Jane Alexander Is Albee's Mysterious Lady From Dubuque, Opening Off-Broadway March 5

By Kenneth Jones
March 5, 2012

Tony Award winner Jane Alexander is the enigmatic title character in Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque — the acclaimed actress' first-ever role in an Albee play — opening March 5 in a staging by Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company. Laila Robins, Michael Hayden and Peter Francis James also star.



David Esbjornson (who staged Albee's Tony Award-winning The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?) directs the production, to play to April 1 (representing a one-week extension) as the inaugural production in The End Stage Theatre at the resident company's new Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center at 480 W. 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues. Previews began Feb. 14.

Alexander is joined by Catherine Curtin (Love, Janis), Michael Hayden (Carousel, Festen, Cabaret), Peter Francis James (The Merchant of Venice), Tricia Paoluccio (A Strange and Separate People), Laila Robins (Frozen), Thomas Jay Ryan (In the Next Room or the vibrator play) and C.J. Wilson (Festen, Henry IV).

Here's how Signature characterizes the play by the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: "At a late-night party, Sam and Jo entertain their friends with a round of Twenty Questions and another round of drinks. When an unexpected guest and her mysterious companion arrive, the question 'Who are you?' gains a whole new and desperate meaning."

Albee was one of Signature's past resident writers, in 1993-94. The return of an Albee title this season is part of Signature's Legacy Program.

Alexander told Playbill magazine that this is her first appearance in a play by Pulitzer Prize-honored, Tony Award-winning Albee. "In many respects, I'm an Albee woman," she said. "It just never happened. I never even did a reading of an Albee play. I always feel I can do his women when I see them, the way I always feel I can do O'Neill's women. O'Neill and Albee — not so much Miller or Tennessee. I've been offered Blanche, and I always turned it down because I don't see myself as Blanche."

The Lady From Dubuque design team includes John Arnone (scenic design), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costume design), David Lander (lighting design), John Gromada (sound design) and Rick Sordelet (fight direction). The production stage manager is David H. Lurie and the stage manager is Andrew C. Gottlieb. Casting is by Telsey + Company.

For more information, call (212) 244-7529 or visit www.signaturetheatre.org.