Zimmerman, Himberg on tap at London theater
LONDONIndhu Rubasingham’s opening season at the Tricycle Theater encompasses two world preems and two revivals, all with a distinctly American flavor. Rubasingham, in her first season as head of Tricycle — the London company that bowed the production of “The 39 Steps” that had a Broadway run — will direct the world preem of “Red Velvet,” by Lolita Chakrabarti, about 19th century African-American actor Ira Aldridge. Starring Adrian Lester (BBC TV’s “Hustle”), the play looks at the largely forgotten actor who controversially took over from Edmund Kean, the greatest British actor of the century, in the title role of “Othello.” Designed by Tom Piper and lit by Oliver Fenwick, the production runs Oct. 11 to Nov. 24 with an Oct. 16 opening. U.S. dramatist Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of “The Arabian Nights” will be the Tricycle’s first family Christmas entertainment. Directed by Lu Kemp, designed by Ben Stones and lit by Richard Howell, the production runs Nov. 30 to Jan. 12. Helmer Dawn Walton will revive “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show,” a comedy from the 1970s by U.S. scribe Don Evans. Described as “The Cosby Show” meets Restoration comedy, the play is presented in a co-production with Eclipse Theater Company, the only Black British-led national touring company. Rubasingham will also helm the world preem of “Paper Dolls” (Feb. 28 to April 13) by Philip Himberg, producing a.d. of the Sundance Institute Theater Program. Adapted from the documentary by Tomer Heymann, which won three awards at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, the film follows Filipino immigrants in Tel Aviv who work as live-in caregivers for elderly Orthodox Jewish men and moonlight as a musical drag act. Casting for the productions has begun. Rubasingham will cast “Paper Dolls” in London and Gotham.