This year marks TDF's (Theatre Development Fund) 17th season of sign language interpreted performances of Broadway Shows -- better known as TAP (Theatre Access Project). TAP will begin this season by signing performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I (starring Lou Diamond Philips and Donna Murphy) on September 12 at 8 p.m. and September 21 at 2 p.m. Last season, shows like How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Beauty and the Beast, Moon Over Buffalo, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Les Miserable, and Cats were big successes of the TAP project. According to TDF, nearly 2,400 theatregoers who were hearing impaired attended a total of seventeen signed interpreted Broadway performances during the 1995-96 season. The TAP program who's first signed production was The Elephant Man back in 1980, regularly distributes discount tickets to the disabled.
For the two The King and I performances, Candace Broecker-Penn, Alan Champion and Jackie Roth will interpret. Jackie Roth, a deaf actress herself, makes her Broadway debut.
Other Broadway shows on the TAP's agenda this season are Show Boat (Sept. 26 and 29) and Victor/Victoria (October 8 and 10). Additionally, matinee performances of Miss Saigon on November 20 and December 4 are being signed for grade school students who are deaf as part of the TAP's "Talking Hands" program for young audiences.
To be place on TDF's Theatre Access Project mailing list for reduced tickets to the signed performances and other TAP services, please contact TDF at (212) 221-0885, ext 212 or TTY (212) 719-4537. --By Katia Lundy