The return of Judith Ivey, a "world premiere" work about Louis Armstrong and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Clybourne Park" are among the shows for the 2012-13 season at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.
The 48th season opens with the new one-person show, "Satchmo at the Waldorf" starring John Douglas Thompson, who played Antony in the Hartford Stage production of "Antony and Cleopatra" two years ago.
The play is written by Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout, who wrote a 2009 biography about Armstrong, "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong."
The show will be staged by Long Wharf's artistic director Gordon Edelsein, It will be produced first this summer at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. in the Berkshires, also with Edelstein and Thompson. That Aug. 22 to Sept. 13 run is described as "the New England premiere."
The piece is a one-person show with Thompson playing two roles, that of the famed jazz trumpeter, singer and icon and that of his longtime manager, Joe Glaser.
The play will be followed in November with the Tony Award-winning play "God of Carnage" by Yazmina Reza. (Hartford's TheaterWorks produced the Connecticut premiere last year.) No director is yet attached to the show.
The third slot will be the world premiere of "January Joiner" by Laura Jacquim and staged by associate artistic director Eric Ting.
Set at a weight loss retreat center the show is described as a "weight-loss horror comedy."
Following will be the first time the theater is producing a play by Sam Shepard with two-time Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey starring in the Obie Award-winning play "Curse of the Starving Class.” i
Ivey has established a relationship with the theater and Edelstein. She also starred in Tennessee Williams' “The Glass Menagerie” and “Shirley Valentine” at the theater. “The Glass Menagerie” went on to play at off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre and an engagement in Los Angeles.
It is the first time Long Wharf is producing a Shepard play. First produced in 1978, the work is part of Shepard’s family play trilogy, which includes "Buried Child" and "True West."
Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven produced “Curse of the Starving Class” in 1980, following its popular production of Shepard’s “Buried Child.”
"Curse of the Starving Class was first performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1978 presented by Joseph Papp. Robert Woodruff, a frequent artist now at Yale Repertory Theatre, directed. A film version was released in 1994 starring James Woods, Kathy Bates and Jim Fitzpatrick..
The world premiere of "Ride the Tiger" by William Mastrosimone, will follow, also directed by Edelstein.
Mastrosimone, author of the play "Extremities," spent extensive time with the singer Frank Sinatra, doing research for a television movie. It was through that research that he came upon this dramatic interpretation of the events leading up to the 1960 presidential election.
The season will end with Bruce Norris' "Clybourne Park," which is running on Broadway now and nominated for a best play Tony Award nomination. Ting will stage the Long Wharf production.
Subscriptions are now on sale. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 1.
Information: www.longwharf.org and 203- 787-4282 and www.longwharf.org.