Lisa Emery, who played Karen to Matthew Arkin's Gabe when Donald Margulies' Dinner With Friends opened Off Broadway, return to the hit New York staging Feb. 20.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner With Friends celebrated one year Off-Broadway at the Variety Arts Theatre Nov. 4, 2000. An HBO film version is expected to be seen later this year.
Daniel Sullivan directed the continuing New York staging, and the 2000 Los Angeles and Boston stagings. The rueful comedy about marriage, divorce and friendship is one of the major Off Broadway hits of recent memory. John Hillner and Carolyn McCormick play Gabe and Karen's pals, Tom and Beth, who struggle with marital problems. The characters' loyalties and values shift through the action, all in the context of middle age malaise. Karen and Gabe are married food writers who question their marriage and their comfort when their Tom and Beth split.
Designers for the urban, suburban and rural settings in the multi-set play (on a clever turntable stage) are Neil Patel (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Rui Rita (lighting), providing an upper-middle class milieu.
* Pre-Pulitzer, the play was seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville and (in a revised form) South Coast Repertory Theatre. The world premiere was part of the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre in Kentucky. The revised version was staged by Sullivan at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA, in October 1998.
The New York producers of Dinner With Friends are Mitchell Maxwell, Mark Balsam, Ted Tulchin, Victoria Maxwell, Mari Nakachi and Steven Tulchin.
For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.
— By Kenneth Jones