Theaters rely on subscription sales to provide the backbone of their audiences. In order to sell season tickets, folks want to know what they're buying; that's only fair. But it does compel theaters to select their plays months in advance, thus eliminating the possibility for spontaneity. This year the Black Rep, after having announced that its season would conclude with the 2002 Pulitzer Prize nominee Yellowman
, replaced that fierce drama with Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel
, the New York Drama Critics Circle and Outer Circle Best Play of 2004. It would appear to have been a savvy move, in that Intimate Apparel
was the high point of the Black Rep season. Which is the better play? We'll find out next year. The Rep has added Yellowman
to its studio season for next spring, assuring that local theatergoers will get to see both shows.