The world premiere staging directed by Daniel Sullivan (Proof, Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy) stars Jeannie Berlin, Jere Burns, J. Smith Cameron, Brian Kerwin and Eddie Korbich.
The works are billed as being "about life in the new millennium, including middle-aged men longing to dance, married couples longing for sex and aging singles looking for love." The production opens June 1 at the Biltmore Theatre, MTC's Broadway home.
The plays are:
Dancing in the Dark, in which Keith (Korbich), an overweight former chorus boy, coaxes Gloria (J. Smith-Cameron), a tough but shy lesbian, to overcome her reluctance to dance in public during a Saturday night in New York City.
Giving Up Smoking, in which the foibles and intertwined lives of four New Yorkers (Joanne, Sherman, Kathleen and Mel) play out in a series of monologues about loneliness, social anxiety and the struggle for hope and connection in an increasingly complicated world. Berlin plays Joanne, Kerwin plays Mel, Burns is Sherman. Smith-Cameron is Kathleen.
Chelsea Nights, or Take My Wife, in which two middle-aged married couples (Mitzi and Darryl and Gail and Ron) attempt to carry out a pre-arranged sexual foursome, with hilarious and poignant results. Berlin plays Gail, Kerwin will play Ron, Burns is Darryl, Smith-Cameron is Mitzi. The title would seem to be drawn from the lyric of "You and the Night and the Music," a song by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz. The lyric goes: "You and the night and the music/Thrill me, but will we be one,/After the night and the music/Are done?"
Elaine May began in The Second City where she formed a successful partnership with Mike Nichols. The two appeared in clubs, on TV and on Broadway. After their split, May earned a Drama Desk Award for her play Adaptation, a one-act which she directed along with Terrence McNally's Next. She wrote, directed and starred in her first film, "A New Leaf" with Walter Matthau. She wrote and directed "Mikey & Nicky," starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes. She directed "The Heartbreak Kid" and received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of "Heaven Can Wait." May's acting credits in film include "California Suite," "Enter Laughing" and "In the Spirit." She reunited with Mike Nichols to write screenplays for "The Birdcage" and "Primary Colors" (British Academy Award) and joined with "In the Spirit" producer Julian Schlossberg to do Death Defying Acts, Taller Than a Dwarf and Power Plays, in which she appeared with Alan Arkin. Adult Entertainment was May's fourth play with producer Julian Schlossberg.
Berlin is the deadpan-funny actress daughter of May, who appeared in her mother's Off-Broadway comedy, Adult Entertainment.
Kerwin is the film, TV and stage actor whose credits include the 1988 film "Torch Song Trilogy" and Lincoln Center Theater's The Little Foxes in 1997.
Jere Burns is remembered for TV's "Dear John" and has played a variety of roles on TV and in theatre and film. This marks his Broadway debut.
Smith-Cameron appeared in MTC's Sarah, Sarah (Drama Desk award nomination) and Fuddy Meers (Outer Critics award nomination).
Korbich's Broadway credits include Wicked, Seussical, Carousel (Lincoln Center), Singin' in the Rain and Sweeney Todd (Circle in the Square). Off-Broadway he appeared in Assassins, Godspell, The Gifts of the Magi, Flora The Red Menace, A Little Night Music, Eating Raoul and Takin' a Chance on Love (Obie Award). He was Frank in the national tour of Show Boat.
Jeannie Berlin began her acting career at the age of 14 in the Off-Broadway production of Rumplestiltskin. A few years later, director Arthur Penn cast her in "Alice's Restaurant." She co-starred with Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd in the Neil Simon hit "The Heartbreak Kid," directed by Elaine May, for which Berlin won the New York Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for an Academy Award. The last several years, Berlin has dedicated her time to teaching, writing and directing, including her play The Party, and Funny Wants Out co-written with Laurie Jones. Prior to Adult Entertainment, she appeared Off-Broadway in Power Plays, also written by May.
Tickets range $26-$79 and are available at TeleCharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or at the Biltmore Theatre box office (261 West 47th Street).