Phoenix Theatre Treats Tennessee Williams and Romulus Linney to a Beer in Play in a Pub, April 4

News   Phoenix Theatre Treats Tennessee Williams and Romulus Linney to a Beer in Play in a Pub, April 4
The second production by the new Phoenix Theatre Ensemble will be the first of their planned Play in a Pub series. The unusual enterprise will take place in the Bacchus Room bar adjoining Bona Fides restaurant on Second Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets in the East Village—not far from the home of co-founders, and former Jean Cocteau Rep stalwarts, Craig Smith and Elise Stone.

The show is as advertised: the bill of two one-act plays will be staged in a bar. The site-specific undertaking will be a far cry from the Phoenix's inaugrual production, last fall's straightforward staging of Franz Kafka's The Trial.

The two "pub" plays are A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot, a little known work by Tennessee Williams, and Can Can by the prolific Romulus Linney.

The first, directed by Jonathan Silverstein, is "a humorous look at a pair of old friends—Flora, skinny with skin problems, and Bessie, plump with weight issues—looking for fun at a Sons of Mar's convention while waiting at a bar for entertainment of the male variety."

  Can Can, meanwhile, is described as "a poignant fugue of overlapping soliloquies in which an ex-GI recalls his brief love affair with a French girl, while a Nashville housewife tells of the strange bond she feels for an older country woman." Linney himself will direct the piece.

  Tickets are $15. Call (212) 352-3101. Dinner reservations  before or after the show can be made separately by calling Bona Fides at (212) 777 2840.  *

The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble as formed by former Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre refugees Craig Smith, Elise Stone, Jason Crowl, Michael Surabian and Angela Madden. Smith and Stone, who were ensemble members at the Bowery-based Jean Cocteau for a combined 50 years, suddenly resigned from the company last August. Also tendering their resignations at the time were fellow ensemble performers Madden and Surabian and five members of the 11 person Jean Cocteau board.

Smith said at the time the Pheonix would be ensemble-directed. "We will be governed by a core group of actors, but there will be one decision maker, who will rotate."

Smith said he envisioned the troupe would stage both classics as well as commission new plays complementary to those classics.

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