The 1998-99 season at Arizona Theatre Company officially opens Sept. 18 with Steve Martin's comedy, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The play runs at the company's Tucson theatre through Oct. 3, and then run at its Phoenix branch Oct. 8-24). ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein will direct. Michael Santo and Jos Viramontes star as Einstein and Picasso, respectively.
Next, Circle Repertory Theatre founder Marshall W. Mason climbs one of the Everests of American theatre, O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (Tucson: Oct. 17-Nov. 7; Phoenix: Nov. 12-28). No casting has been announced for the project.
The Broadway-bound The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, a new musical conceived by Mark Lamos and Mel Marvin, will begin its journey East when it plays at ACT's Tucson stage Dec. 5-27, then at the company's Phoenix location, Jan. 1-24, 1999. Mark Lamos will direct.
Lamos first staged Fascinating Rhythm in 1997 at Hartford Stage, where he was for many years artistic director. The show is a musical tribute to George and Ira Gershwin and features 50 of their songs, including "Lady Be Good," "The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." George Gershwin's centennial is on Sept. 26.
Producer Manny Kladitis told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 26, 1998) the show would have a brief tour before arriving on Broadway in 1999. Kladitis did not return a phone call regarding the show's current Broadway plans. *
Next at ATC is Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky (Tucson: Jan 9-30, 1999; Phoenix: Feb. 4-20, 1999), a co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Tim Bond will direct the tale of two faded stars of the Harlem Renaissance. The season concludes with two recent New York attractions, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Paula Vogel drama How I Learned to Drive (Tucson: Feb. 27-Mar. 20, 1999; Phoenix: Mar. 25-Apr. 10, 1999) and Alfred Uhry's Tony Award winner The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tucson: Apr. 10-May 1, 1999; May 6-22, 1999). No directors have been selected for the final two productions.
ATC performs at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. For ticket information, call (520) 622-2823 or 1-800-638-4253.
-- By Robert Simonson