1999 Tony Award winner Richard Nelson opens the West Coast premiere of his Olivier Award-winning drama, Goodnight Children Everywhere, at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre Feb. 21. Nelson directs as he did the New York mounting, with three of his Playwrights Horizons cast members - John Devries, Heather Goldenhersh and Robin Weigert - repeating their duties.
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 or knew. 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 Macauly Culkin in the lead, 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). Performances began Feb. 15 for a run through March 18. 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