'Jolson' won't sing this year

NEW YORK — Arthur Laurents will see the world premiere of his play “Big Potato” this fall, but the anticipated Gotham debut of his “Jolson Sings Again” appears unlikely for 2000.

The Jewish Repertory Theatre opens its season Oct. 10 with “Big Potato,” Laurents’ dark comedy about a woman who captures a Nazi in her Queens beauty parlor. This year, the not-for-profit legit company segues from its home base at Playhouse 91 to the new Duke on 42nd Street, which it has rented for a 16-week season.

The Jewish Rep will share the venue with a mix of not-for-profit and commercial theater companies. According to a spokesman for the theater, those other contracts have not yet been signed.

The Jewish Rep 2000-2001 season also includes the first New York revival of the 1970 musical “Two by Two,” with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Peter Stone. The original Broadway production starred Danny Kaye. Two other shows are to be announced.

‘Jolson’ silent for now

Laurents had been eyeing a commercial Off Broadway run this fall of his McCarthy-era drama “Jolson Sings Again,” to be produced under the auspices of Daryl Roth, Scott Rudin and David Stone. However, the production’s anticipated headliner, Patti LuPone, recently opted to star in the Goodman Theatre’s winter 2001 production of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” with Robert Falls directing.

“We are going to regroup and think about what other actors would be good,” Roth said. “The production probably won’t happen this fall.”

“Jolson Sings Again” had its world premiere at the Seattle Rep in 1995.

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