Public debuts trio

New musical from Wolfe joins world premieres

The Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival has unveiled its 1998/99 season, which features a trio of world premieres, including a new musical by Michael John LaChiusa directed by Public producer George C. Wolfe.

The season kicks off with the Bard’s “Pericles,” beginning Oct. 13 in Martinson Hall and directed by Brian Kulick. It’s followed by the New York premiere of Arthur Miller’s “The Ride Down Mount Morgan,” directed by David Esbjornson and beginning perfs a week later. Fall season concludes with Diana Son’s “Stop Kiss” in the Shiva Theater. Jo Bonney directs the play, which was a hit in the Public’s “New Work Now!” fest last season.

‘Wild Party’

Public Theater producer Wolfe will direct his first original musical since the hit “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” early in ’99. Composer and lyricist Michael John LaChiusa’s “The Wild Party” is a musical adaptation of a 1928 poem by Joseph Moncure March, and will make its world premiere in February.

Following in the spring are the N.Y. preem of Ellen McLaughlin’s “Tongue of a Bird,” a co-production with L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum directed by Lisa Peterson (but apparently sans Cherry Jones, who stars in L.A.), Thulani Davis’ “Everybody’s Ruby” and Lisa Kron’s solo show “2.5 Minute Ride,” directed by Mark Brokaw.

The Public is also unveiling a new cabaret space and restaurant, Joe’s Pub, in October. The new venue will feature an American Composer and Songwriter series on Mondays, a spoken word series on Tuesdays, a world music series on Wednesdays and various theatrical offerings the rest of the week featuring works by such artists as Wolfe, Roger Guenveur Smith and Suzaz-Lori Parks.

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