Since its Off-Broadway mounting at NY Theatre Workshop last season, David Rabe's A Question of Mercy has received numerous regional productions, including a recent Long Wharf staging now transferred to the UK in an exchange with London's Bush Theatre. Another Mercy mounting opens Apr. 1 for a run through Apr. 26 at PA's Philadelphia Theatre Company, with Richard Corley directing.
Based on a New York Times essay by Richard Selzer, Mercy looks at a doctor troubled by an AIDS victim's request for help in committing suicide. Rabe won the 1972 Tony Award for Sticks and Bones, an examination of the effect a blinded Vietnam veteran has when he returns home to his middle-American family. Rabe's other plays include Hurlyburly, a Hollywood tale that boasted an all-star cast on Broadway, and Streamers, set in an Air Force barracks. Before Mercy, Those the River Keeps starring Paul Guilfoyle and Annabella Sciorra, had a brief run Off-Broadway in early 1994.
Starring in Mercy at PTC are Edmond Genest (the doctor), Jose Aviles, David Grillo, James Kall, Tom McCarthy, Edith Meeks and H. Michael Walls. Designing the show are Brian Aldous & Christine Jones (set), Murell Horton (costumes) and Adam Wernick (sound & original music).
Finishing the Philadelphia Theatre Company season will be Birdy, Naomi Wallace's adaptation of William Wharton's novel. May 29-June 28.
For tickets ($22-$34; subscriptions $60-$114) and information on A Question Of Mercy and other shows at PTC's home in the Plays & Players Theatre, 1614 Delancey St., call (215) 568-1920. -- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath