When Lesley Gore recently did a guest stint in Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe, producers Julian Schlossberg, Mark Golub and Mark Balsam announced an plans for Off-Broadway show whose title punned on the title of Gore's most famous song. It's My Party (And I'll Die If I Want To), a comedy by Australian playwright Elizabeth Coleman, went into rehearsal June 21 and will start performances July 26 for an official opening Aug. 16 at the ArcLight Theatre.
Jeannie Berlin, who co-starred in Power Plays, will direct Party, which stars F. Murray Abraham (Oscar winner for "Amadeus"), Joyce Van Patten (Labor Day, Ring Round the Moon) as husband and wife. Rene Augesen, John Cariani and Andrea Gabriel are also in the cast, as is Matthew Arkin (The Sunshine Boys). Casting of the latter is a familial touch for Berlin, since Arkin is the son of Alan Arkin, who directed, starred in and co-write the aforementioned Power Plays.
According to production spokespersons at the Jeffrey Richards office, the play centers on a very dysfunctional family, including "a self centered father, an emotionally distanced spouse, three semi-estranged adult children, a surprise visitor and a host of family `secrets.'"
Designing It's My Party are George Xenos (set), Dona Granatta (lighting), Michael Lincoln (lighting) and Bernard Fox (sound).
-- By David Lefkowitz