Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella will star as Sherlock Holmes in Paul Giovanni's Crucifer of Blood, the season opener at the 1999 Berkshire Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, June 23-July 10. Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) will direct.
Spinella is the veteran of several Broadway mountings, most recently in the Zoe Wanamaker Electra. He also played the narrating lawyer Alfieri in A View From The Bridge. Spinella's other credits include winning two Tony Awards for playing Prior Walter in both parts of Angels In America.
Renshaw received a 1996 Drama Desk Award as Best Director and Outer Critics Circle and Tony Nominations for the Broadway revival of The King and I.
Playwright Giovanni, the 1965 Artistic Director of the BTF, combines a number of elements from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the famed English sleuth. Beginning in India, the play spans three decades and multiple locales as Sherlock unravels a deadly curse and battles a group of evil conspirators.
Other cast members include David Adkins, Joannna Going, J. Paul Boehmer, James Warwick, Alex Draper, Gary Sloan, Ronobir Lahiri, and Michael Hollick. *
While Crucifer is taking up the mainstage, BTF will open Love's Fire at the Unicorn Theatre, June 17 - July 17. Eric Bogosian, Marsha Norman, John Guare and Tony Kushner are some of the playwrights represented with new work in Love's Fire: Fresh Numbers by Seven American Playwrights. Originally produced by The Acting Company in celebration of its 25th anniversary, the evening of short plays and music is inspired by Shakespeare's sonnets.
Eva Le Gallienne founded the Berkshire Festival in 1928 with The Cradle Song. The playhouse itself was built by Stanford White, initially as a gentlemen's club. It wasn't until the 1960s that the venue was named the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Among the luminaries appearing there over the years have been Buster Keaton, Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Thornton Wilder, Eli Wallach and Joanne Woodward.
For tickets or more information, call (413) 298-5576.
-- By Sean McGrath