Hyde Pierce Is a Muse-Driven Playwright in Accent on Youth, Beginning Broadway Run

News   Hyde Pierce Is a Muse-Driven Playwright in Accent on Youth, Beginning Broadway Run The first Broadway revival of Samson Raphaelson's Accent on Youth, the 1934 romantic comedy set in the world of the Broadway theatre, begins previews April 7 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce stars in the Manhattan Theatre Club production.
Tony winner David Hyde Pierce
Tony winner David Hyde Pierce Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Rabbit Hole, Sight Unseen, Proof) directs Lisa Banes (High Society, Arcadia), Rosie Benton (Saturn Returns), Curt Bouril (A Man for All Seasons), David Furr (Cymbeline), Mary Catherine Garrison (Top Girls, Rabbit Hole), Byron Jennings (Is He Dead?, Sight Unseen), Tony nominee Charles Kimbrough (Company, Sunday in the Park With George, "Murphy Brown"), Tony and Emmy winner Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot, "Frasier") and John Wernke (The American Plan).

Opening is April 29. This is a limited engagement by MTC, the not-for-profit that also produces Off-Broadway. The Friedman is the company's Broadway home.

MTC bills Accent on Youth as "a rollicking salute to love's possibilities, both on stage and off." In it, "successful playwright Steven Gaye (Pierce) is about to abandon his latest script, when his young secretary (Garrison) offers him new inspiration. With her as his muse, he stages the show on Broadway, only to learn, to his dismay, that the show's young leading man (Furr) is being inspired by her too."

Playwright Raphaelson was born in New York City in 1894. Of his eight plays produced on Broadway, the first, The Jazz Singer (1925), ran 303 performances and was made into the first talking motion picture starring Al Jolson. Among his stage comedies included in publications of "The Ten Best Plays" of their seasons were the hits Accent on Youth (1934) and Skylark (1939) starring Gertrude Lawrence. In the 1930s and '40s in Hollywood, Raphaelson wrote numerous screenplays for the director Ernst Lubitsch including "Trouble in Paradise" and "The Shop Around the Corner" and for Alfred Hitchcock, "Suspicion." Raphaelson taught playwrights at the University of Illinois and screenwriters at Columbia University. He wrote "The Human Nature of Playwriting," a chronicle of one course. Raphaelson continued to teach until his death in 1983, at age 89.

The creative team for Accent on Youth includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Brian MacDevitt (lighting design) and Obadiah Eaves (original music and sound design). For tickets visit Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250, or visit the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre box office (261 W. 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).

Tickets range in price from $56.50-$96.50.

For more information on Manhattan Theatre Club, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.