Betty's Summer Vacation represented playwright Christopher Durang's biggest critical success in years when it premiered Off Broadway in 1999 under Nicholas Martin's direction. Now, as Huntington Theatre Company artistic director, Martin will take the helm of the Durang comedy once more as it plays the Boston venue Oct. 26- Nov. 25.
Nice girl Betty encounters the oddest housemates and guests when she vacations at a summer rental on the beach. The New England premiere reunites Martin with original cast member Nat DeWolf as well as the original designers. Kellie Overbey and Kristine Nielsen were to reprise their roles as Betty and Mrs. Siezmagraff, but could not appear due to scheduling conflicts. Tony winner Andrea Martin (My Favorite Year and TV's "SCTV") will star in lieu of Nielsen.
The cast also features Jessica Stone, Colleen Quinlan, Jeremiah Kissel, John Kuntz, Jonno Roberts and Bonnie Lee Whang. The returning creative team includes Tom Lynch (sets), ), Michael Krass (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting), and Kurt Kellenberger (sound).
The rest of the season at Huntington is as follows:
Heartbreak House, by Shaw, will be helmed by Darko Tresnjak. The play which follows the unlikely romantic encounters that occur in an estate on the English countryside. Richard Easton, who won his Tony for his portrayal in last season's The Invention of Love, will play the role of Captain Shotover in the production. The production is scheduled to run Jan. 4-Feb. 3, 2002. Nixon’s Nixon by Russell Lees will follow March 1-31 under the direction of Charles Towers. The political satire speculates a meeting between former president Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger on the day before his resignation.
Artistic director Martin will then bring his Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Frank McGuinness' Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. The anti-war drama which played at WTF in August will return to Massachusetts on Huntington's stage for a May 17-June 16, 2002 run. Richard Easton starred in the Berkshire run. No word yet on whether he will repeat his role in Boston.
The remaining production, yet to be determined, will be a joint venture with Clear Channel Entertainment/Broadway in Boston that will take place in Spring 2002 at the Wilbur Theatre. Two plays that are being considered are the 2000 Olivier Award winner for Best New Play blue/orange by Joe Penhall and Benn W. Levy's Springtime for Henry.
For tickets or subscriptions to Huntington Theatre Company's season, call their box office at (617) 266-8488. For more information, visit their website at www.huntingtontheatre.org..
— by Ernio Hernandez