This is a big weekend for the Old Globe Theatre's Festival `97, with the season's first comedy opening and another beginning previews.
The San Diego fest got underway June 29, with Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors, officially opening Saturday, July 5. (Othello was supposed to be the first show of the season, but scheduling conflicts forced it to switch places with Errors.) On July 6, Benn W. Levy's 1930's farce, Springtime For Henry, opens.
Here's the full Festival line-up:
The Comedy Of Errors, (Lowell Davies, June 29-Aug. 9, opens July 5).
A shipwreck, mistaken identities and two sets of twins "in the course of a single antic day." John Rando directs this Shakespearean farce, with Jim Calder, Bill Campbell (filmdom's Rocketeer), Libby Christophersen, Sean Cullen, Stephen De Rosa, Katherine McGrath, Jonathan McMurtry, Kristine Nielsen, Dan Shor, Derrick Demetrius Parker, David Prentiss & Henry Russell. Designers include David Segal (lighting), Jeff Ladman (sound), Ralph Funicello (sets), and Lewis Brown (costumes).
Springtime For Henry (Cassius Carter Centre Stage, July 6-Aug. 16, opens July 12).
Yes, that last word is "Henry," for long before Mel Brooks concocted his "Producers," audiences were laughing at Benn W. Levy's farce about rakish Henry Dewlip, "a man who never leaves a drink unfinished, lets a lady go without making a pass, or a bet remain unwagered." Don Sparks, Ivar Brogger, Jane Fleiss and Ayla Yarkut star. Sparks appeared in Sylvia during the Old Globe's previous season.
The Legacy (Old Globe Theatre, July 13-Aug. 23, opens July 19).
Mark Harelik follows up his acclaimed The Immigrant with the second play in his Russian-Jewish emigre trilogy (according to Old Globe spokesperson David Tucker, the last play is to be called "American Dream"). The Estanitsky family, strangers in the desolate desert of West Texas, struggle to maintain its cultural heritage. Harelik will also a e play. Harelik stars in the show, alongside Len Lesser (who plays Uncle Leo in "Seinfeld") and Ann Guilbert (famed for playing Millie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"). Othello, (Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, Aug. 24-Oct. 4, opens Aug. 30).
In Shakespeare's tragedy, the Moor of Venice turns jealous when Iago tells lies about his wife, Desdemona (Christina Haag). Jack O'Brien directs Tyrees Allen as the Moor. Associate artist Richard Easton plays Iago
Miracles, (Cassius Carter Center Stage, Aug. 31-Oct. 11)
A play by Frank Higgins about an autistic girl who stuns everyone by writing a book. Benny Sato Ambush, who staged The Gate Of Heaven at the Old Globe, will direct.
The Mask Of Moriarty (Old Globe, Sept. 14-Oct. 25, opens Sept. 20)
Before he became the ultimate interpreter of Ray Cooney farces, Paxton Whitehead also made his name playing that great detective, Sherlock Holmes. Globe trotters can now catch Whitehead in Hugh Leonard's comedy, The Mask Of Moriarty, wherein Holmes and sidekick Dr. Watson (Tom Lacy) figure out who murdered whom on Waterloo Bridge...
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--By David Lefkowitz