The first production of Richard Nelson's comedy-drama, Madame Melville, since its Off-Broadway debut last June is occurring at Atlanta's Horizon Theatre, where co-artistic director Jeff Adler's staging runs through March 10.
Though greeted with mixed reviews, the New York mounting of Melville received media attention owing to its co-stars, theatrical blueblood Joely Richardson and grown-up film star Macaulay Culkin. The play debuted in the UK at the Vaudeville Theatre in October 2000, with Culkin and Irene Jacob as the leads.
In the memory play, Carl (played by Allen Read in the Horizon staging), is a 15-year-old attending The American School in Paris in 1966. His student teacher relationship with his literature instructor, Claudie Melville, a thirty-something French woman, turns sexual and intense over a 24-hour period. A sexually-free neighbor, Ruth, an American violinist, adds color to the experience. Horizon veteran Carolyn Cook plays Mme Mel, with Karen Vesper also in the cast.
Designers are Johnny Thigpen (set), Jennifer Drake (sound), Jamie Bullins (costumes) and Cat Tate (lighting). Other works by author Nelson include Goodnight Children, Everywhere and the book for the Broadway tuner, James Joyce's The Dead.
For tickets ($16-25) and information on Madame Melville at Horizon Theatre Company, 1083 Austin Avenue in Atlanta, call (404) 584-7450. —By David Lefkowitz