Houston's Alley Theatre will premiere Eve Ensler's new play Lemonade in the 1999-2000 season, a line-up that includes a new production of the annual A Christmas Carol and the recent Off Broadway hits Wit and As Bees in Honey Drown.
Opening the season will be a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge running on the Large Stage Sept. 24-Oct. 23. Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company affiliate Stephen Rayne will direct Alley resident company actor James Black (Not About Nightingales) as Eddie Carbone, the Brooklyn longshoreman who becomes sexually obsessed with his young niece.
Following Bridge on the Large Stage will be the new A Christmas Carol adapted by Rayne and with new scenic design by Douglas W. Schmidt (The Civil War). Christmas Carol runs Nov. 23-Jan. 2.
Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of an English professor who discovers she is dying of ovarian cancer, Wit, will run on the Large Stage Jan. 14-Feb. 12.
Two comedies follow Edson with revivals of Noel Coward's Hay Fever and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. In celebration of Coward's 100th anniversary, Fever, a weekend look at the self absorbed Bliss family, is directed by Rayne and runs Feb. 25-March 25. Alley Theatre artistic director Gregory Boyd, who directed the 1998-1999 production of Stoppard's Travesties, directs The Real Thing, a romantic comedy about marriages falling apart as love blooms in the theatre -- but is it the real thing? Real Thing runs April 7-May 6. Finishing off the Large Stage season will be William Shakespeare's tragedy of "star-crossed lovers," Romeo and Juliet. Romeo will run May 19-June 18.
The Neuhaus Arena Stage, the Alley's smaller stage, will first feature the premiere of Ensler's newest comedy, Lemonade, Oct. 8-Nov. 7. Ensler, a finalist for the 1999 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize with this tale of a middle-aged housewife who offers a mysterious stranger with memory loss a glass of lemonade, is the author of The Vagina Monologues. Lenka Udovicki will direct, having recently direct Ensler's Necessary Targets with Glenn Close at the National Theatre in Sarajevo last year.
The second offering will be Shakespeare's comedy, The Comedy of Errors (Feb. 4-March 5). Boyd directs this tale of long-lost identical twins, Antipholus and Dromio, who discover their brothers in the town of Ephesus, creating all kinds of problems with mistaken identities.
The Neuhaus season ends with Douglas Carter Beane's comedy of a young novelist seduced by the offer of instant fame from producer/socialite Alexa Vere de Vere, As Bees in Honey Drown. Bees runs from April 28-May 28.
Subscriptions for the Alley's 1999-200 season are available by calling (713) 228-8421. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue.
The Alley, a Tony Award winner for a regional theatre, sent two of its 1997-98 productions to Broadway, the lost Tennessee Williams' drama, Not About Nightingales and the Frank Wildhorn-Jack Murphy-Gregory Boyd musical, The Civil War. Both were nominated for Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Musical, respectively.
-- By Christine Ehren