1999 Tony Award winner Richard Nelson finishes two jobs March 18 with the closing of Goodnight Children Everywhere, ending its San Francisco run at the American Conservatory Theatre. Nelson not only wrote the Olivier Award-winning drama but also directed the West Coast premiere, as he did the New York mounting. Three of his New York Playwrights Horizons cast members - John Devries, Heather Goldenhersh and Robin Weigert - repeated their duties in San Francisco.
Based on true history, Goodnight Children Everywhere remembers a time just after World War II, when hundreds of thousands of children returned to England from Canada, where they had been sent to escape the London Blitz. These kids were then reunited with family members they hardly recognized. In this drama, 21-year-old nurse Betty, married and pregnant Ann, and aspiring actress Vi are reintroduced to their younger brother Peter, who left as an 11-year-old boy and returns as a handsome young man.
Nelson won his Tony for crafting the book to the musical James Joyce's The Dead. His other work includes the London hit Madame Melville, on its way to America with star Macauly Culkin, Some Americans Abroad, Two Shakespearean Actors and The General From America.
Joining Devries, Goldenhersh (Vi) and Weigert (Betty) are Yvonne Woods (Ann), Jesse Pennington (Peter), Charles Shaw Robinson and Rachel Black.
The New York team - Thomas Lynch (set), Susan Hilferty (costumes) and James F. Ingalls (lighting) - will design the show with sound by ACT resident designer (Garth Hemphill). Tickets are $55-$14. American Conservatory Theatre's Geary Theater is located at 415 Geary Street. For reservations, call (415) 749-2250. American Conservatory Theatre is on the web at www.act-sfbay.org.
— By Christine Ehren