Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum) directs the play about a controlling mother (played by J. Smith-Cameron) who, confined to a wheelchair, keeps a tight hold of her son (Dan McCabe) by "influencing his enrollment at a nearby college, while her ex-husband (Reed Birney) tries to spring the boy loose. Backed into a corner, the young man makes a choice that unleashes a series of mysterious events, forcing a broken family to confront its unresolved wounds."
PH bills it as "a sly, perceptive new play about finding love, losing control, and making the ultimate sacrifice."
A touch of magic realism enlivens the play, offering a "what if?" experience for the family (and allowing J. Smith Cameron the chance to play more than a one-note nag). During previews, gasps from theatregoers have been heard at the end of the first act.
Smith Cameron is known for her work in Off-Broadway's Fuddy Meers and As Bees in Honey Drown, Broadway's Our Country's Good and After the Night and the Music and will be seen in the upcoming feature film "Margaret," written and directed by her husband, Kenneth Lonergan. The Pen creative team includes Robin Vest (set), Jenny Mannis (costumes), Matthew Richards (lighting) and Obadiah Eaves (sound).
Performances continue to April 16.
Frears staged Off-Broadway's Omnium Gatherum and Terrorism.
Grant, who is also a respected actor (Angels in America), wrote the Off-Broadway play Snakebit, later seen in productions by resident theatres around the country. His second play, Current Events, premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club. As an actor, he has starred on Broadway in Bent, The Survivor, Angels in America (Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations) and The Three Sisters. Other New York acting credits include James Lapine's Table Settings, Aaron Sorkin's Making Movies, The Tempest in Central Park, and most recently the revival of Paula Vogel's Baltimore Waltz.
The performance schedule for Pen will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 & 7:00 PM. Tickets are $45.
The not-for-profit Playwrights Horizons presents works at its Mainstage and Peter Sharp Theater on West 42nd Street. Visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.