By Robert Simonson
05 Jun 2003
Patinkin, rarely seen on stage these days (aside from his solo concerts), will star in the drama. He will play the put-upon and tragically idealistic community leader in Ibsen's timeless attack on mob will and irresponsibility. Christopher Hampton penned the adaptation and Gerald Freedman will direct.
In other recent news, Lily Taylor and Jose Zuniga were added to the cast of Landscape of the Body by John Guare, running July 9-20 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. They join Sherie Rene Scott and Michael Gaston, whose involvement was first reported by Playbill On-Line. Michael Greif will direct.
The Landscape of the Body, one of Guare's rarely-seen but most highly-regarded works, looks at the unfathomable nature of sin and evil by focusing the murder and decapitation of Bert, the son of Betty Yearn. Betty's sister Rosemary narrates the story, while Captain Marvin Holahan is the detective investigating the death. The play is part black comedy, part film noir mystery.
Scott had a busy schedule in 2002, when she went from the Off-Broadway premiere of Jason Robert Brown's musical The Last Five Years to the tongue-in-cheek porn spoof Debbie Does Dallas. She first made her mark in Broadway's Aida. Gaston is now acting opposite Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Tailor has acted in such films as "I Shot Andy Warhol" and "Say Anything."
Greif recently scored a success Off-Broadway with Suzan-Lori Parks' Fucking A. His other credits include Rent, Dogeaters, Machinal and Slavs!.
Meanwhile, David Schramm and William Duell will play Mr. Peachum and Filch in a Threepenny Opera cast that also includes Melissa Errico, Karen Ziemba, Randy Graff, Jesse L. Martin and Betty Buckley. Buckley drew raves for her “Pirate Jenny” in Williamstown's 1992 production of the Kurt Weill musical.
Peter Hunt directs the Williamstown staging of the Bertolt Brecht/Weill classic, which runs June 25-July 6. The cast and orchestra of Threepenny Opera will number 60; the score includes "Wedding Song," "Pirate Jenny," "Army Song," "Love Song," "Ballad of the Easy Life," "Barbara Song," "Jealousy Duet," "Solomon Song," "Useless Song” and “The Ballad of Mack the Knife.”
The Nikos Stage season begins with a new play by A.R. Gurney, Big Bill, running July 2-13. John Michael Higgins will play the title character, "Big Bill" Tilden, the one-time tennis champion who is now almost forgotten. Tilden dominated courts during the 1920s and was also a successful journalist, writing about the sport. His life was triumphant until he was arrested for homosexuality and henceforth shunned by the public and the sport he loved. He died broke and alone in 1953. The play will run July 2-13. No director has been named.
Higgins is known for wry performances in such films as "Best in Show" and Off-Broadway in Tiny Alice. Maggie Welsh is also in the cast. Mark Lamos directs.
Under Milk Wood, a comical and affectionate look at the odd habitants of a Welsh village by Dylan Thomas, will star Dana Ivey, Becky Ann Baker, Kristine Nielsen and Jarlath Conroy. The Main Stage show will be directed by Darko Tresnjak and run July 23-Aug. 3.
Only mail-order ticket requests will be accepted for Williamstown offerings before the box office opens June 13. For information and a brochure, call (413) 597-3399.
The schedule, at a glance, runs as follows:
Threepenny Opera, June 25-July 6
Landscape of the Body, July 9-20
Under Milk Wood, July 23-Aug. 3
Travesties, Aug. 6-17
An Enemy of the People, Aug. 20-24
Big Bill, running July 2-13
Mother of Invention, July 16-27
The Lake, July 30-Aug. 10
The Chekhov Cycle, Aug. 12-17