Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin has announced that the final play of the season, Lonely Planet, by Steven Dietz, will be in performance May 10-June 17, 2012. (Note that this replaces the play that was originally announced for this time slot, Playing Sinatra). Dietz is one of the most prolific, versatile and widely produced playwrights in the country. Lonely Planet was written in 1994 and is considered a second generation AIDS play although the disease is never named. Dietz uses his obsession with maps and his connection with Ionesco's The Chairs to write a play about friendship in the dawn of the AIDS crisis. The play won the PEN-USA Award for Drama.
Lonely Planet is directed by John Vreeke and features Michael Russotto as Jody and Eric Sutton as Carl. John Vreeke has directed many shows at MetroStage, probably most notably Heroes, which won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Last season he directed The Real Inspector Hound at MetroStage, and in the past One Good Marriage and For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again. This year he was nominated for Outstanding Director for A Bright New Boise at Woolly Mammoth. He directed Lonely Planet in 1998 in ArtsWest Playhouse in Seattle. He is a company member at Woolly.
Michael Russotto was most recently seen in A Bright New Boise (HH nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor) at Woolly and ART at Signature Theatre. Following Lonely Planet he will be play a Moose in If You Give a Moose a Muffin at Adventure Theatre and then The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Woolly (directed by Vreeke). At MetroStage he has performed in Rough Crossing and Girl in a Goldfish Bowl. He is a company member at Woolly.
Eric Sutton has lived in New York for the past eight years and is a Woolly Mammoth Company alumnus. He was seen in the American premiere of BUG at Woolly and the world premiere of Jump Cut (Woolly and Theatre J). He was in the Helen Hayes award-winning production of Drawer Boy at Round House Theatre. In New York he played Vanya in Uncle Vanya at the Gene Frankel Theatre and was in the world premiere of Corner Pocket also at the Gene Frankel Theatre.
Designers for the production are Jane Fink, set design; Jessica Winfield, light design; Ivana Stack, costume design; and Chris Baine, sound design.
Lonely Planet will be in performance at MetroStage from May 10 to June 17. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 3 and 8, and Sundays at 3 and 7. (PWYC Thurs May 10 at 8). PRESS NIGHT is Sunday May 13 at 7 pm. MetroStage is located at 1201 N. Royal St. in Alexandria, Virginia in North Old Town. Tickets are $45-50 and may be ordered by calling 1-800-494-8497 or online at boxofficetickets.com. For group sales and information call the theatre at 703-548-9044. The theatre's website is www.metrostage.com.
Photo credit: Christopher Banks