Noel Coward's comedy of familial insularity, Hay Fever, a portrait of a creative clan that doesn't easily embrace outsiders, gets a staging by director Anne Bogart at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Jan. 1-26, 2002.
Bogart's original works with the SITI company in New York state and regional theatres are known for their use of movement and potent images. For Hay Fever, she sets the 1925 British comedy in Bucks County, PA, a playground for the rich and creative types of the east coast in the early 20th century. When four outsiders are privately invited to the Bliss household, run by matriarch actress Judith Bliss, game-playing and wild histrionics follow. Laurette Taylor was the inspiration for the Judith character. Ellen Lauren plays Judith, Daniel T. Parker plays her novelist husband, David, Susan Hightower is daughter Sorel and Barney O'Hanlon is son Simon.
The cast also includes Adale O'Brien, Jeffrey Frace, Joan Jubett, Kelly Maurer and Stephen Webber. Bogart directed Coward's Private Lives for the Tony Award-honored ATL in 1998 and also helmed the new works Cabin Pressure, War of the Worlds and bobrauschenbergamerica there.
Tickets are $15-$38. Performances are in ATL's Pamela Brown Auditorium. Official opening is Jan. 3, following previews. For information, call (502) 584-1205 or (800) 4-ATL-TIX, or visit www.actorstheatre.org. — By Kenneth Jones