Off-Broadway's Drama Dept. finally has a title for the upcoming Amy and David Sedaris play, set to begin previews March 12. It's called The Book of Liz, after the central character, Sister Elizabeth, who, though she makes the cheeseballs that financially support her church sect, feels unappreciated and runs away. Several experiences ensue. The show will open March 26 at the Greenwich House Theatre and run through May 5.
The design team will include Hugh Hamrick (sets), Victoria Farrell (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lights) and Laura Grace Brown (sound). Hamrick directs.
Amy Sedaris recently appeared in the troupe's production of Douglas Carter Beane's The Country Club. Brother David, meanwhile, is the comic author of such volumes as "Barrel Fever" and "Naked." Together, they operate as The Talent Family and have presented a series of satirical, sketch-like comedies such as One Woman Shoe and The Little Frieda Mysteries. Most of these shows were seen at La MaMa, but the Sedaris siblings appear to have found a new home at the Drama Dept.
* As previously reported, new to the Drama Dept. roster is an group of three one-acts by Paul Rudnick, in whose The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told Amy Sedaris acted. The plays, to run Sept. 25-Nov. 11 under the direction of Christopher Ashley, are Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach, Special Needs and On the Fence.
Mr. Charles, a one-person show, was previously seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre in a 1998 production starring Peter Bartlett. Special Needs concerns two men who decide to adopt a child, while On the Fence "involves the meeting of some rather remarkable individuals."
Coming between the Sedaris and Rudnick offerings will be something by playwright and Drama Dept. artistic director Beane. The show, to run June 26-Aug. 19, will either be The Big Time, a new musical scored by Douglas J. Cohen (No Way to Treat a Lady), or the play Music from a Sparkling Planet. Both titles has been long aborning. According to the company, the choice is dependant of theatre availability, seeming to indicate that the production may not be at the Greenwich House Theatre. In either case, Mark Brokaw (Old Money, Lobby Hero) will direct.
Richard Greenberg's new work, The Dazzle, often promised for an upcoming Drama Dept. season, is no longer being advertised for the troupe. According to a recent subscriber mailing, the play was offered a slot at another theatre in New York City. In the past, Greenberg's work has been primarily seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, though Hurrah at Last was staged by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Greenberg, an original member of the Dept., has yet to provide the company with a new play, although his one-act, The Author's Voice, was revived as part of a double bill.
—By Robert Simonson