Rep Stage will present a four-production season of stories about strange things, but doubtlessly none will be stranger than the story of Dorian’s Closet, a musical about the life of famed female impersonator Dorian Corey, featured in the documentary Paris is Burning. The Richard Mailman-Ryan Haase musical documents Corey’s rise through the drag circuits of the seventies in Harlem to her stardom in the eighties to her premature death in 1993. And then they discovered the mummy in her closet. (A hard-to-read but detailed and fascinating report from New York Magazine (page 53) From April 26 to May 14 of next year; Joseph Ritsch will direct.
Rep Stage’s non-musical offerings will begin on September 7 with Sharri White’s The Other Place, a story of a brilliant and successful woman’s sudden and inexplicable affliction. In the middle of a presentation she loses her thread, forgets what she means to say, cannot form sentences. The L.A. Times’ David C. Nichols praised the “tautly quirky writing” which keeps the audience guessing about what’s really going on.
“One of the best aspects of White’s script,” Nichols said, “is how fascinating yet unreadable Juliana Smithton…is, from her brittle account of a disturbing episode during her lecture at a pharmaceutical convention in the Virgin Islands onward.” Through September 25, 2016.
Next for Rep is Bess Wohl’s dark comedy American Hero, the story of three sandwich makers who are in danger of being cast adrift without an economy when the shop’s owner mysteriously disappears. “Ms. Wohl’s improbable but often darkly funny comedy…takes a wry, compassionate attitude toward American workers barely clinging to the bottom rungs of the economic ladder,” says Charles Isherwood of the New York Times. From November 2-20, 2016.
H20, by the mysterious Jane Martin, opens the 2017 portion of Rep Stage’s season with the story of a TV superstar with big emotional problems who is cast to play Hamlet and his Ophelia, a smart, born-again evangelical. This play, which was the hit of the 2013 Contemporary American Theatre Festival, has been written by a playwright who has never been seen in public, including by actors and Artistic Directors of producing companies. Kasi Campbell directs February 15 to March 5.
Rep Stage season tickets are not yet available.