Kricker James was an actor. He fell in love with Claire Higgins. They got married and this is When Real Life Begins.
Playing at the Connelly Theatre in lower Manhattan through Oct. 1 is this new one woman show penned by Karen Sunde. The Chain Lightning Theatre production of its own true-to life beginnings began previews Sept. 9 and officially opened Sept. 13. Ken Marini directs the featured actress, Raye Lankford.
When Real Life Begins is based on the true story of James and Higgins who were faced with mortality when James was diagnosed with cancer. As his health declined, his performances took on new life and led Higgins to find what fate had in store for her.
Actress Lankford has appeared onstage in Steel Magnolias at the Lucille Lortel, in the Pearl Theatre Company's Twelfth Night and in regional productions of Sylvia, How I Learned to Drive, and I Hate Hamlet. She has stayed with the show since its reading earlier this year.
Chain Lightning Theatre was founded by James in 1991 and is now under the artistic direction of Higgins. Recent shows include Max Sparber's Minstrel Show: The Lynching of William Brown, William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life, and Sunde's Balloon. Tickets to the show playing at the Connelly, 220 East 4th St. (Between Ave. A & B ), are $15 and can be purchased by calling (212) 206-1515 or online at www.SmartTix.com. For more info on the Chain Lightning Theatre, visit their website at www.chainlightningtheater.org.
-- by Ernio Hernandez