Our first reaction at seeing Salt Lake Acting Company's subscription season for 1991-92 (five productions, including a Tony Award-winning musical, three other highly acclaimed works and the world premiere of a riveting new drama by Utah playwright Aden Ross), wasn't so much the exciting possibilities in the shows on the list, but the response to what was not on the calendar.
Here, roughly in the order of their appearance between Oct. 9, 1991, and next summer, are the five plays for SLAC's next season:- "NINE," the Tony Award-winning musical based on Fellini's "81/2," opening the season on Oct. 9.
"The score is haunting . . . one that you do and will remember. It has a really amazing message with solid emotions and feelings," said artistic director Edward J. Gryska, who will direct and who has been wanting to produce this show at SLAC for several years. It won the Tony Award in 1982.
"It's a big show . . . a big costume show," he said. The cast has 15 to 17 women. The stageful of actresses will surround guest performer James Dybas, last seen here in "La Cage aux Folles."
- "THE LISBON TRAVIATA," a highly acclaimed comedy/tragedy by Terrence McNally that's drawn rave reviews on both coasts.
Gryska saw this during a limited engagement at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles with Richard Thomas starring as one of two men confronting the disintegration of their domestic relationship. The play spins from comedy to tragedy as it focuses on their common adoration of opera diva Maria Callas.
Clive Barnes of the New York Post called it " . . . gloriously entertaining . . . and as breezily fun about the wilder shores of operatic lunacy as it is bitterly humorous about the end of a marriage."
- "ABUNDANCE," a recent work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley ("Crimes of the Heart").
Gryska said this play contains two of the finest roles ever written for women. Set in the late 19th century Wyoming Territory, it deals with two mail-order brides who meet and vow eternal friendship.
"The play shares the spirit in all of us to explore and grow," said Gryska. "It is only a matter of time before we'll all be lauding `Abundance' just as much as `Crimes of the Heart.' "
- "K-MILLE," an emotionally charged new play by Aden Ross, about the life and times of sculptress Camille Claudel.
This was just recently presented as a stage reading as part of SLAC's annual Free Spring Reading series. Set in France from the turn of the century to World War II, it concerns Camille Claudel, student and mistress of Rodin, focusing on her struggle to establish acknowledgement of her own artistry and her tragic confinement to a madhouse for the last 30 years of her life.
If the fully staged world premiere of "K-Mille" is anything like the reading, audiences will be in for an exciting evening of powerful drama.
- "OIL CITY SYMPHONY," a lighthearted new satire from the same team that created "Pump Boys and Dinettes," scheduled to close the season during July. "This promises another summer of cabaret fun," according to Gryska. "It's very funny."
While dates for the opening and closing shows have been set, the exact order of the three other productions is still up in the air, depending on when directors for these shows are available.
- WHAT'S MISSING on this list, of course, is the long-time SLAC stalwart, "Saturday's Voyeur."
We asked Gryska about this and he commented that while "Voyeur" isn't part of the 1991-92 subscription series, it might be presented as a bonus production.
Gryska went on to explain that SLAC may also have some additional collaborative projects with other companies, not necessarily at SLAC's Marmalade Hill Center theater, and not part of the regular subscription season.
"I believe we have an upcoming season that is irresistible," said Gryska.
For information regarding season tickets, call Salt Lake Acting Company at 363-0526. The theater is located at 168 W. 500 North.