Though its space at 624 E. 63rd Street has been used by grassroots theater groups, the Alanz Theatre company has been on a two-year hiatus. Cofounder Mark Alan did appear in Late Night Theatre's revival of Valley of the Dolls last winter, but he has missed having more say. "I'll be directing, producing, and starring in this," he says, "and I'm more than ready."
Alan's All About Eve uses Joseph Mankiewicz's screenplay as the text. Alan adds a caveat to distinguish this effort from Late Night's way of manipulating films into plays: "It is cross-cast -- that is, men playing women, women playing women, and women playing men."
In staging the brilliant script about an aging Broadway legend's vitriolic run-in with a shrewd younger actress, Alan has cast himself in the Bette Davis role of Margo Channing. And he reveals how the rest of the roles will be filled: "Birdie (Margo's female maid) will be played by a man. And a woman will be playing Max (Margo's male producer). But Eve and Karen (Margo's nemesis and best friend) have to be played by women." No word on what gender plays Addison, the acerbic theater critic who brought George Sanders an Oscar and another great line that isn't appropriated nearly as often as it should be: "You're too short for that gesture."