The Actors Company Theatre was founded in 1992 to present neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit with a focus on creating a theatre from its essence. To that end, the company has revived such works as J.B. Priestley's Time and the Conways, and in May 2002 will offer the world premiere of Noel Coward's Long Island Sound. Jan. 18-21, the troupe is offering three concert performances of Ketti Frings' adaptation of Thomas Wolfe's novel, "Look Homeward Angel."
Held at the New York Historical Society, the Angel readings will be directed by Scott Alan Evans and feature original music by Christopher Dietz. Nora Chester, Jack Koenig, James Murtaugh, Margaret Nichols, Mary Bacon, Simon Billig, Kathryn Philip, Joseph Siravo, Cynthia Darlow, Jon Plumpis, Darrie Lawrence, Lyn Wright, Jamie Bennett, William Wise, Paul DeBoy, James Prendergast star.
The 1957 Broadway production of Look Homeward Angel ran 588 performances and nabbed a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The piece tells of a teenager desperate to escape his loving but deeply embattled family.
For tickets ($18) and information on Look Homeward Angel at the New York Historical Society on West 77th Street, call (212) 645-TACT.
* Other upcoming TACT projects include G.B. Shaw's comedy-drama, Widowers' Houses (March 8-11, 2002) and the aforementioned Coward play, arriving May 10, 2002. Titled Long Island Sound, the play covers exactly that: rich hobnobbers on the North Shore of Long Island, circa 1947. According to a spokesperson for The Actors Company Theatre at Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Long Island Sound is based on Coward's short story, "What Mad Pursuit," and features only one non American character — a rarity for the upper-crusty playwright.
Coward's best-known works include Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter and Private Lives. Broadway's most recent Cowardly visit was a dark and ambisexual take on his 1933 comedy, Design for Living. Born in 1899, Coward was Knighted by the Queen in 1970, three years before his death in his beloved tropical home in Jamaica.
Designers have yet to be announced for the production, which officially opens May 13 for a limited run and will be directed by co-artistic director Scott Alan Evans. The large cast will come from TACT's acting company, which features such notables as Simon Jones and Cynthia Harris (both also co-artistic directors), Nancy Opel, Delphi Harrington, Larry Keith, Joseph Siravo, Ivar Brogger, Bradford Cover and Sean Arbuckle.
Long Island Sound will be staged at the American Theatre of Actors (the pre-Bway home of Urinetown), 314 West 54th St. For more information call (212) 645-TACT or check out their website at www.tactnyc.org.
— By David Lefkowitz
and Steve Luber