With swing dance a part of several Broadway musicals, it's no surprise that plays have started jitterbugging and Lindy Hopping. Baltimore's Center Stage will host Bridget Carpenter's Fall, a coming-of-age play about a young girl's first swing and sexual steps, Nov. 16-Dec. 17. Obie winner Lisa Peterson (Collected Stories, Slavs!) directs this co-production with Berkeley Repertory, where the show will run Jan. 19, 2000-March 11.
In Fall, 14 year old Lydia finds herself forced to attend a Catalina swing camp with her dance-obsessed "freak" parents, Dog (short for Doug) and Jill. But the teenager just discovering her hormones will learn more than Lindy when she's faced with lessons about love, life and family. During the play, Lydia is shadowed by two dancer characters, Lead and Follow, who mirror her emotional state with their moves.
Carpenter's other plays include The Death of the Father of Psychoanalysis (& Anna), Mr. Xmas, West, Typhoid Mary and Tiny. She received the 1999-2000 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fall.
Megan Austin Oberle stars as Lydia with Nancy Bell as Jill and Andy Murray as Dog. Also in the cast are Donnie Keshwarz (Gopal), Thomas Christopher Nieto (Mr. Gonzales), Chad Kubo (Lead) and Niloufar Talebi (Follow).
Designing the show are The Scarlet Pimpernel's Andrew Jackness (sets), Tony winner Ann Hould-Ward (costumes), Soctt Zielinski (lighting) and John Gromada (composer/sound designer). Gromada composed for Proof, A Few Good Men and Summer & Smoke on Broadway. Peter Pucci created the swing and scuba choreography. The director of Pucci Plus Dancers, he has created movement at the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Shakespeare Theatre.
Tickets are $45-$10. The Pearlstone Theater at Center Stage is located at 700 North Calvert Street. For reservations, call (410) 332-0033. Center Stage is on the web at http://www.centerstage.org.
-- By Christine Ehren