Horton Foote directs his daughter, Hallie Foote, in a new play by his other daughter, Daisy Foote, When They Speak of Rita. Enough critics and audiences have apparently spoken well enough of Rita to warrant an extension of the show, through June 25. The play opened May 17, after previews starting May 3.
Rita tells of domestic problems for a New Hampshire family. Jamie Bennett (This Lime Tree Bower), Ken Marks, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Margot White costar.
The 84-year-old Foote pere, the director, won a Pulitzer for his play, The Young Man From Atlanta and also penned Valentine's Day and 1918. Hallie Foote's acting credits include 1996's 900 Oneonta, the last play staged by the Circle Repertory company. According to a Newsday interview (May 16), she will appear in her father's The Last of the Thorntons next season at off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company at the Peter Norton Space.
Designing Rita are Jeff Cowie (sets), Deborah Constantine (lighting), Debra Stein (costumes) and Fabian Obispo (sound).
46-year-old Hallie told Newsday (May 16) that working with two family members isn't all that different from other production situations. "When we work together, there is a sort of shorthand between us that makes it easy, but otherwise I don't feel like I'm working with my family," she said. "We are careful, bend over backwards not to show favoritism." For tickets ($35) and information on When They Speak of Rita at Primary Stages, 354 West 45th Street, call the box office at (212) 333-4052.
-- By David Lefkowitz and Robert Simonson