Last chance to catch a Harold Pinter double-bill at Walnut Street Theatre's smaller theatre space, Studio 3. The Lover and A Kind of Alaska, began previews at the Philadelphia theatre Jan. 27, opened Jan. 28 and runs to Feb. 8. The director is Malcolm Black. In The Lover, which was first performed in London in 1963, a husband and wife engage in a game of sexual role-playing.
Director Black has described The Lover as a play with "dialogue that seems so stylized that it comes across as a kind of Mozartian version of an early play by Noel Coward," whose work Pinter is known to admire.
A Kind of Alaska examines a woman who has been comtatose for three decades and her struggle to make sense of the "new" world she awakens to.
The latter work is based on the book (and subsequent film) Awakenings, by Oliver Sacks, M.D., about his experiences working in the chronic care ward of a Bronx hospital.
When someone pointed out to Pinter that Alaska was different from his other works in that it was strictly based on truth, Pinter is said to have replied, "But so are all my plays."
The cast of The Lover includes Pearce Bunting (winner of a 1995 Barrymore Award for Road), Sonja Robson and Steve Tague.
A Kind of Alaska features Sally Mercer, Robson and Tague.
Performances of the Pinter double bill are Tue.-Sun. at 7:30 PM, and Sat. and Sun. at 2:30 PM.
For tickets, call (215) 574-3550, ext. 4.
-- By Rebecca Paller