By combining elements of William Marchant's play and the 1957 Tracy Hepburn film, Michelle T. Hall and Patricia Smith Melton came up with a new adaptation of the comedy, Desk Set, which proved popular enough to extend two weeks, to June 20, at Washington DC's Studio Theatre. The play, which opened May 5 and was originally scheduled to end June 6, concludes the Studio Theatre's "Millennium Project: Part One." J. R. Sullivan directs the adaptation.
Set in the Reference Department at Federal Broadcasting, William Marchant's comedy focuses on the quick-thinking female "desk setters" who are threatened with replacement by a computer system called "Emmarac." Confident in their abilities, the ladies go to war against the new technology.
Four-time Helen Hayes nominee Holly Twyford leads the cast as Bunny Watson. She most recently played Anne Dunne in the Studio's The Steward of Christendom and won the Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Juliet in 1997's Romeo and Juliet.
Also in the company are Brian Robert Mani as Richard Sumner, five time Helen Hayes nominee T. J. Edwards as Mike Cutler, Carver Hudson as Peg Costello, Makela Spielman as Sadel Meyer, Susan Lynskey as Ruthie Saylor, John Dow as Mr. Azae, Linda Lowe as Reporter, Rosemary Regan as Miss Calliope, Janet Pryce as Elsa, Michael Chamberlin as Smithers, Jason Gilbert as Kenny, Steven Eskay as Office Boy, Stephen Perry as Office Man/Photographer and Michele Schaeffer as Miss Warriner.
Dan Conway designed the set, Marianne Meadows, the lighting, Kayes Voyce the costumes, Gil Thompson, the sound, and Sue Senita Bradshaw, the props. Tickets are $36.50-$19.50 and available by calling the box office at (202) 232-7267. The Studio Theatre is located at 1333 P Street NW. The Studio Theatre website is at http://www.studiotheatre.org.
Next up at the Studio, in September, will be Tom Stoppard's drama, Indiank Ink.
-- By Christine Ehren and David Lefkowitz