She appeared on Broadway in Same Time Next Year and as Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but when people think of Loretta Swit, they think of "Hot Lips" Houlihan, a role she played (often opposite the late Larry Linville) for the entire television run of "M*A*S*H." Swit is now getting a chance to change that perception a bit, when she takes on the lead role of Betty, a woman facing a midlife crisis, in Kay Mellor's A Passionate Woman. The American premiere of this English comedy ends its scheduled run at Florida's Coconut Grove Playhouse April 16. Performances began March 21 for an opening March 24.
Robert Kalfin, a Coconut Grove veteran, directs Woman, which tells of a middle-aged, married lady facing empty-nest syndrome. W.C. Green and John Fitzgibbon round out the cast.
This will not be Swit's first visit to the Coconut Grove Playhouse; her tour in Shirley Valentine in the early 1990s brought her to Miami as well. Author Mellor is a co-founder of the Yorkshire Theatre Company.
Designing A Passionate Woman are Steve Shapiro (sound), James Noone (sets), Ellis Tillman (costumes) and Robert Williams (lighting).
Tickets are $24-$29. Coconut Grove Playhouse is located at 3500 Main Highway in Miami. For information, call (305) 442 4000. Up next at Coconut Grove will be Luis Santeiro's new play, Praying With The Enemy, previewing April 25, opening April 28 and running through April 16. Starring are Josie deGuzman (Broadway's Guys and Dolls), Oscar Hernandez, Gonzalo Madurga, Kim Ostrenko and Gilbert Cruz.
-- By David Lefkowitz