The influence of Benjamin Franklin on both the American and French Revolutions is the subject of Karen Sunde's historical fiction play, Balloon, opening March 23 at New York City's Connelly Theatre. Lisa Brailoff directs. When Franklin finds himself in France, he’s the toast of Madame Helvetius' salon for the French intelligentsia, who love him for his writing, his discoveries and his passionate belief in liberty. There is only one thing Franklin can't share with his French friends, which unfolds in this story of a man and his son.
Balloon had its world premiere in 1983 at Classic Stage Company, garnering three Villager Awards and a best play nomination from the Outer Critics Circle.
Starring in Balloon are Jean Brassard, Matt Bray, Fred Burrell, Peter Lewis, Virginia Roncetti and Michael Shelle.
The design team includes Maya Wildberger (sets), Christine Darch (costumes), Scott Clyve (lighting) and Randy Morrison (sound).
Tickets are $15. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street. For reservations, call (212) 219-2085.
The Chain Lighting Theatre presents Balloon. Founded in 1991, the company's first production of 1999-2000 was Max Sparber's Minstrel Show: The Lynching of William Brown.
-- By Christine Ehren