Joseph Chaikin, the legendary founder of Off-Broadway's Open Theater, will direct a new production of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village this fall. The show will run Sept. 17-Oct. 27. Official opening will be Sept. 29.
Joyce Aaron will play the indomitable Winnie, who begins the play sunk waist-deep in the earth and is buried up to her neck by the drama's end. Nonetheless, the character continues to find joys and pleasures in everyday existence. The play is a virtual monologue, with Winnie's endless musings only occasionally interrupted by the interjections of her seldom seen husband Willie, played here by Ron Faber.
Ricardo Hernandez will design the set, with lighting design by Beverly Emmons, costume design by Katherine Roth and dramaturgy by Bill Coco.
Chaikin joined the famed Living Theater in 1959. Five years later, he struck out on his own and formed the Open Theatre, one of the early driving forces in the Off-Broadway movement. His production of Jean Claude van Itallie's America Hurrah made his reputation as a director. In recent years, he has directed at such theatres as San Francisco's Magic Theater, New York's Signature Theatre Company and Theatre for the New City, Seattle's ACT and New Haven's Yale Repertory Theatre. He is the recipient of three Obie Awards.
Happy Days had its first staging in 1961, in New York. Tickets will be $45. Call (212) 239-6200.
—By Robert Simonson