Kristine Nielsen, who won an Obie Award for her hectic performance as a boozed-up matron in Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, returns to the playwright's work as the star of the production, which played McCarter in Princeton Sept. 9-Oct. 16. Emily Mann directs.
Nielsen also starred in the world premiere of Durang's Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge at Pittsburgh's City Theatre in fall 2002.
PH explains the spirituality minded work this way: "In life, Veronica was a lapsed Catholic — so why is she spending eternity in Purgatory with a Hindu spirit guide who calls her Miss Witherspoon? And why is she continually being sent back to earth to live lives she doesn't particularly want to lead? Will she open herself up to enlightenment and learn her place in the world? God only knows — or someone like God, anyway. Miss Witherspoon is a quirky black comedy about reincarnation, altering the course of world events…and Rex Harrison."
Also in the Miss Witherspoon cast are Lynda Gravátt, Mahira Kakkar, Jeremy Shamos and Colleen Werthmann.
The production features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and sound design by Darron L. West. Performances continue to Dec. 18 at PH's Mainstage on West 42nd Street.
Durang's plays at Playwrights Horizons include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Actor's Nightmare, Baby with the Bathwater, Laughing Wild and Betty's Summer Vacation . His other plays on and Off-Broadway include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Beyond Therapy, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Durang/Durang and Sex and Longing. His new musical, Adrift in Macao, premiered this fall in Philadelphia, in a production by Philadelphia Theatre Company.
For Playwrights Horizons ticket information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 PM daily, or visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.