Circle Repertory Theatre founder Marshall W. Mason will climb one of the Everests of American theatre, O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night , at the Arizona Theatre Company. The production begins previews at the troupe's Tucson based Oct. 17 and opens Oct. 23 for a run through Nov. 7. The play will then move to Phoenix Nov. 12-28.
Lawrence Pressman will lead the cast as patriarch James Tyrone. Pressman has been seen on Broadway in Play It Again, Sam, on film in "9 to 5" and on television in "Doogie Howser, MD" and "Ally McBeal." Joining Pressman are Ruth Reid (Mary Tyrone), Kim Bennett (Jamie Tyrone) and Jason Kuykendall (Edmund Tyrone). Famed designer Ming Cho Lee will create the set.
Mason's recent work includes the New York premiere of Larry Kramer's The Destiny of Me . He is best known, of course, for his long association with fellow Circle Rep alum Lanford Wilson. Mason staged the premieres of Wilson's The Hot L Baltimore , The Mound Builders , Fifth of July and Talley's Folly , earning several Obies and Tony nominations along the way.
Meanwhile, ATC unveiled the canvas of its season-opener, Picasso at the Lapin Agile , at its Phoenix venue, the Herberger Theater Center (222 E. Monroe) Oct. 8, for a run through Oct. 24. The production debuted at Tucson's Temple of Music and Art on Sept. 12. It then opened Sept. 18 and ran through Oct. 3.
ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein directs the Steve Martin comedy, which asks "what if" Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso traded quips about science, art and women at a Parisian cafe. Michael Santo and Jos Viramontes star as Einstein and Picasso, respectively. For ticket information, call (620) 252-8497.
The Broadway-bound The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, a new musical conceived by Mark Lamos and Mel Marvin, will begin its journey East when it plays at ACT's Tucson stage Dec. 5-27, then at the company's Phoenix location, Jan. 1-24, 1999. Mark Lamos will direct.
Lamos first staged Fascinating Rhythm in 1997 at Hartford Stage, where he was for many years artistic director. The show is a musical tribute to George and Ira Gershwin and features 50 of their songs, including "Lady Be Good," "The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." George Gershwin's centennial is on Sept. 26.
Producer Manny Kladitis told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 26, 1998) the show would have a brief tour before arriving on Broadway in 1999.
Next at ATC is Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky (Tucson: Jan 9-30, 1999; Phoenix: Feb. 4-20, 1999), a co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Tim Bond will direct the tale of two faded stars of the Harlem Renaissance. The season concludes with two recent New York attractions, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Paula Vogel drama How I Learned to Drive (Tucson: Feb. 27-Mar. 20, 1999; Phoenix: Mar. 25-Apr. 10, 1999) and Alfred Uhry's Tony Award winner The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tucson: Apr. 10-May 1, 1999; May 6-22, 1999). No directors have been selected for the final two productions.