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Hartford fetes ‘Bountiful’ 50th anni

'Much Ado About Nothing' to open season; 'Seascape' revival to close

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — A 50th-anniversary staging of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” and a new play based on the life of Rita Hayworth highlight the 2002-03 season at Hartford Stage under artistic director Michael Wilson.

Mark Lamos, the theater’s former a.d., will open the season with a staging of “Much Ado About Nothing.” He is closing the current season with a revival of Edward Albee’s “Seascape,” starring George Grizzard, Pamela Payton-Wright, Annalee Jefferies and David Patrick Kelly. Show runs May 30-June 30.

“Bountiful” will star Hallie Foote and Jean Stapleton, currently co-starring Off Broadway in Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children.” Wilson will direct.

The Hayworth play, Edwin Sanchez’s “Diosa,” will be helmed by Melia Bensussen. Other productions set for the season are Sophocles’ “Electra,” directed by Jonathan Wilson, and Tennessee Williams’ “The Night of the Iguana,” featuring Jefferies and directed by Michael Wilson.

The six-play subscription season will be completed by either the one-man “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe,” adapted and directed by D.W. Jacobs, or a new play by Alfred Uhry, “Edgardo Mine.”

The company’s annual “A Christmas Carol,” which moved to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts’ new 910-seat Belding Theater for a record-breaking run last Christmas, will return home next season.

Michael Wilson says that though the company looks forward to exploring future opportunities with the Bushnell, financially and institutionally it is best that “Carol” return home.