Worth Street's Screwball Tartuffe Begins Off-Bway, Jan. 12

News   Worth Street's Screwball Tartuffe Begins Off-Bway, Jan. 12 The Worth Street Theatre Company, which has produced steadily out of the tiny Tribeca Playhouse for several years, is experiencing the biggest year in its history. Last summer, it presented Christopher Shinn's Four, to general acclaim. Manhattan Theatre Club took notice and decided to remount the production in January 2002, thus handing Worth Street its most high profile success to date.

The Worth Street Theatre Company, which has produced steadily out of the tiny Tribeca Playhouse for several years, is experiencing the biggest year in its history. Last summer, it presented Christopher Shinn's Four, to general acclaim. Manhattan Theatre Club took notice and decided to remount the production in January 2002, thus handing Worth Street its most high profile success to date.

Meanwhile, the company has made headlines and cultivated good will all fall by staging its "TriBeCa Playhouse Stage-Door Canteen" on Mondays. The variety show is open to the public but is intended to entertain any and all rescue workers at Ground Zero — Fire and Police department personnel, military, emergency workers, construction crews, etc. Featured performers have so far included Kristin Chenoweth, Mary Testa, Alice Ripley and Lea DeLaria.

Now, Worth Street has announced its first full production since Four: a new adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe penned and directed by artistic director Jeff Cohen. Cohen has set the famous tale of a religious fraud who casts a spell over a household in 1930's Manhattan. Cohen's dramatic models are the screwball film comedies of that era.

Gerald Anthony will play the title hypocrite, while playwright-actor Keith Reddin is Orgon, the head of the household, and Crista Moore is Orgon's wife Elmire.

Anthony won applause as "Uncle Jack" in Cohen's revisionist version of Uncle Vanya. Reddin is the author of countless plays but has recently concentrated more on acting. Moore appeared in the Broadway productions of Big and Gypsy, opposite Tyne Daly. Tartuffe will run Jan. 12-Feb. 16, with an opening on Jan. 16.

Tickets are $15. The Tribeca Playhouse is located at 111 Reade St. In Manhattan. For information, call (212) 206-0303.