Wednesday, October 14, 2020

350. NEXT TIME I'LL SING TO YOU. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975

NEXT TIME I’LL SING TO YOU [Dramatic Revival] A: James Saunders; D: Marian Seldes; C: John David Ridge; L: Joe Pacetti; P: City Center Acting Company; T: Good Shepherd-Faith Church (OB); 10/25/72-10/28/72 (2)

Note: No photos are available for this production.

English playwright James Saunders’s interesting play had been done in New York in 1963, but was not as well appreciated as when it was revived in this briefly seen production by the novice actors of the City Center Acting Company in their first year as professionals. Their repertory troupe included the play among six they offered on an alternating basis during a month’s residency. Mel Gussow thought this “antic disputation on the meaning of theatre and of life . . . to be one of the most fully realized and entertaining works in the troupe’s repertory.”

Saunders’s play is about an author-director, Rudge (David Schramm), and his circuitous attempts to guide a small group of actors through a Pirandellian work about the loneliness of an English hermit who died in his 80s but left behind a diary, It was well played by the promising cast. However, Patti LuPone gained the greatest recognition for her ability “as a comic actress with enormous personal flair,” according to Gussow. LuPone and Schramm shared the performance with Benjamin Hendrickson, Norman Snow, and Jared Sakren.

The show returned as part of the company’s second season in New York, opening on 1/2/74 and giving another two performances in repertory with four other plays. The cast remained the same.