Blur Comes Into Focus, Opening May 17 at MTC

News   Blur Comes Into Focus, Opening May 17 at MTC Everything starts to go hazy for a teenager in the New York premiere of Melanie Marnich's Blur, opening May 17 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II at City Center.
Angela Goethals and Polly Draper in Blur.
Angela Goethals and Polly Draper in Blur. (Photo by Photo by Joan Marcus)

Everything starts to go hazy for a teenager in the New York premiere of Melanie Marnich's Blur, opening May 17 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II at City Center.

Dot's life is knocked off balance when she is diagnosed as growing slowly blind. A "comically charged tug of war with her mother and her wild menagerie of friends" ensues, as Dot struggles to grow up "normal," according to production notes. Previews began April 24.

MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) directs Angela Goethals as Dot and Polly Draper ("thirtysomething") as her mother. The cast includes Ken Marks, Chris Messina, Susan Pourfar and Bill Raymond.

Designers are Santo Loquasto (set), James Schuette (costume), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound and original music).

Playwright Marnich penned Blue, Quake, Beautiful Again and Season. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in playwriting from the University of California, San Diego. In 1999, Blur won the Francesca Primus Playwriting Prize. Draper's New York theatre credits include Trudy Blue by Marsha Norman at MCC Theatre, Closer on Broadway and Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley at MTC. Goethals made her mark as the star of Lynda Barry's 1991 hit The Good Times Are Killing Me (for which she won an Obie Award), soon after starring in John Guare's Four Babboons Adoring the Sun at Lincoln Center Theater. She recently reemerged Off-Off Broadway, playing Juliet and Rosalind in small Shakespeare productions, as well as landing a role in the Vineyard Theatre's True History and Real Adventures.

Off-Broadway's MTC, committed to giving voice to new plays by established and emerging writers, is high at the moment with three Broadway transfers from the past year: The Pulitzer Prize winning Proof, Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, and the musical, A Class Act. All three plays earned Tony Award nominations for their productions. The troupe announced earlier this year the intention to renovate and occupy the dilapidated Biltmore Theatre, a Broadway house.

Tickets to Blur are $40, with a $20 student rate available. For information, call (212) 581-1212 or visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

— By Kenneth Jones