Billed as "the tea party from hell," Absent Friends, Alan Ayckbourn's comedy, opens at Off-Off-Broadway's Sanford Meisner Theatre Oct. 24. Perkasie (pronounced PER-kuh-see) Productions is mounting the play, which runs to Nov. 10.
In the comedy, Colin, finished grieving over the death of his fiancee, still receives comfort from his friends, who never met the girl. The group arrange a tea party to cheer him up but become enmeshed in their own problems. In fact, they're flummoxed and miserable while Colin seems happy and well-adjusted.
Janice Hoffman, Holly Hawkins, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Kurt Elftmann, Mary Aufman and Tony Cormier comprise the cast, and they're directed by Steve Keim.
Alan Ayckbourn began his playwriting career in 1963 with Mr. Whatnot and has continued with such comedies as The Norman Conquests trilogy (1973), Bedroom Farce (1975) and Woman In Mind (1985). He's currently working with Andrew Lloyd Webber on By Jeeves, a musical adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse's stories currently playing in the West End and at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT. Though many of Ayckbourn's plays have been done on Broadway, his 1974 Absent Friends, didn't make its U.S. debut until 1990 (at Off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club).
For tickets and information call (212) 924-8699. -- By David Lefkowitz