McCarter Theatre just revealed a 2017-2018 season that includes the world premiere of Tony Award-winner Christopher Durang’s “Turning Off the Morning News”; a revival of Regina Taylor’s gospel musical “Crowns” that had its world premiere here 15 years ago; a rare staging of Sam Shepard’s “Simpatico” in collaboration with Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre, a recipient of this year’s MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions; Marie Jones’ Irish comedy “Stones in His Pocket” with two actors playing 15 plus characters. The musical biography “A Night With Janis Joplin,” written and directed by Randy Johnson, fills out the schedule.
When “Baby Doll” hit local movie theaters in 1956 the Roman Catholic National Legion of Decency tried to have it banned and Cardinal Francis J. Spellman forbade Catholics to see the film written by Tennessee Williams, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Karl Malden, Eli Wallach and Diane Baker.
Williams’ screenplay was based on his one-act plays “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” and “The Long Stay Cut Short, or The Unsatisfactory Supper.”
A few years ago the screenplay was adapted for the French stage by Pierre Laville. He has collaborated with McCarter Theatre artistic director and resident playwright Emily Mann for the current Mann directed staging of “Baby Doll.” It runs through Oct. 11 at the complex’s intimate Berlin Theatre space.