by Curt Holman
(Photo by Bill DeLoach)
Theatrical Outfit is first out of the gate for Atlanta theaters, having announced its 2008-2009 theatrical season with the opening of Southern Comfort, which stars the always-reliable Jill Jane Clements and Steve Coulter in a two-actor comedy about romance late in life.
The Outfitâs next season begins in July with a remount of Geeâs Bend (July 16-27), a historical drama (pictured with Michele McCullough Hazard (left) and Shontelle Thrash; reviewed here) about famous quilts and the community of women who made them. The timing dovetails with the National Black Arts Festival.
Big River (Sept. 10-Oct. 5) is Roger Millerâs acclaimed musical version of Mark Twainâs The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a slice of Americana that sounds right up the Outfitâs alley.
A Lesson Before Dying (Oct. 29-Nov. 23) is Romulus Linney's theatrical adaptation of Ernest Gainesâ novel about race relations in Louisiana in the 1940s. By the way, Onstage Atlantaâs production, directed by Barbara Cole Uterhardt, runs through Feb. 16. (Coincidence?)
Itâs a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Dec. 3-21) returns for the holidays and could easily be a perennial production (reviewed here).
Going With Jenny (Jan. 28-Feb. 15) is a world premiere about a young married couple by playwright Thomas Ward, who penned the Outfitâs superb production of Keeping Watch in 2006.
Tent Meeting (March 11-April 5) offers an American premiere of a show about a traveling revival with gospel music, written by Morris Ertman and Ron Reed.
Driving Miss Daisy (April 22-May 17) revisits Alfred Uhryâs Pulitzer-, Tony- and Oscar-winning story about the friendship of a Jewish widow and an African-American chauffeur in midcentury Atlanta. The Outfit touts the production as the playâs 21st anniversary, since it opened on an Atlanta stage in 1988.