A double bill of Harley Granville-Barker's Farewell to the Theatre, along with George Kelly's The Flattering Word, continues to Dec. 17 in Manhattan, presented by the Mint Theater Company.
Gus Kaikkonen directs the two one-acts, which began performances Nov. 10. Official opening is Nov. 19.
Harley Granville-Barker's short play, making its New York debut, "celebrates the power of the theater and the power of love." Last season, the Mint Theater Company introduced New York theatregoers to the genius of Granville-Barker when it presented the first New York performances of The Voysey Inheritance. Voysey played for nine sold-out weeks and Granville-Barker (a contemporary of Bernard Shaw) went on to win a posthumous OBIE award for Playwriting for Waste (which presented by Theatre For A New Audience). The playwright was known for writing rich political soap operas that offered snapshot of Victorian (and post Victorian) moral, social and familial conflicts and issues.
Farewell tells the story of Dorothy Taverner, an actress/manager and Grand Dame of the theatre, who is called in to her lawyer's office to have a heart to heart talk about her career and the future of the theatre that she manages. The short play details the romantic triangle between an aging star, her sensible attorney and the theatre she loves. A Farewell to the Theatre was written in 1916 at a time when Granville Barker had decided he was not going to return to the theatre as a performer or as a director.
The Mint has had trouble finding a record of a previous performance of the play — anywhere. Also on the double bill is the Kelly farce, The Flattering Word, also celebrating the magical power of the theatre. Kelly was represented last season by The Drama Dept. revival of The Torch-Bearers. He wrote The Flattering Word in 1916. It was first presented at the Eighty-First Street Theatre where Kelly starred in the leading role. He may be best known for his play, The Show-Off. Kelly won a Pulitzer Prize in 1925 for Craig's Wife.
Flattering tells the story of Eugene Tesh, a charismatic leading man who, while on tour, pays a visit to Mary, an old friend from school and her husband, the minister. The Reverend strongly disapproves of the theatre is told that he should have been on the stage.
The cast features Sara Barnett, Allyn Burrows, Sally Kemp, Sioux Madden, George Morfogen, Michael Stebbins and Colleen Smith Wallnau.
Designers are Sarah Lambert (set), William Armstrong (lighting) and Henry Shaffer (costume).
Performances are 7 PM will be Tuesday-Thursday, 8 PM Friday-Saturday, 2 PM Saturday and 3 PM Sunday. There will be an additional performance 7 PM Nov. 20. There will be no performances on Nov. 21-23.
Tickets are $19. The Mint Theater is located at 311 West 43rd Street on the 5th floor. For tickets and more information, call (212) 315-0231 or go online at www.minttheater.org.