American playwright Donald Margulies' work will be heard beyond the U.S. In fall 1999 when Dinner With Friends says bon jour to Paris and Collected Stories has its West End premiere, with Helen Mirren.
Margulies told Playbill On-Line Aug. 16 that his rueful marriage-divorce play, Dinner With Friends, will have its Paris premiere Sept. 20 at the Comedie des Champs-Elysees.
The director is Michel Fagadau who directed the successful French premiere of Margulies' Collected Stories.
The play charts a marriage that hits the rocks, leaving friends thrashing in the surf to ask questions about their connections to the marrieds and each other. It had its premiere in March 1998 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and was revised for a production, directed by Daniel Sullivan, at the South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, CA. Sullivan will direct the New York premiere, beginning performances Oct. 21, at the Variety Arts Theatre.
The playwright also confirmed that his Collected Stories will be produced on London's West End in fall 1999. Helen Mirren (of TV"s "Prime Suspect" series) will star; Howard Davies (The Iceman Cometh) will direct. A four-city tour precedes its opening at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, in November. It will be Margulies' West End debut. Collected Stories explores loyalty and betrayal issues between a famed author and her protégé, who exposes the mentor's life in a book. Its 1998-99 Off-Broadway run starred Uta Hagen, who will repeat her role in summer 2000 when the Stratford Festival in Ontario stages the play.
-- By Kenneth Jones