Casting Announced for Durang’s Vietnamization of New Jersey

News   Casting Announced for Durang’s Vietnamization of New Jersey
Christopher Durang's 1977 play The Vietnamization of New Jersey (An American Tragedy), which was originally scheduled to play the Clurman Theatre, will now be seen at the Beckett Theatre, also on Theatre Row.

Robert Saxner will direct the two-act play, which is scheduled to begin previews at the Off-Broadway venue Jan. 11, 2007, with an official opening Jan. 16. The Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan production will feature the talents of Blanche Baker, Michael Cyril Creighton, Frank Deal, Susan Gross, James Duane Polk, Corey Sullivan and Nick Westrate.

The design team comprises Amanda Rehbein (set design), Abby O'Sullivan (costume design), Ku'uipo Curry (lighting design) and Scott O’Brien (sound design). Emilie Aguerre will supply choreography.

The Vietnamization of New Jersey, according to press notes, "is set in a middle-class home in Piscataway, New Jersey, where Ozzie Ann (the mother) and Harry (the father) await the return of their Vietnam veteran son, David, and his native bride, Liat. Also on hand are younger brother Et, a sex-obsessed high school junior who eats corn flakes from his unzipped pants; and Hazel, the irrepressible black maid who is the real power in the household. When David and Liat arrive they are both blind and she is an ex-hooker (who later turns out to be a displaced orphan named Maureen O'Hara). Thereafter comes suicide, adultery, the feeble intervention of a homosexual priest, and the arrival of a super-patriotic, war-mongering uncle — plus a staccato of outrageous comments by the cynical Hazel."

Yale Repertory Theatre presented the original production of The Vietnamization of New Jersey in January 1977. Directed by Walt Jones, the cast included Kate McGregor-Stewart, Charles Levin, Stephen Rowe, Ben Halley Jr., Richard Bey, Anne Louise Hoffman, Charles Levin and Jeremy Geidt.

Christopher Durang's plays at Playwrights Horizons include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Actor's Nightmare, Baby with the Bathwater, Laughing Wild and Betty's Summer Vacation . His other plays on and Off-Broadway include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Durang/Durang, Miss Witherspoon and Sex and Longing. The Vietnamization of New Jersey will play the Beckett (410 West 42nd Street) Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets, priced at $25, are available by calling (212) 279-4200 or by visiting

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