From the Table of Joy
a director is never easy. Replacing a director of a prestigious
regional premiere of a 1995 play described as sort of a
coupling of A Streetcar Named Desire and Raisin
in the Sun is damned difficult. Replacing a director
after six months of preproduction would be theatrical suicide.
But when faced with the unfortunate withdrawal of acclaimed
regional director Robert Bennett from Capital Repertory
Company’s Crumbs From the Table of Joy, locally acclaimed
StageWorks artistic director Laura Margolis was close at
hand—and it was fortuitous for all concerned.
when Jeff Dannick [Capital Rep’s marketing director] showed
me last year the proposed season, I told him . . . the only
play with my name on it was Crumbs From the Table of
Joy,” Margolis says at Capital Rep’s Orange Street space
after a rehearsal. “Robert Bennett is a wonderful director,
and I knew the production would be wonderful, but that was
the one I would do. . . . When Robert got sick in December,
I had a lull in my schedule and it just worked out.”
Having the set designed and completed without her, Margolis
made the casting decisions, and has approval on costumes,
lights, and sound. “Though it’s not ideal, I’ve got the
time now while StageWorks’ season is being considered. The
production will have my mark.”
Set in the 1950s, Crumbs From the Table of Joy is
about a Southern black family moving into a Jewish neighborhood
in Brooklyn. Lynn Nottage’s play—the title is a line
from Langston Hughes’ poem “Luck”—is a memory play viewed
through both the 17-year-old Ernestine’s eyes, and a mature
Ernestine’s shattered psyche: “It’s a play about a woman
who thought all she was given was crumbs, but when she looks
back she realizes with all these crumbs, she has a whole
loaf of bread,” Margolis says, addressing her five-person
Rep plans their production a year in advance, while I’m
used to working on two months lead time, so replacing someone
as talented and well-respected as Robert at this late stage
wasn’t as hard as could have been. It was perfect ill-timing,”
Margolis laughs. “Besides, hon, I think quickly, and time
is not a luxury I’m used to.”
From the Table of Joy will be presented by Capital Repertory
Theater (111 N. Pearl St., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Feb.
27) through March 27. Previews are Friday through Tuesday
(March 2). Opening night is Wednesday (March 3) at 7:30
PM. Opening-night festivities include preshow entertainment
and will begin at 6:30 PM with music provided by the Reflection
Choir from Schenectady’s Friendship Baptist Church. Discussion
nights are scheduled for every Wednesday after opening night.
Regular performance times are 7:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday;
8 PM Friday; 4 and 8:30 PM Saturday; and 2:30 PM Sunday.
Ticket prices range from $24 to $29 for previews and $31
to $39 for regular performances, depending upon day and
time. Call 445-7469.
at the Movies
late Henri Mancini (pictured) was a musical rarity: A composer
of movie scores with a real flair for pop music. He could
write an involving dramatic score for a thriller like the
Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn classic Charade, or the
drama Days of Wine and Roses, then pop out hits like
“Moon River,” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or the
absurdly catchy nursery tune “Baby Elephant Walk” from Hatari.
And let’s not forget the “Theme From Peter Gunn,”
which has outlived the forgotten TV show it was composed
for, or the “Theme From The Pink Panther,” which
undoubtedly paid for his children’s (and children’s children’s)
It’s his daughter Monica, in fact, who will be singing many
of these hits at Proctor’s tomorrow (Friday). Accompanied
by the Henri Mancini Institute Alumni Orchestra, and showcasing
clips from the films he scored, Monica Mancini will host
this tribute to her dad.
Mancini at the Movies will be presented at Proctor’s Theatre
(432 State St., Schenectady) tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 27)
at 8 PM. Adult tickets are $35.50 to $19.50, children $25.50
to $9.50. For reservations and information, call 346-6204.
was by gentleness alone that Osiris subjected country after
country, winning and disarming their inhabitants by songs
and the playing of musical instruments.”
That’s from the intro to the Osiris Piano Trio’s Web site.
As Public Enemy used to say, “consider yourself warned.”
The trio will come to Emma Willard’s Kiggins Hall Saturday
night to conquer, musically. These Dutch musicians—Ellen
Corver (piano), Larissa Groeneveld (cello) and Peter Brunt
(violin)—will brandish works by Ravel, Beethoven, Martinu
and Loevendie for weapons. Be warned.
The Friends of Chamber Music will host the Osiris Piano
Trio on Saturday (Feb. 28) at 8 PM in Kiggins Hall (Emma
Willard School, Troy). Tickets are $19 to $10. For more
information, call 273-8135.