Hollywood glamour part of Theater LaB's new season Fine Arts Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Hollywood glamour part of Theater LaB Houston's new season
By EVERETT EVANS Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 3, 2008, 4:10PM
An intimate portrait of legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, Houston's first look at the work of up-and-coming playwright Adam Bock and two offbeat musicals that found favor at this year's Toronto Fringe Festival and New York International Fringe Festival will make up the 2008-09 season at Theater LaB Houston.
As always, the intrepid little venue at 1706 Alamo is offering all Houston premieres, which Theater LaB chief Jerry LaBita has found off-Broadway, in London and at various arts festivals.
If there's any guiding theme, LaBita says, it's that "after Hurricane Ike, the stock-market roller coaster and an upcoming presidential election that promises more mudslinging," he wanted a season "devoted to entertainment."
Season ticket information is available at 713-868-7516 or at www.theaterlabhouston.com
A Conversation With Edith Head, Oct. 22-26. Guest artist Susan Claassen will perform the show she created with Paddy Calistro, based on Head's posthumously published autobiography written with Calistro.
Head (1897-1981) worked on more than 1,100 films — from a silent Peter Pan in 1924 to Steve Martin's Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), including such classics as All About Eve, A Place in the Sun, Roman Holiday and The Sting. She earned an unprecedented 35 Oscar nominations and won eight Oscars. The show has her sharing her own story while dishing about her experiences with such stars as Bette Davis, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.
Claassen has performed the show from San Diego to Chicago to London, where she recently completed a monthlong stand at the Arts Theatre.
The Receptionist, Nov. 12-Dec. 13. Described as a "dark comedy with a Twilight Zone twist," the play depicts a generic office routine that turns increasingly sinister as a representative from the Central Office pays a visit and the audience gradually learns the true nature of the company's business.
The Receptionist premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in fall 2007. Time Out New York praised it as a "pointed, painfully timely allegory" and an "elliptical, provocative play."
Canadian playwright Adam Bock lives in San Francisco, where he is artistic director of the Shotgun Players. He won a 2007 Obie for The Thugs. The Drunken City, his latest, premiered this spring at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons.
Nursery School Musical, Feb. 18-March 21. Second City meets South Park in a zany musical about 3-year-olds, their parents and their experiences on the first day of nursery school.
Six of the cast members alternate playing parents and kids, while the seventh plays the teacher. Brett and Rachael McCaig penned the book and lyrics; Anthony Bastianon, the music.
The Toronto Sun called it "bright, witty and fun," citing it as one of the 2008 Toronto Fringe Festival's top five shows.
China: The Whole Enchilada, April 8-May 9. What would a Theater LaB season be without at least one entry you'd have to describe as insanely irreverent? Creator Mark Brown shares the same initials as Mel Brooks, which should give some hint of the approach in this spoof.
Three guys sing, dance and clown their way through 4,000 years of China's history, touching such "lighthearted" themes as human rights, racism, genocide and the invention of the fortune cookie.
Time Out New York praised the show, a hit at this year's New York International Fringe Festival, for its "exceptional wit, energy and comedy shtick."