Michael Ball, a veteran of more than 30 plays at the Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada, is now stateside, Oct. 22-Nov. 21, as he stars in The Last Hurrah, a theatrical adaptation of Edwin O'Connor's novel of the same name, adapted and directed by Eric (The Song of Jacob Zulu) Simonson. The show officially opens Oct. 27.
Ball, whose leading roles at the Shaw Fest include those in Major Barbara, Hobson's Choice and Uncle Vanya, replaces previously announced star Pat Hingle (1776). The production plays at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company and is described as a raw, humorous and emotional portrait of a career politician in the midst of his final campaign. The novel and production are based on the life of four-time Boston mayor James Michael Curley. (The show is not to be confused with the Richard Greenberg play, Hurrah At Last, which New York's Roundabout Theatre mounted at the Gramercy Theatre this past summer.)
Co-starring in the Huntington Hurrah are Kyle Fabel, Edmond Genest, Larry Paulsen, Keith Perry, Paul Kerry, William Langan, Ken Baltin, Baxter Harris, Munson Hicks, Frank Raiter, John Arnold and Kari McGee.
Desinging the show are James Wolk (set), Karin Kopischke (costumes), Don Holder (lighting) and Mitch Greenhill (sound).
Simonson, an ensemble member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, won a Tony Nomination for 1993's Jacob Zulu. At the Huntington, he has directed his own adaptation of Bang the Drum Slowly and a Hamlet starring Campbell Scott. Other credits include Slaughterhouse Five and Nomathemba, both at Steppenwolf, and Angels in America, at Milwaukee Rep. *
Other shows in the Huntington season are as follows:
€ Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda will play at the Huntington, Dec. 31-Jan. 30, 2000. A tale of a Japanese-American family returning home after being forced to spend most of World War II in a government internment camp. Other plays by Gotanda include The Wash and Ballad of Yachiyo. Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory, Sharon Ott will direct.
€ Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller will have a two-hundredth anniversary production, March 10-April 9, 2000. Set amid the fierce political and religious conflicts of 16th-century England, the play pits Elizabeth I of England against her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. This new translation is by Village Voice critic Michael Feingold. The play will be directed by A.C.T.'s artistic director, Carey Perloff.
€ The final production of the '99-'00 season for Huntington will take place May 19-June 18, 2000 and will be an August Wilson play -- either Fences or the play he's currently working on.
Subscriptions for the 1999-2000 season are available, call (617) 266 0800.
-- By David Lefkowitz