Mabou Mines, one of America's foremost avant-garde theatre companies, present Nobel Prize winning, Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at their newly renovated TORONADA theatre in New York City, Mar. 10 - Apr. 5, opening Mar. 13.
The production, starring four-time Obie Award-winning actress Ruth Maleczech and directed by Robert Woodruff, was originally mounted at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse in 1996 to critical acclaim.
Mabou Mines has quite a history with Beckett's work, as a matter of fact- they've done eight works by Beckett in the last twenty years, six of which have been world premieres of texts not originally written for the theatre. Mabou Mines' JoAnne Akalaitis drew controversy with her 1984 production of Beckett's Endgame at ART, when she chose to set the play in a abandoned subway station with a multi-racial cast.
Mabou Mines was founded in 1970 by JoAnne Akalaitis, Lee Breuer, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, Fred Neumann, Terry O'Reilly, and the late David Warrilow. The company has received over 50 awards and citations for excellence, including the 1974 Obie for General Excellence and the 1986 Obie for sustaine Achievement.
The opening image of Happy Days is Winnie- buried waist deep in a huge mound of dirt, performing the dreary tasks of everyday life with a painstakingly optimistic demeanor. Her and her husband, Willie, fight to survive life through the performance of these mudane rituals. Happy Days runs through Apr. 5 at Mabou Mines' TORONADA (150 First Avenue at 9th Street). For reservations call (212) 473-1991.
-- By Sean McGrath