Mary Louise Wilson is Mrs. Malaprop in Boston Staging of The Rivals, Jan. 7

News   Mary Louise Wilson is Mrs. Malaprop in Boston Staging of The Rivals, Jan. 7 Cabaret Tony Award nominee Mary Louise Wilson stars as Mrs. Malaprop in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals in Boston, Jan. 7.

The comedy directed by Huntington artistic director Nicholas Martin (Match, Observe the Sons...) opens Jan. 12 at the Boston University Theatre for a run through Feb. 6.

Penned in 1775, The Rivals tells the story of a rich captain who pretends to be a poor naval officer to court a lady who does not care about wealth. Mistaken identities and hilarious circumstances abound in the "satire of romance, materialism, and social pretensions."

"The clothes and scenery have the feel of an MGM musical interpretation of The Rivals," Martin says of the production in a release. "It's a romp that will generate enough heat to help us through the cold, hard winter," Martin says.

Wilson is featured in an ensemble that includes Eric Anderson (as David), Mia Barron (Julia), Cheryl Lynn Bowers (Lydia Languish), Scott Ferrara (Captain Jack Absolute), Brian Hutchison (Bob Acres), Will LeBow (Sir Anthony Absolute), Helen McElwain (Lucy), Nathaniel McIntyre (Thomas), Rod McLachlan (Sir Lucius O'Trigger), Gareth Saxe (Faulkland) and Dennis Staroselsky (Drudge). Also featured in the show are Eric Gould, Jessica Grant, Murisa Harba, Daniel Berger Jones, Patrick Lynch, Max Rosenak and Edward Tournier.

The work is currently playing on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theatre's Vivian Beaumont Theatre with a cast that includes Richard Easton, Dana Ivey and Brian Murray under the direction of Mark Lamos. Playwright Sheridan's other oft-revived comedy, The School for Scandal, starring Brian Bedford is being performed at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. The design team features Alexander Dodge (set), Michael Krass (costumes), Dennis Parichy (lighting) and Jerry Yager (sound). Deborah Cooney serves as the dialect coach and Stephen Kaus is stage manager.

Wilson last appeared at Huntington in 1986's The Birthday Party. The actress earned a Tony Award nomination for her turn as Fraulien Schneider in the recent revival of Cabaret. Other Broadway credits include The Women (the original 1973 staging and the 2001 revival), Showboat, Prelude to a Kiss, Odd Couple, Philadelphia Story, The Royal Family, Neil Simon's Fools and opposite Angela Lansbury in Gypsy. Off-Broadway, she recently played Queen Elizabeth in The Beard of Avon and earned an Obie and Drama Desk Award as Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop, which she co-wrote with Mark Hampton under the direction of Martin.

Director Martin, who is artistic director of the Huntington Theatre Company, directed the recent Broadway staging of Match by Stephen Belber as well as Butley, Springtime for Henry, A Month in the Country, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Hedda Gabler, Fully Committed and Dead End.

The remainder of the Huntington season includes Naomi Iizuka's 36 Views, as directed by Evan Yionoulis (March 11-April 10, 2005), Culture Clash in AmeriCCa (March 18-May 8, 2005) and William Finn and James Lapine's Falsettos, directed by Daniel Goldstein (May 20-June 26, 2005).

Tickets for The Rivals at the B.U. Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue in Boston, MA, are available by calling (617) 266-0800. For more information, visit www.huntingtontheatre.org.