The Yale Repertory Theatre production of Sam Shepard's Obie Award winning tragicomedy, Curse of the Starving Class, starts previews Feb. 3 in New Haven. Described as a "rockin' ride to the dark side of the '70s," Curseopens Feb. 8 and runs through Feb. 26.
Directed by Jim Simpson, Curse of the Starving Class features original live rock, blues, jazz, punk, and latin-style music that is composed and arranged by Steve Bargonetti and Diane Gioia.
In production notes, Stan Wojewodski, Jr., Yale Repertory Theatre's artistic director and dean of Yale School of Drama, stated that, "Shepard's prescient vision of the fate of the small family farm and, indeed, the family itself becomes truly powerful."
Playwright Shepard is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Outer Critics Circle Award, the Gold Medal for Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Theater Hall of Fame. His plays include Chicago, Icarus's Mother, Red Cross, La Turista, Forensic and the Navigators, Melodrama Play, The Tooth of Crime, Action, Curse of the Starving Class, Fool for Love and Buried Child to name a few. Director Simpson previously helmed Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke in 1989, Chopin in Space in 1984, and The Resurrection of Lady Lester in 1981 at Yale Rep. He founded Bat Theater Inc. and built the Flea Theater in Tribeca, where he serves as artistic director and president of the board.
The cast for the show includes Kristine Nielsen, Guy Boyd, Mandy Siegfried (Stupid Kids, The Mineola Twins), Seckel, Paul Boocock, Ron Faber, Steve Mellor (Nixon's Nixon), Dan Moran and Chime Serra. Composers Bargonetti and Gioia, a husband-and-wife team, wrote and performed the music for an Off-Broadway adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. They also composed and performed all the original pre-recorded music for the concert Woodstock '99. Bargonetti, who will play guitar onstage for Curse of the Starving Class, has performed on Broadway in Street Corner Symphony, Hello Dolly, Jelly's Last Jam, City of Angels, Cats, Starlight Express, Song and Dance, and Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. He has played with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Garth Brooks, Anita Baker and Celine Dion.
The production staff of Curse of the Starving Class includes scenic designer Heesoo Kim, costume designer Miguel Angel Huidor, lighting designer Thomas Dunn, sound designer Vincent Olivieri and production dramaturgs Amy Rogoway and Katharine Spencer.
Curse of the Starving Class plays at Yale Rep, located on the corner of Chapel and York in New Haven. Ticketas range from $10-$34. For more information on special offerings connected with the show, or for tickets call the Yale Repertory Theatre box office at (203) 432-1234.
-- By Murdoch McBride