One of regional theatre's most produced works gets another mounting when Anne Meara's After-Play comes to FL's Coconut Grove Playhouse, March 10-April 5, opening March 13.
Meara's playwriting debut, After-Play won an Outer Critics' Circle Award for its funny/dark, slightly mystical look at two show-biz couples meet at a trendy Manhattan restaurant after viewing the latest must-see play on Broadway. As they reflect on how they've lived their lives, we realize they're not dining in an ordinary restaurant...
Starring in the FL staging are Barbara Andres (On Golden Pond, Rex), Merwin Goldsmith (1940's Radio Hour), Barbara Bradshaw, Steve Wise, Lee Wallace and Marilyn Chris. The latter two play a married couple -- and are married in real life.
Veteran Off-Broadway director Arthur Storch (founder of Syracuse Stage) helms the piece, which is designed by Steve Lambert (set), Ellis Tillman (costumes), M. Todd Williams (lighting) and Steve Shapiro (sound).
Meara came to fame as part of a stand-up comedy duo with husband Jerry Stiller, but she's also starred on Broadway (Anna Christie, Eastern Standard) and TV ("Archie Bunker's Place"). In other Coconut Grove news:
Goodbye, My Friduchita, Dolores Sendler's solo play about the life of artist Frida Kahlo, has attracted sufficient audiences to merit yet another extension. Originally supposed to end Jan. 18, the show previously extended to Feb. 15, then Mar. 1, but will now run to March 29.
Directed by Carbonell Award winner Barbara Lowery, Friduchita plays in the Encore Room, where (according to producing artistic director Arnold Mittelman), it has broken all previous box office records for that space.
Judith Delgado stars as Kahlo, who was married to muralist Diego Rivera. Both artists had numerous affairs, even though Kahlo was handicapped, both by a childhood bout with polio and by a bus accident in her teens. Said Mittelman of Kahlo, "an extraordinary life, fully lived."
* April 14-May 3: An Evening With Jerry Herman. A career overview with the composer of such Broadway shows as Hello, Dolly!, The Grand Tour and Mack And Mabel. Lee Roy Reams and Florence Lacey will join Herman in the revue, which replaces the previously announced, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. (Herman, recovered from triple bypass surgery, is looking to bring a version of this show to Broadway.)
* May 8-31: To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel from Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning book about a young girl named Scout, her attorney father, and the black man he defends in a Southern hamlet, circa 1930.
* Feb-May: Late Nite Catechism, also in the Encore Room space. It's the Chicago and Off-Broadway hit, by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan. Catechism is structured like a religion class, with "Sister" discussing the saints and answering questions about Catholicism.
For information on subscriptions or single ticket options at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, call (305) 446-3857.
-- By David Lefkowitz