Head for the Hub
Stage Struts Downtown
Welcome to the Fall Theater Season of 1978 -- which, as far as Harvard drama is concerned, won't begin until late October. Happily, Boston is bursting with professional plays and musicals, so before the work piles up and the money runs out, try to catch some of these "goodies."
Annie opens tonight at the Shubert. One underwhelmed critic described the show as "Oliver in drag," but audiences from New York to London have adored this musical based on the '30s Little Orphan Annie comic strip. American history and political science concentrators should note with interest the portrayal of ultra-rich industrialist Daddy Warbucks as FDR's old pal. English and Slavic lit. concentrators, likewise, should note the Lolita-like flavor of Annie's and Daddy's relationship. The rest of us can enjoy the Christmas tree. The box office number, if you're twisted enough to want to see this, is 426-4520.
Next Tuesday marks the premiere of The Gin Game, a first-play effort by D.L. Coburn that won the Pulitzer Prize last season, although no one is quite sure why. The play concerns two old people, confined to a nursing home, who get acquainted over the card game that fills the too-many empty spaces in their lives. A somber theme, but the performances of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy under Mike Nichols' direction are a joy. At the Wilbur -- 423-4008.
Winding up its pre-Broadway tour is King of Hearts, which we found fairly entertaining. Adapted from De Broca's classic film, this musical version lacks Alan Bates and Genevieve Bujold, but contains a few good production numbers.
The show has undergone much doctoring since it originated in the Westport Playhouse; whether it can run for five years, or for five days, remains to be seen. At the Colonial Theater -- 426-9366.
Man of La Mancha, which did run for five years (more or less) is still playing at the Music Hall -- but not for much longer. Its imminent departure may make getting tickets the impossible dream, but make the effort anyway, taking the chance that Richard Kiley will recover from his backstage accident a few nights ago to recreate the role of his career. Unless you thought he was better in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, in which he didn't even sing. Call 482-0406 for reservations.
The Charles Playhouse offers two totally different, but equally intriguing productions. Featured on a double bill are Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations, both one-acters by David Mamet. Best known for A Life in the Theater, Mamet has been called America's most vital young playwright, whatever that means. Meanwhile, the works of one of America's best-loved composer is represented in Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter, an interesting revue. For info on both shows, call the Playhouse at 426-6912; be sure to ask about student rush seats. The Boston Repertory Theater is also offering a revue, this one a "classy, sassy musical celebration of the '30s and '40s" called The All-Night Strut. Call 423-6580.
None of Boston's principal ballet companies will be performing this week. But a group called the Ballet Dance Theater will perform in Sanders Theater this Sunday, at 3:00 and 7:30. And two young ladies named Susan Sachs and Laura Fly will dance on the JFK Federal Building Plaza at noon, Oct.3, 4, 5.