Large-Cast Stage Door Will Swing Open at DC-Area American Century Theater; Season Announced

News   Large-Cast Stage Door Will Swing Open at DC-Area American Century Theater; Season Announced
The American Century Theater in Arlington, VA, has announced its 2010-11 season, to open with Paddy Chayefsky's The Tenth Man (1959), by the Emmy and Academy Award–winning writer of the screenplays for "Marty" and "Network."

The story revolves around a Jewish exorcism of a young woman. It will play the Gunston Theatre Two, TACT's home, Sept. 17-Oct. 16.

One Night with Fanny Brice, a one-woman musical biography of the radio and stage comedienne, will run Nov. 5-27. The show has book by Chip Deffaa and song by many writers. Casting will be announced.

In the show, Fanny "tells jokes, evaluates her career, dishes about the quirky people in her life, and most of all, sings over 20 of her signature songs" — including "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long" and "Second Hand Rose." Brice was famously portrayed by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl on stage and screen.

TACT artistic director Jack Marshall said in a statement, "She was very different from the image most people associate with her, if they remember her at all. Chip's show gives audiences a chance to meet, for one memorable night, the real Fanny, and like the lucky audiences who saw her in the '20s and '30s, they'll love the experience."

One Night with Fanny Brice will have its performances at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre in Arlington. Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon (1920) is the "romantic tragedy that is considered a turning point in the development of American drama," according to TACT. "Critics pronounced it the first great play of the 20th century, and despite the passage of time, this spare, beautiful, achingly emotional story of an ill-starred love triangle must be seen by anyone who loves theatre."

Beyond the Horizon (Jan. 14-Feb. 12, 2011 in Gunston Theatre Two) marks the American Century Theater directing debut of Kathleen Akerley, one of the DC area's most acclaimed directors.

Spring 2011 brings Stage Door — "the biggest show of the year, the type of large-cast, seldom-produced classic comedy The American Century Theater was created to produce." The 1936 collaboration by novelist Edna Ferber ("Show Boat") and master wit George S. Kaufman (You Can't Take It with You) "chronicles the hopes, ambitions, romances, and misfortunes of 16 young women in Mrs. Orcutt's boarding house for aspiring New York actresses," according to TACT. "The many comedy scenes contrast with touching stories of a talentless actress and a fading star. The star-studded 1937 Hollywood version abandoned most of the Ferber–Kaufman script. TACT, as usual, will give audiences a chance to see the real thing."

Performances will play April 8-May 7, 2011.

Completing the season at the Gunston July 8–Aug. 6, 2011 is Gore Vidal's Visit to a Small Planet (1956). He wrote his comic satire (originally a live television drama) "to lampoon the Cold War and humanity's self-destructive preoccupation with world domination."

According to TACT notes, "In an ill-conceived solo alien invasion, the extra-terrestrial Kreton lands his space ship in the middle of a suburban rose garden and innocently announces his intention to conquer the world. Vidal's play is a comedy with keen and witty observations about American and human foibles, and the playwright was bitterly disappointed when Hollywood turned it into a Jerry Lewis movie. It is remarkable, and a little discouraging, how relevant the comedy seems today, but it is still as funny as ever."

The American Century Theater performs at Theatre II, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA.

More information is available at

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