Drama Desk and Obie Award winner Mark Nelson (Albert Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile) directs Anton Chekhov's classic, The Sea Gull with Pamela Payton-Wright as famous actress Arkadina. The play, which began previews Jan. 15 and opened Jan. 20, ends its scheduled run Feb. 14 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.
In a new translation by Paul Schmidt, The Sea Gull centers on a family and their friends as they struggle with the son's idea of being an artist. Nina, an aspiring young actress and Arkadina, a famous older actress contrast each other and with Arkadina's son, Konstantin, a struggling writer and her lover, Trigorin, an established writer. The mother-son relationship in The Sea Gull has often been compared to the mother-son relationship in Hamlet.
The cast features Obie, Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Award winner Payton-Wright (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Mourning Becomes Electra) as Arkadina, James Waterston (son of Sam Waterston) as Konstantin, David Chandler (Broadway's Lost in Yonkers) as Trigorin, Peter Maloney (The Cripple of Inishman) as Sorin, Melinda Hamilton as Nina, Julia Gibson as Masha, Edmond Genest (B'way's A Few Good Men) as Dorn, Aliz Elias ("Lois Lives A Little") as Paulina, Todd Weeks as Medvedenko and Brad Bellamy as Shamrayev. Also included in the cast are James Cleveland, David Villalobos and Jo Anne Faucera.
Karen TenEyck (1998 Drama-Logue winner for South Coast Repertory's Triumph of Love and Pygmalion) designed the set, Michael Krass the costumes and Kirk Bookman the lighting. John Handy is the stage manager.
For tickets ($36-$22), call the George Street Playhouse at (732) 246 7717. The George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue. -- By Christine Ehren