The name of the play may be Snakebit, but director Jace Alexander has to feel snake-charmed at this point. Not only is David Marshall Grant's comedy one of the most critically acclaimed plays of the year, but for two weeks, Alexander gets to live out a director's dream: doing one of the parts exactly the way he sees it. That's because Alexander himself will step into the role of Jonathan, currently played by David Alan Basche. Basche is shooting a TV pilot for ABC, so Alexander will take over through May 6.
The Naked Angels production of actor-playwright Grant's comedy remains in an open run at the Century Theatre Center. The four-character piece first opened Nov. 22, 1998 at the Grove Street Theatre to good reviews and quickly extended its run until Dec. 20. The show reopened at the Century Center March 1, 1999.
As an actor, Grant is known for his stage role as Joe Pitt in Broadway's Angels in America, and as a recurring character in ABC's "thirtysomething."
Snakebit concerns friends facing a crossroads in their lives and friendships. One is a self-absorbed actor allowing his career to overrun his marriage; another, Michael, is a passive-aggressive gay friend still smarting over his last relationship. We also meet the neglected wife and the new boyfriend of Michael's ex.
The Grove Street cast transferred intact to the Century, including Basche (OB's Visiting Mr. Green ), Jodie Markell (Lincoln Center's Road ), Geoffrey Nauffts (The Maiden's Prayer ) and Michael Weston (Williamstown's The Matchmaker ). Designers are Dean Taucher (set), Elizabeth Roles (costumes), Renee Molina (lighting). Joy Huang is producer. The nonprofit Naked Angels was founded by a group of writers, actors and theatre artists in 1986. This is the 13th season for the company, which developed and premiered Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire and A Fair Country, Nicky Silver's Fat Men in Skirts and more.
The Century Theatre is at 111 E. 15th St. Call (212) 239-6200 for tickets.
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz