Playwright Douglas Carter Beane had his first critical and commercial success when the Drama Dept. -- the theatre troupe he helped found and oversees as artistic director -- staged his Manhattan comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown. Now, company and dramatist are hoping lightning will strike twice, as the troupe prepares to mount Beane's latest, The Country Club.
The new comedy will begin previews on Sept. 14 for a Sept. 29 opening and a run through Oct. 9. The show will be seen at the Greenwich House Theatre, home of the Drama Dept.'s last five ventures. Christopher Ashley, a company member since piloting As Thousands Cheer, will direct. Cynthia Nixon, Amy Sedaris, Amy Hohn and Peter Benson are among the cast.
The Country Club tells of a woman who returns to her hometown after her marriage goes bad. She then becomes reacquainted with her old high school friends through a series of parties at her family's country club, stretching from New Year's to Christmas.
Nixon, of cable TV's "Sex and the City," has appeared in fully four Drama Dept. productions, including June Moon and Hope Is the Thing with Feathers. Comic actress Sedaris is half of the Talent Family, a company made up of she and her brother, humorist David Sedaris. Together, the have produced a string of hilarious, irreverent plays, including One Woman Shoe and The Little Freida Mysteries. She rarely accepts gigs in non-Talent Family productions, though she was seen as the stage manager in Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.
The Drama Dept. most recently presented a double bill of Richard Greenberg's The Author's Voice and Peter Hedges' Imagining Brad, which ran this past May and June. Also in the company's future plans is the world premiere production of Adam Baum and the Jew Movie by Daniel Goldfarb. -- By Robert Simonson