Anyone who might see a theme in the Gallery
Players choosing both "The Full Money" and "Hair"
for their 38th season would be mistaken, says Gallery Players
President Heather Curran. Despite the fact that both plays contain
male nudity, she insists it was "just one of those wonderful
things. The selection committee looks for plays that would make
a nice variety for our subscribers."
This "nice variety" includes musicals, dramas, period pieces and zany interpretations.
The season starts on Sept. 11 with English playwright Caryl Churchill’s "Cloud 9," directed by Tom Herman ("Lobby Hero").
"The play was very popular in the early ’80s," says Curran. "It’s about a fantastical, surreal journey of a family from Victorian Africa to 1979 London. But for the characters, only 28 years have passed."
By examining the uptight Victorian era and the liberated ’70s, the play touches on the still relevant issues of gender, race, power and hypocrisy. "Cloud 9" runs Sept. 11 through Sept. 26.
When "Hair" opened in 1968, Gerome Ragni and James Rado’s "tribal rock" musical caused quite a stir. The country was engaged in a controversial war and preparing for a presidential election. Thirty-six years later, Curran believes a revival couldn’t be timelier.
"The idea of protest will resonate with New Yorkers looking back and seeing what’s changed and not changed," says Curran. "We’re not updating the play, because so many things haven’t changed."
"Hair" will be directed and choreographed by Steven Smeltzer, who directed last year’s highly acclaimed "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." "Hair" plays Oct. 16 through Nov. 7.
Curran herself will direct the Gallery Players’ third show, "Side Man," by Warren Leight.
"I love it. It’s a great exploration of a family and its demise," she says. "It’s a great American story." "Side Man" plays Nov. 27 through Dec. 12.
Curran calls "The Spitfire Grill" a "chamber musical" because, although it is a musical, it’s not "big and showy." With a book by Fred Alley and James Valcq, lyrics by Alley and music by Valcq, the play tells the story of a woman who seeks a new beginning in the picturesque town of Gilead, only to find she’s not the only one there haunted by the past.
The play will be directed by M. R. Goodley. "The Spitfire Grill" runs Jan. 8 through Jan. 30.
Richard Sheridan’s Restoration play, "The School for Scandal," with its rumors and vicious gossip, proves that the 18th century was not so different from the 21st. That is why the Gallery Players have chosen to perform the comedy in period costumes with no attempt at updating.
"It deals with what are morals and what is the right thing to do," says Curran. "It’s a very timely piece It hasn’t been revived in a while."
Director to be announced, "The School for Scandal" runs Feb. 19 through March 6.
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" by Jess Borgeson, Adam Long and Daniel Singer, is "an absolute hoot," according to Curran. The three writers perform Shakespeare’s entire oeuvre in 90 minutes, which is in itself quite a feat. But Curran says the play is also "a great family show a great way to introduce kids to Shakespeare."
"I saw it in London," she told GO Brooklyn. "And I was laughing until I was crying."
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" will be directed by Neal Freeman. It runs March 26 through April 10.
"We are privileged to be the first New York revival of ’The Full Monty,’" says Curran. "Terrance McNally [the playwright] is a friend of the Gallery Players, and that had something to do with it."
The show is about six out-of-work, out-of-shape Buffalo steelworkers who become the world’s most unlikely strippers. Says Curran, "We’re putting out the call now for men who can sing and dance and are willing to do the full Monty."
Director to be announced, "The Full Monty" runs April 30 through May 22.
The regular season will be followed by the eighth annual Black Box new play festival.
Spicy, saucy and bittersweet, it looks like the Gallery Players’ new season will have something for everyone’s taste.
The Gallery Players season opens Sept.
11 with "Cloud 9." Further information can be found
at the Web site, www.galler