The current Off-Broadway mounting of Collected Stories will end its run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Feb. 28. It will then pack up and travel south to New Brunswick, New Jersey's George Street Playhouse, where originally cast members, Uta Hagen and Lorca Simons, will repeat their roles starting April 3. The show will officially open there April 7 for a run through May 2.
Collected Stories began performances at the Lucille Lortel Theatre July 28, 1998. The show opened Aug. 13 for a run intended to go through Oct. 18. It was then extended to Jan. 3, 1999 and recently extended beyond that to an open run. In recent weeks, Hagen has made news by openly complaining about what she perceived as the producers' lack of advertising support for the show.
A hot property with Hagen, Collected Stories was being eyed by such venues as the Kennedy Center and national tour possibilities, but sources say Hagen picked George Street owing to her long-standing friendship with new artistic director David Saint.
"I can personally say that it is a testament to the entire state of New Jersey and its theatre audiences that Ms. Hagen will join us this season," said Saint in a statement.
Spokesperson Shanks noted that the show will probably have "an abbreviated rehearsal period" at George Street, since the stars, and director (William Carden) are the same. It's not clear yet how much of the Off-Broadway set will or can be used on the NJ theatre's circular thrust stage. I>Collected Stories concerns an aging writer who is befriended and betrayed by her young protege; the drama delves into issues of mentoring and plagiarism. The play was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize.
Simons' credits include a year with the national tour of Three Tall Women.
Hagen created the roles of Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Georgie in The Country Girl. She played opposite Paul Robeson and Jose Ferrer in Othello and was Nina in the Lunts' production of The Seagull.
For tickets ($37.50-$49.50) and information on Collected Stories at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., call (212) 239-6200. For tickets and information on Collected Stories at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, call (732) 246-7717.