The Acting Company will launch its 2002 New York season with two works in May at the Lucille Lortel Theatre: Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson.
Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's ode to the battle of the sexes, will play the Lortel May 8-12. The inspiration for Cole Porter's classic musical Kiss Me, Kate, Shrew follows the romantic battles between the shrewish Kate and her swaggering suitor Petruchio. Featuring direction by Juilliard's Eve Shapiro, the company of Shrew comprises Michael Abbott Jr., Spencer Aste, Bryan Cogman, Jimonn Cole, Christian Conn, Michael Lluberes, Katherine Puma, Thom Rivera, John Livingstone Rolle, Roslyn Ruff, Jordan Simmons, Christen Simon and Coleman Ziegen.
The Acting Company's production of Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson marks that show's New York premiere. Adapted from Twain's novel by Emmy Award winning dramatist Charles Smith, Wilson concerns the story of two sons of a prominent Missouri citizen: one is his legal heir, and other is a child by his house slave. Twain's tale is both an indictment of racial prejudice and slavery as well as an engrossing nineteenth-century mystery. Directed by Walter Dallas, Artistic Director of Philadelphia's Freedom Theatre, Wilson runs May 14-25 using the same company of actors that star in Taming of the Shrew.
The Acting Company was founded in 1972 by Margot Harley and John Houseman. In its 30 years, the company has produced 77 plays, and its 300 members include such Broadway favorites as Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline, Harriet Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Hewitt, Frances Conroy and Jesse L. Martin.
The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street. Tickets for the productions — $45 each or $70 for both shows — can be purchased at the theatre's box office or by calling TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200. —By Andrew Gans