The series kicks off March 21 with Blanche and Beyond, which is subtitled "The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams Vol. II: 1945-1957." The evening will feature stage and screen star Richard Thomas interpreting letters that Tennessee Williams wrote to friends while he was creating such works as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Blanche and Beyond is the sequel to A Distant Country Called Youth, which concerned Williams' early letters.
Kurt Weill, who composed the scores for Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, The Threepenny Opera and Street Scene, will be celebrated March 28. The evening will showcase the new tome "Kurt Weill: A Life in Pictures and Documents" and will feature interviews with co-authors David Farneth, Elmar Juchem and Dave Stein. "Kurt Weill: A Life in Pictures and Documents," according to press notes, "highlights the composer through rare photographs and Weill's own words, ranging from his youthful years in Germany through his legendary relationships with Bertolt Brecht and Lotte Lenya to later experiments with the 'concept musical' on the American stage."
The 400th anniversary of Cervantes' "Don Quixote" will be celebrated April 4 in an evening titled The Don. "Quixote," which is widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, will be interpreted by Mario Cantone, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Daphne Rubin-Vega. "Don Quixote" translator Edith Grossman will introduce the evening, which will also feature a live score by Julie Lyonn Lieberman.
Opera diva Renee Fleming will be on hand April 18 to discuss her new autobiography, "The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer." Fleming's tome offers a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an opera star, including the early struggles in her career as well as the pressures of the business.
The "Writers in Performance" series will conclude April 25 with "Kaufman & Co.," an homage to George S. Kaufman, who penned such classics as The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can't Take It With You, Animal Crackers and The Royal Family. Anne Kaufman Schneider (Kaufman's daughter) and Laurence Maslon will be joined by a group of actors to perform scenes and songs from Kaufman's works. MTC's Stage I is located at 131 West 55th Street. Tickets, priced $17.50, are available by calling (212) 399-3030. Tickets for the entire series are priced $75.
The "Writers in Performance" series is "dedicated to melding fiction, non fiction and poetry with the stage in creative and provocative ways."