Actress Ivey returns for a stint

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The U.S. premiere of the last work by Simon Gray, Athol Fugard’s latest play, the launch of a commercial tour of “Ella” and Judith Ivey in the solo show “Shirley Valentine” are part of the 2010-11 season at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater.

Season will open with the biotuner “Ella,” starring Tina Fabrique as vocalist Ella Fitzgerald on the main stage. Conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero, show has been produced separately at more than 20 regional theaters across the country since 2005, but the New Haven engagement marks the start of the commercial tour, which will also play presenting houses.

Playing on the company’s Stage II this fall will be Ivey in Willy Russell’s comedy “Shirley Valentine.” Ivey is now starring Off Broadway in “The Glass Menagerie,” a transfer from Long Wharf directed by Gordon Edelstein, who will also helm “Shirley.”

Two still-to-be-named high-profile actors will headline Gray’s “The Old Masters,” which was produced in the West End in a 2004 staging directed by Harold Pinter. The work centers on a question of a painting’s authenticity between an art historian and a dealer. Michael Rudman helms the New Haven production.

Fugard’s “The Train Driver,” which opened last month in Cape Town, South Africa, will play Long Wharf next spring. It will receive its U.S. bow this summer at Victory Theater in Los Angeles. Fugard’s previous two plays, “Have You Seen Us?” and “Coming Home,” had their world premieres at Long Wharf.

One of the season’s two remaining slots will feature the world preem of a U.S. play with the final show to be an American “classic.”

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