On stage in Philadelphia, N.Y. and D.C.

September 08, 1991|By J. Wynn Rousuck

If you make it to all of the premieres in Baltimore and are still hungering for more, premiere-itis has also hit cities an easy drive or quick train ride away:

WASHINGTON

*One of D.C.'s most promising debuts is the National Theatre's pre-Broadway run of "Crazy for You" (opening mid-December), a remake of the Gershwins' "Girl Crazy" with a new book by Ken Ludwig, author of "Lend Me a Tenor."

*Arena Stage will present the professional premiere of "A Wonderful Life" (Nov. 15 to Jan. 5), the musical version of the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," with music by Joe Raposo and a book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Its season ends with the world premiere of Dick Beebe's "Common Ground" (May 8 to June 14), based on J. Anthony Lukas' book about school desegregation.

*At Kennedy Center there's a pre-Broadway run of August Wilson's latest play, "Two Trains Running," in November. For the oldie-but-goodie crowd, Tommy Tune stars in the revival of "Bye Bye Birdie" (Dec. 25 to Jan. 26) and Sir Ian McKellen is in "Richard III" (June and July).

NEW YORK

*Broadway musicals look pretty paltry thus far, but we mustn't forget "Nick & Nora" (opening Nov. 10 at the Marquis), the "Thin Man" adaptation that canceled pre-Broadway runs at the Mechanic Theatre two years in a row. And there's also "Five Guys Named Moe" (at an unspecified theater in spring), a small-scale jazz show produced by large-scale producer Cameron Mackintosh.

*In a season overflowing with revivals, a highlight of the rare new scripts should be Brian Friel's "Dancing at Lughnaza" (opening Oct. 24 at the Plymouth), winner of the 1991 British Olivier Award.

PHILADELPHIA

*Festival Mythos -- a celebration of multicultural mythologies -- offers an intriguing sampling of the city's theatrical scene, including the American Music Theater Festival's "Boxes," a science-fiction musical by Michael Sahl and Eric Salzman (Oct. 20, University of the Arts); and "Achilles, a Kabuki Play" (Oct. 4-20 at the University of the Arts; the production continues Oct. 23 to Nov. 17 at People's Light in Malvern, Pa.).

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