Two-time Tony Award nominee Brian O'Byrne, film and stage's Terence Rigby and TV's Michelle Williams star in the New Group's Smelling a Rat, playing May 7-June 16 in the Samuel Beckett Theatre. The bedroom comedy by Mike Leigh ("Topsy Turvy") opens May 19. New Group founding artistic director Scott Elliott, who helmed Leigh's Goose-Pimples and Ecstacy, directs.
Billed an "anti-farce," Smelling a Rat takes place in the pre-fab penthouse apartment of a rodent-extermination mogul. When the wealthy, but working-class guy arrives home from vacation, he finds various couples going at it in his bedroom and he is not happy about that. The Famous Door Theatre in Chicago staged the American premiere of Smelling a Rat in 1991.
O'Byrne was Tony Award nominated for two Martin McDonaugh plays, The Lonesome West and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Rigby starred on Broadway in Macbeth and The Homecoming and appeared in the films "Elizabeth" and "Tomorrow Never Dies." A TV vet from "Dawson's Creek," Williams was featured in Killer Joe Off-Broadway.
Also in the cast are Gillian Foss (Goose-Pimples), replacing the previously announced Cara Seymour, and Eddie Kay Thomas (The Diary of Anne Frank, "American Pie1 & 2").
Tickets are $32-$40. The Samuel Beckett Theatre, part of the newly renovated Theatre Row Complex, is located at 410 West 42nd Street. For reservations, call (212) 643-6878. The New Group is on the web at http://www.newgrouptheater.com. — By Christine Ehren