San Jose Repertory is snuggled right in the middle of Silicon Valley, so it's no surprise they would be premiering the high tech ctrl alt del (Control Alt Delte) in season 2001-02. Lynn Nottage, whose Crumbs from the Table of Joy has been making the regional rounds over the last few years, brings her latest, Las Meninas to the California theatre, where Academy Award winner Holly Hunter will venture By the Bog of Cats as the season opener Sept. 6-Oct. 7.
Hunter won her Oscar for "The Piano." Other film work includes "Jesus' Son," "Crash," "Copycat," "Raiding Arizona," "Broadcast News" and "The Firm." On Broadway she is known for bringing to life Beth Henley's work with her star-making turn in Crimes of the Heart, The Miss Firecracker Contest, The Wake of Jamie Foster and, most recently, An Impossible Marriage.
Hester Swane (Hunter) was born By the Bog of Cats like her mother before her and, like her mother before her, she too gave birth to an illegitimate daughter there. Now her daughter Josie's successful farmer father wants to have a real marriage with a respectable woman, leaving Hester and Josie to care for themselves. Unable to handle the loss, Hester rises like a modern Irish Medea to destroy those around her.
From the quiet Irish countryside to the fast-moving world of tech business, San Jose Rep stages Anthony Clarvoe's ctrl atl del, named for the PC code that shuts a crashing or crashed program down. In this comedy, a techie wiz kid with the next best thing in the industry joins forces with technology's leader to create what amounts to a billion dollar house of cards. Surrounded by corporations that remember books as "little paper websites" and remind each other of various characters from the Muppets, the two try to survive the shock waves, real and imagined, threatening to topple their house of cards. Clarvoe is the author of four Drama-Logue winner Let's Play Two, Ambition Facing West, The Living and Pick Up Ax.
ctrl alt del, read at California's South Coast Repertory March 26, receives its first production Oct. 20-Nov. 18. No director or cast has been named. Las Meninas, running March 16-April 14, 2002, takes its title from a painting by Velasquez, depicting the serving ladies and dwarves attending to daughter of the Queen of Spain. In this historical drama, Nottage recounts the passionate affair of Queen Maria Teresa of Spain with a black slave, giving to her as a present by her loveless husband. She loves the freedom-seeking man and their union produces a bastard child. It is this young woman who tells the story as she prepares to take vows and enter a convent.
Lynn Redgrave's The Mandrake Root, a hit premiere for Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre in winter 2001, will take its first West Coast bows with Redgrave in the cast Jan. 26-Feb. 24, 2002. In Mandrake Root, the Tony- and Academy Award-nominated actress plays Rose Randall, the matriarch of a great family, as she observes her own daughter Sally and Sally's teenaged daughter Kate. Around Rose, she has crafted a story of betrayal, sex and crippling family errors. The character she plays, Redgrave admits, is much based on her mother, the British actress Rachel Kempson.
San Jose Rep will also revive Georges Feydeau's classic farce< A Flea in Her Ear (Dec. 8-Jan. 6, 2002) and Yasmina Reza's comedy of friendship Art (May 11-June 9, 2002).
San Jose Repertory Theatre is located at 101 Paseo de San Antonio between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. For subscription information, call (408) 367-7255. San Jose Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.sjrep.com.
— By Christine Ehren