A 1950 Tony Award winner for Best Play, The Cocktail Party is described by Off-Broadway's TACT as "a profound exploration of self-deception and redemption. Edward and Lavinia Chamberlayne are throwing a party at their fashionable London flat. The guests arrive only to discover that their hostess is nowhere to be found and a rather strange man, who no one seems to know, acts right at home. Ruthless, compassionate and funny, this Cocktail Party embodies the day-to-day struggles of domestic life while turning the classic 'drawing room comedy' on its head." The B&N event, at 82nd Street and Broadway, is billed as "A T.S. Eliot Cocktail: An Evening of Scenes and Poetry." It's free and open to the public. It will intersperse scenes from the play with readings from Eliot's poetry. There will also be a question and answer session with members of the play's cast and its director, Scott Alan Evans.
The Cocktail Party will feature Cynthia Harris (NBC-TV's "Mad About You") and Simon Jones (Blithe Spirit), who are both co-artistic directors of TACT. Also in the cast are Mark Alhadeff, Jack Koenig, Jeremy Beck, Ben Beckley, Lauren English, Erika Rolfsrud and Celia Smith.
TACT's production of The Cocktail Party will play March 7-April 10 at the Beckett Theatre at 410 West 42nd Street. For tickets, call (212) 279-4200 or visit ticketcentral.com.