All’s Weill that ends well at Westport

Playhouse adds some 'Spice'

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Westport Country Playhouse is adding to what’s shaping up to be a Weill year.

In addition to the Roundabout Theater Company’s “The Threepenny Opera” this spring and “LoveMusik,” the Harold Prince-helmed Broadway-bound production centering on the relationship between composer Kurt Weill and his wife, Lotte Lenya, comes “Jam & Spice,” the Weill song cycle that will receive its world preem at Westport June 1-18.

The work will kick off the five-play summer season under new artistic director Tazewell Thompson. Six performers and six musicians will feature in the music-dance work compiled by Thompson and music arranger-orchestrator Dianne Adams McDowell.

Thompson said his work in the opera world helped him win the OK from the Weill estate despite the new Prince production. “LoveMusik” will have a book by Alfred Uhry and is expected on Broadway later in 2006 after an out-of-town run, according to Prince.

“The Threepenny Opera” begins perfs at Studio 54 on March 23. Alan Cumming, Jim Dale, Cyndi Lauper, Ana Gasteyer and Nellie McKay star.

Following “Jam & Spice,” the Playhouse’s 76th season will feature a pair of plays that have seen much action on the regional circuit: Canadian scribe Michael Healy’s three-hander “The Drawer Boy” (June 22-July 9) and Thompson’s “Constant Star” (July 13-30), a play with gospel music in which five actresses perform as Ida B. Wells, the antilynching crusader, suffragist and journalist.

Filling the fourth summer slot will be the five-hander sexual romp “A Marriage Minuet,” by David Wiltse (Aug. 3-20). The summer season will end with a rarely produced Arthur Miller play, 1977’s “The Archbishop’s Ceiling,” directed by Gregory Mosher (Aug. 24-Sept. 10).

The Playhouse kicks off its first year-round schedule with Eric Overmyer’s “On the Verge (or the Geography of Yearning),” running March 9-25. Thompson, who succeeded Joanne Woodward as Westport a.d. this month, is helming the show, a co-production with D.C.’s Arena Stage.

The fall selection at Westport will be Jon Marans’ play “Old Wicked Songs” (Oct. 19-Nov. 5). The year will end with a new adaptation with holiday music, written and staged by Thompson, of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (Nov. 29-Dec. 23).

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Legit News from Variety

Loading