'Hercules' Will Flex Its Muscles First in Laguna

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Laguna Playhouse has slated a new play, "The Labors of Hercules" by David Drummond, as part of its current subscription season. The play, described by the Laguna Beach theater as "a satire about a controversial art project in a small town," will run March 12-April 7.

"Labors" will be the second new play to premiere at the playhouse in recent years. The first was "Teachers' Lounge," a comedy by John Twomey, staged in 1994.

Drummond, a professional actor who lives in Burbank, made his first stage appearance in Orange County in 1990 at the Grove Shakespeare Festival, starring as Benedick to Elizabeth Norment's Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing." He since has appeared in productions at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and the La Mirada Theatre.

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MESS-MERIZING: At South Coast Repertory, officials named "A Mess of Plays," a new compilation of short theater pieces by Christopher Durang, as the final production of their current Second Stage season.

"Mess" was described as "a revue of short plays, sketches and excerpts of longer, lesser-known works" from the Durang catalog. It is "a collaboration" between the playwright and SCR associate artist David Chambers, who will direct. The show will run April 25-May 28. Durang, a notable playwright from New York, has had a previous production at SCR, "Beyond Therapy," in the 1986-87 season.

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SUMMER TRIO: Shakespeare Orange County has announced three plays for its 1996 summer season at Chapman University's Waltmar Theatre in Orange.

Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" will lead off the season (June 13-29) followed by Shakespeare's "Macbeth" (July 18-Aug. 10) and Moliere's "Tartuffe" (Aug. 15-Sept. 7).

SOC artistic director Thomas F. Bradac will direct "Macbeth" and has cast Carl Reggiardo in the title role. Bradac also will direct "Tartuffe," to star Daniel Bryan Cartmell in the title role. Subscriptions are $49 to $55; single tickets are $19 to $24. (714) 744-7016.

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