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Sampling Shows Across The Nation

September 20, 1986|DAN SULLIVAN | Times Theater Critic

Broadway only has a couple of openings this month, but the national theater season is starting to roll. Here's a sample of the shows that the nation's 200-odd resident theaters will be doing in 1986-87.

BERKELEY--Berkeley Repertory Theatre reassesses Tourneur's "Revenger's Tragedy" (1607) in a very free adaptation by Amlin Gray, entitled "The Revenger." This uses "the festivities of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as a model for the decadence of the Duke's court." (Now playing).

HOUSTON--The Chocolate Bayou Theatre offers a new comedy by Doug Gower, "Luna Vista," exploring the crazy-making effects of open-plan housing on the American family. As with many resident-theater premieres, this started as a work-in-progress here. (Now playing).

MINNEAPOLIS--The Children's Theatre Company tackles a Minnesota story--"The Little House on the Prairie," adapted by Barbara Field from Laura Ingalls Wilder's novel. (Now playing).

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Trinity Repertory Company: "The Visit." Not that unusual a title, but this production will be staged in an old railroad station, the actual setting of Duerenmatt's first scene. (Opens Friday).

BOSTON--Huntington Theatre Company: "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," a new play by August Wilson. It's about black folks coming north and is set in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911. (Opens next Saturday).

SAN DIEGO-- Old Globe Theatre: Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's new musical, "Into the Woods," involving fairy-tale characters who haven't been previously introduced. (Dec. 4).

SAN FRANCISCO--American Conservatory Theatre: A revival of "The Floating Light Bulb," Woody Allen's memory play about Ma and the old apartment. This one hasn't been seen since its original 1981 Lincoln Center production (early January).

SEATTLE--The Empty Space: Wallace Shawn's "Aunt Dan and Lemon." Resident theaters aren't lining up to do this play, which appears to suggest that the Nazis had a case. (Feb. 11).

SEATTLE--Seattle Repertory Theater: A new comedy by Herb Gardner, "Conversations With My Father." Gardner's "I'm Not Rappaport" started here. (April 29).

For the holidays, everyone will be doing the Dickens play, of course.

If you were wondering whether Zoe Caldwell's portrayal of Carlotta Monterey O'Neill on PBS' "Eugene O'Neill: A Glory of Ghosts" last week was overdrawn--no.

Dorothy Commins' new "Love and Admiration and Respect: The O'Neill-Commins Correspondence" (Duke University Press, $32.50) suggests that O'Neill's wife was at least as lethal as Caldwell portrayed her.

It contains accounts of Carlotta tearing up O'Neill's only picture of his mother; of her hiding his manuscripts to punish him for some transgression; of her receiving the news of O'Neill's son's suicide thus: "How dare you disturb our privacy?"

O'Neill's friend and editor, Saxe Commins, also accuses Carlotta of inducing the playwright to disinherit his other children, leaving her with the sole right to dispose of his unpublished works.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK. Actor Robert Lindsay, of "Me and My Girl," in the New York Times: "Somewhere in the English mentality, a flop is fine."

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