Playwright Kenneth Lonergan almost won an Oscar in 2001 for his "You Can Count on Me," building on a West Coast resume that includes "Analyze This." But on the East Coast, he's still the popular Off-Broadway scribe whose plays include This is Our Youth and Lobby Hero.
In between those two plays was the family drama The Waverly Gallery, which opened in New York in 2000. Since its bows at the Promenade Theatre, Lonergan has worked on the script and it's this newly revised Waverly Gallery that makes its debut at the Long Wharf Theatre Nov. 13-Dec. 16. Opening night is Nov. 20.
Three-time Tony nominee John Tillinger (The Price, Inherit the Wind, Loot) directs this story of free spirited and aged Gladys Green, who runs a small gallery in Greenwich Village. As her 85 years begin to take their toll on her, the once independent woman is forced to give up her beloved gallery and learn to depend on her children.
Carolyn Coates stars as Green. This is her first role at the Long Wharf since 1976 when she appeared in The Autumn Garden. Her credits include Broadway's The Death of Bessie Smith, The American Dream, The Country Wife and The Disintegration of James Cherry as well as the Off-Broadway production of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. The Waverly Gallery is the first time she has returned to the stage since she retired in 1986 to devote herself entirely to the combating the AIDS crisis in America.
Also in the cast are Bruce Altman (Howard Fine), Tim Donogue (Alan George), Mary Beth Fisher (Ellen Fine), Thomas Sadoski (Daniel Reed) and Adam Trese (Don Bowman). Tillinger returns to the Long Wharf where he last directed Blithe Spirit in 1997. From 1974 to 1996, he served as literary consultant to the theatre, where he directed over 20 productions including Arsenic and Old Lace, Paddywack, Betrayal, Love Letters and The Lover.
Designing the show are James Noone (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), David F. Segal (lighting) and Matthew Mezick (sound). Barclay Stiff is the stage manager.
Tickets are $45-$15. For reservations, call (203) 787-4282. The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org.
— By Christine Ehren