She helped bring audiences to such New York shows as Wait Until Dark and Waiting For Lefty; now Marisa Tomei is also bringing big business to MA's American Repertory Theatre. Their current show, Dario Fo's We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, is sold out for its remaining shows this weekend, through Oct. 3.
Academy Award-winning actress Tomei stars in the piece, directed by Andrei Belgrader. Performances began Sept. 10.
Tomei has made frequent stage appearances of late, last seen on Broadway co-starring with Quentin Tarantino in Wait Until Dark. She also appeared in Tony Kushner's Slavs! at New York Theatre Workshop, Kelly Stuart's Demonology at Playwrights Horizons, and Eric Overmeyer's Dark Rapture. Film credits include her Oscar-winning role in "My Cousin Vinny," "Slums of Beverly Hills," "Chaplin," "The Paper," and "Untamed Hearts."
In Pay, with the price of groceries rising every day, a poor girl must stuff bags of food up her sweater and pretend to be pregnant to get food. The play follows two working-class couples and their misguided attempts at shoplifting.
Fo won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997, an award not usually given for works written for the stage. Fo, an Italian, is noted for his works which blend serious reform politics with farcical situations. Plays include: Mistero Buffo, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Archangels Don't Play Pinball, and his most recent play, The Devil with Boobs. Belgrader arrived in the U.S. from his native Romania in 1978 and has since directed several plays Off-Broadway, at Yale Rep, American Conservatory Theatre and The Goodman Theatre. He has had a longtime relationship with A.R.T., where he has directed The Imaginary Invalid, Ubu Rock, The Bald Soprano, Waiting for Godot and several others.
Other cast members for We Won't Pay... include Thomas Derrah, Ken Cheeseman, Caroline Hall and Will LeBow.
Other shows in A.R.T.'s 1999-2000, 21st anniversary season include:
* Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, directed by Yuri Yeremin (Artistic Director of the Moscow Pushkin Theatre), beginning late November 1999. Written when Chekhov was only 27, Ivanov is a portrait of a man too intelligent and too bored to endure his provincial life.
* Christopher Durang (Betty's Summer Vacation) & Albert (Gemini) Innaurato's The Idiots Karamazov, directed by Karen Coonrod (NYSF's Henry IV, CSC's Christmas at the Ivanovs') beginning December 1999. Written when the two playwrights where at Yale together, the play tells the tale of Dostoevsky's classic, "The Brothers Karamazov," through the eyes of a translator who mixes and mashes the entire Western Canon -- adding such characters as Anais Nin and Mary Tyrone of Long Days' Journey Into Night.
* Joe Orton's Loot, directed by Andrei Belgrader (CSC's Waiting for Godot), begins January 2000. The comedy tells of a son who needs to dump stolen money into his mother's casket.
* Charles L. Mee's Full Circle, directed by Robert Woodruff, begins February 2000. Out of the chaos of high-speed capitalism and crashing economies emerges a hapless single woman caring for an abandoned baby. Based on an ancient Chinese fable, Circle is set in a turbulent 1989 Europe after the fall of Communism.
* Adrienne Kennedy's The Ohio State Murders, directed by Marcus Stern (The Public's Chang Fragments), begins April 2000. When a young student arrives at Ohio State University, she little suspects that the academic sanctuary harbors dark forces of hatred, and even death.
* Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, directed by innovative Macedonian director, Slobodan Unkovski, beginning May 2000. One of Shakespeare's last plays combines the tragedy of jealous Leontes with the comedy of Pedita and Florizel.
As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Rep, Brustein has supervised more than 200 productions. He serves as director of the Loeb Drama Center, Professor of English at Harvard, and drama critic for The New Republic. In recent years, he's been notable for his public arguments with playwright August Wilson about multi-cultural casting.
For tickets and information on the American Repertory Theatre season, call their Info-Line at (617) 547-8300 or check out their website at http://www.amrep.org.
-- By Sean McGrath & David Lefkowitz