Albee's Peter and Jerry Opens in NYC Nov. 11 with Pullman, Day and Roberts

News   Albee's Peter and Jerry Opens in NYC Nov. 11 with Pullman, Day and Roberts The New York City premiere of Edward Albee's pairing of his classic The Zoo Story with a prequel, Homelife, opens Nov. 11 at Off-Broadway's Second Stage.
Dallas Roberts in Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry.
Dallas Roberts in Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry.

Bill Pullman, Dallas Roberts and Johanna Day star in the work, presented under the umbrella title Peter and Jerry. Second Stage previews began Oct. 19.

Pam MacKinnon, who staged the show's Hartford Stage premiere in 2004, again directs. The extended run ends Dec. 30.

Albee's Central Park-set one-act The Zoo Story (penned in 1958) now gets a backstory with Homelife (2004) — a peek into the character Peter's morning before Zoo Story takes place.

Pullman (The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) stars as Peter with Roberts (A Number) as Jerry and Day (Proof) as Peter's wife, Ann. Day also appeared in the original Hartford run.

In the Playbill for the Second Stage production, Albee shares his thoughts about the creation of Peter and Jerry. He writes, "How did The Zoo Story become a two act play? It's really very simple: it always had been; I just hadn't told myself. When I wrote The Zoo Story in 1958 it was my first play, so to speak. Oh, I'd made a few attempts — including an embarrassing two act play in rhymed couplets — but nothing pleased me. No; I must be fair — it was junk, all of it. "The Zoo Story seemed to me to be a much better piece — in fact, the first I felt had any individuality and merit. It would seem I was right. It has gone on to have — at this writing — 49 years of frequent performance and general acceptance.

"And...I thought it was fine, though it nagged me just a bit that it seemed to be not quite a two character play — Jerry being so much longer a role — but more a one-and-a-half character one. But the play 'worked,' so why worry?

"Six years ago, however, I said to myself, 'There's a first act here somewhere which will flesh Peter fully and make the subsequent balance better.'

"Almost before I knew it, Homelife fell from my mind to the page....intact. There was the Peter I had always known — a full three-dimensional person and — wow! —here was Ann, his wife, whom I must have imagined deep down, 40-some years ago, but hadn't brought to consciousness.

"So...here it is — the entire play as I'm sure I must have conceived it all that time past. Enjoy."

The design team includes Neil Patel (scenic), Theresa Squire (costume) and Kevin Adams (lighting).

The production is just one of a number of works by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Albee to be seen on stages this season. The playwright — who turns 80 on March 12, 2008 — will also see his Me, Myself and I at the McCarter Theatre, The Sandbox and The American Dream at the Cherry Lane Theatre and Occupant at the Signature Theatre Company.

Tickets to Peter and Jerry at Second Stage Theatre, 307 West 43rd Street (off Eighth Ave.), can be purchased by calling (212) 246-4422 or online at 2ST.com.

Johanna Day in Second Stage's production of <i>Peter and Jerry</i>.
Johanna Day in Second Stage's production of Peter and Jerry.
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