Mom's dating again, and what's a sixteen year old boy, on the verge of forming his own first important romantic attachments, to do? Love and Happiness, a play on that subject by 2001 Juilliard School graduate Julian Sheppard, opens its world premiere July 7 at the Consolati Performing Arts Center, home to the Barrington Stage Company in Great Barrington, MA.
Allen, the teen at the center of Love and Happiness, watched his parent go through a messy divorce for a year and now his mom is interested in finding a new man. Confused by his mother's new urges, he struggles to understand his own sexual and romantic longing through dance lessons, impromptu dinners and drugs.
The first world premiere for Barrington Stage's Stage II, Love and Happiness is not Sheppard's first play. His works include From Now On, los angeles and After America. His first full-length play Whatever was published by Dramatists Play Service and has been produced in South Africa.
Stage II producer Andrew Volkoff directs. He helmed the New York premiere of Marguerite Duras' Savannah Boy and the Boston premiere of Stupid Kids.
Michael Urie stars as Allen with Deann Halper as his mother Margaret. Also in the cast are Michael Griffiths as her boyfriend Clark, Jennifer Terrell as Tracy and Miranda, girlfriend of Allen and his father, Carl Palmer as Allen's father Dwight and a philosophic gun dealer and Gary Soldati as Allen's best friend Drew. The design team features Kristin Loeffler (sets), Shawn Kaufman (lighting) and Anna Zimmer (costumes).
Performances began July 3 and continue through the 22nd. Tickets are $20. For reservations, call (413) 528-8888. The Barrington Stage Company in Great Barrington, MA, is on the web at http://www.barringtonstageco.org.
— By Christine Ehren