Tomei, Naughton & Newman Named for Blue Light Benefit, May 4

News   Tomei, Naughton & Newman Named for Blue Light Benefit, May 4
 
And you thought Joanne Woodward and James Naughton were the only celebrity names attached to Off-Broadway's Blue Light Theatre Company. Well, think again. Yes, Woodward directed Clifford Odets' Golden Boy and Waiting For Lefty for the company, while Naughton staged Filumena there (starring Maria Tucci). But last year a benefit gala attracted such names as Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Austin Pendleton and Frank Langella.

And you thought Joanne Woodward and James Naughton were the only celebrity names attached to Off-Broadway's Blue Light Theatre Company. Well, think again. Yes, Woodward directed Clifford Odets' Golden Boy and Waiting For Lefty for the company, while Naughton staged Filumena there (starring Maria Tucci). But last year a benefit gala attracted such names as Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Austin Pendleton and Frank Langella.

Well, it's now time for this year's "Big Show" gala, happening Monday, May 4, at Irving Plaza on Irving Place. Expected for the festivities are Paul Newman (Woodward's husband), Christopher Reeve, Dana Reeve (Good Will), Marisa Tomei (who appeared in Blue Light's Waiting For Lefty and currently stars on Broadway in Wait Until Dark), comedienne Joy Behar, and singer Phoebe Snow.

Also on tap will be Savion Glover and the tappers from Bring In `Da Noise, Bring In `Da Funk.

As they did last year, tickets range from $5,000 for a corporate table (including a special champagne reception) to $300 for cocktails, dinner and show, to $100 for the show only.

For tickets and information on the third annual "Big Show" call (212) 265 8370. *

In other Blue Light news, New York certainly hasn't gone begging for Anton Chekhov plays this season, what with Lincoln Center's Ivanov, Moscow's Sovremmenik troupe on Broadway in The Cherry Orchard, and The Seagull transplanted to the Hamptons Off-Broadway.

A more traditional Seagull will soon arrive courtesy of actor/director Austin Pendleton and the Blue Light Theatre Company. Tom Stoppard's translation of The Seagull will be used in the production, starting previews May 8 and opening May 27 for a run through June 14.

Cast-members will include Angie Phillips (A Flea in Her Ear, All My Sons, Pride's Crossing), Mark Blum (Mizlansky/Zilinsky), Maria Tucci (Filumena, Collected Stories), Greg Naughton, Molly Regan, Alex Draper, Bill Striglos, Joe Ponazecki, Tom Brennan and Francesca DiMauro. Designing the show are Michael Schweikardt (set), John Lassiter (lighting) and Laurie Churba (costumes).

The Seagull follows Blue Light's mounting of Michael Cristofer's Amazing Grace with Marsha Mason, which ended its scheduled run Apr. 19.

Founded in 1994 to emphasize "language, physical style and ensemble" playing, Blue Light Theatre Company has staged such works as Golden Boy, Scenes From An Execution and Waiting For Lefty.

For tickets ($37.50) and information on The Seagull at Theatre Four call TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200.

-- By David Lefkowitz

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