While Carl conducts cloak and dagger routines to procure black market medication, Anna indulges in all sensual pleasures as if each day is her last."

The Baltimore Waltz is "a funny and touching tribute to her brother, who died of AIDS in 1988."

This is the second production in the 2004-05 season devoted to the works of Paula Vogel, whose plays include The Long Christmas Ride Home, How I Learned to Drive and The Mineola Twins.

Set design is by Neil Patel, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Mark McCullough, sound design by David Van Tieghem and projection design by Jan Hartley.

David Marshall Grant is a veteran of the original Broadway cast of Angels in America, and many films including the recent "Stepford Wives"; Kristen Johnston appeared in New York recently in Aunt Dan and Lemon and Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park and starred in TV's "Third Rock from the Sun"; Jeremy Webb appeared in the well-reviewed workplace play, Tabletop, at American Place Theatre. Signature presented Paula Vogel's The Oldest Profession as the first play of its 2004-05 season.

Upcoming in the current season include the New York premiere of Vogel's Hot 'N' Throbbing, directed by Les Waters, March 8-May 1, 2005. In it, "Charlene writes erotic screenplays to support her troubled teenage son and daughter while trying to keep her estranged, obsessive husband away from the three of them. Their living room sets the scene for Hot 'N' Throbbing: a highly theatrical, surprisingly funny, provocative and potent exploration of sex, power and violence."

Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play. It also earned the playwright her second Obie.

How I Learned to Drive has been produced all over the world and Vogel's screenplay has been in development for HBO. Her other plays include The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot 'N' Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven and The Oldest Profession.

Kate Loewald is guest artistic director for Signature's current season. James Houghton returns as artistic director in 2005-06 for a season devoted to August Wilson.

The performance schedule for The Baltimore Waltz is Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. There will be added performances on Nov. 22 at 8 PM; Dec. 16 at 7 PM; Dec. 20 at 8 PM; Dec. 22 at 3 PM; Dec. 27 at 8 PM; and Jan. 2 at 7 PM. There will be no performances on Nov. 25, Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31.

Peter Norton Space is at 555 W. 42nd St. between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. For additional information, visit www.signaturetheatre.org. For subscription and ticket information, call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

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The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation recently announced that Signature Theatre Company, along with the Joyce International Dance Center, the Freedom Center and the Drawing Center, has been selected to be part of the World Trade Center Site, with occupation currently targeted for 2009.

At its new home, which will include a 499-seat theatre, a 299-seat theatre, and a flexible 99-199 seat theatre, Signature will produce works by established playwrights, as well as works by early to mid career writers.

The facility's public space "will also offer a forum for activities such as staged readings and lectures that provide insight into the theatre's work and which will incorporate the Lower Manhattan community into the daily life of the center."

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