Jack & Jill, the romantic comedy voted best new play of 1996 by ATCA, the American Theatre Critic's Association, finishes up the International City Theatre season in Long Beach, CA this weekend. Starring Bonita Friedericy and Richard Neil, Jack & Jill follows a young man and woman as they meet, fall in love, marry separate, divorce and meet yet again. The show opened Oct. 10 and ends Nov. 16.
Playwright Jane Martin's identity is a mystery. She is rumored to be one or as many as three people working out of the Actor's Theatre of Louisville. Previous plays by Martin include Keely And Du, Criminal Hearts and Talking With..., which won the 1994 ATCA New Play award.
"Everyone who's read [Jack & Jill] has said, `that's me, that's my story, that's my relationship," said director Hope Alexander-Willis. "It's an amazingly accurate examination of what we consider to be `romantic love,' which I personally don't think is real love." Willis has worked on the West Coast at Tiffany, Theatre Geo and Fountain Theatre.
Friedericy, who plays Jill, received the 1996 Natalie Schaffer Award for Comedic Actress from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle. (Schaffer was best known for playing Lovey Howell on TV's "Gilligan's Island.").
Designing J&J are David Wisniewski (set), Gina Davidson (costumes) and Liz Stillwell (lighting). Jack & Jill started previews Oct. 7 and runs to Nov. 16 at ICT, located at Long Beach College. For tickets ($18-$20) and information call (562) 938-4128.