Millennium Mambo, the one-woman piece conceived by actress- playwright Regina Taylor, which began previews at the Studio space of Chicago's Goodman Theatre Feb. 4, will officially open Feb. 14 for a run through March 5.
As previously reported, Mambo was due to open the new season at the Studio space, but pushed its opening date back from Oct. 8, 1999. The theatre said Taylor had taken a movie offer, forcing the postponement of the work.
Mambo will feature one of Taylor's plays, along with the work of four other prominent, African-American women playwrights. Taylor asked scribes Kia Corthron (Seeking the Genesis), Adrienne Kennedy (Funnyhouse of a Negro), Suzan-Lori Parks (In the Blood) and Ntozake Shange (For Colored Girls...) to either write or select a 15- minute text which could be performed by one actress -- in this case, Taylor. (Playwright Cheryl L. West, mentioned in previous press releases, is apparently no longer involved in the project.) Taylor -- who contributed a short play herself -- then penned some connective text, linking the half dozen playlets.
The five plays are:
• Safe Box by Kia Corthron
• Heathcliff and I Agree by Adrienne Kennedy
• Talking to Jupiter by Suzan-Lori Parks
• Evertime [sic] My Lil World Seems Blue, I Just Haveta Look at You and Learn Eye-Hand Coordination, a selection from Ntozake Shange's novel "Liliane"
• Urban Zulu Mambo by Regina Taylor
Taylor, an artistic associate at the Goodman, has previously been represented at that theatre by her plays, Escape from Paradise and Oo-Bla-Dee, performing in the first and co-directing the second. She was recently seen Off-Broadway in West's Jar the Floor. Henry Godinez, another Goodman artistic associate, will direct.
For information, call (312) 443-3800.
-- By Robert Simonson