Like many American theatres with twice the theatre space, Houston's Alley Theatre will stage Alan Ackybourn's simultaneous comedies, House and Garden April 12-May 12 on both the Large Stage (House) and the Neuhaus Arena Stage (Garden). Not About Nightingale's James Black stars as womanizing, failing businessman Teddy Platt with Josie de Guzman (Guys and Dolls, West Side Story) as the somewhat rising French star Lucille Cadeau.
The plot of House and Garden is typically farcical with marriages and careers on the rocks, colorful friends and neighbors and the odd sexual encounter in the bushes. What makes the twin comedies so special is that they play at the same time in two different theatres — as an actor exits House, he is on his way to an entrance in Garden and vice versa.
Ackybourn is the author of over 60 plays including Absurd Person Singular, How the Other Half Loves, Bedroom Farce and Henceforward. He was most recently represented on Broadway with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, By Jeeves.
Also appearing in House and Garden are James Belcher (Barry Love), Bettye Fitzpatrick (Izzie Truce), Elizabeth Heflin (Trish Platt), Charles Krohn (Warn Coucher), Paul Hope (Gavin Ryng-Mayne), Ty Mayberry (Jake Mace), Todd Waite (Giles Mace), Kimberly King (Joanna), Jennifer Cherry (Sally Platt) and Shelley Calene-Black (Pearl).
The design for both shows is Linda Buchanan (sets), Mara Blumenfeld with Andrea Lauer (costumes), Chris Parry (lighting) and Richard Woodbury with Phil Cassidy (sound). Tickets are $50-$20 and differ slightly between House and Garden. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue. For reservations, call (713) 228-8421 or (800) 259-ALLE. The Alley Theatre is on the web at http://www.alleytheatre.com.
— By Christine Ehren