Margulies' Dinner With Friends to Have OB Debut Oct. 21; CT First

News   Margulies' Dinner With Friends to Have OB Debut Oct. 21; CT First Donald Margulies' Dinner With Friends, the rueful drama about divorce and the friendships left behind, previously seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville and South Coast Repertory Theatre, will have its Off Broadway premiere Oct. 21 at the Variety Arts Theatre.

Donald Margulies' Dinner With Friends, the rueful drama about divorce and the friendships left behind, previously seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville and South Coast Repertory Theatre, will have its Off Broadway premiere Oct. 21 at the Variety Arts Theatre.

Official opening, under Daniel Sullivan's direction, is Nov. 4. The production will have a tryout at Stamford's Center for the Arts (Palace Theatre) Oct. 12-17.

The four-character, two-couple play had its world premiere in 1998 as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre in Kentucky. A revised version, staged by Daniel Sullivan, was produced by South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA, in October 1998.

Casting for the East Coast premiere is underway, according to a spokesperson. The producers are Mark Balsam, Mitchell Maxwell, Stanley Tulchin and Victoria Maxwell.

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. The Variety Arts' previous tenant was the short-lived musical revue, A Good Swift Kick.

Margulies told Playbill On-Line that 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 playwright also confirmed that Collected Stories will be produced on London's West End in fall 1999. Helen Mirren 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.

-- By Kenneth Jones