Jean Randich will directs what's billed as the New York professional premiere of the 300-year-old comedy about two star-crossed couples. Opening is Nov. 25. Irish-born Farquhar (1678-1707) is better known for The Beaux' Stratagem.
The cast of The Constant Couple (1699) includes members of The Pearl Theatre Company's 2007-2008 Resident Acting Company — Rachel Botchan, Robin Leslie Brown, Joanne Camp, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern and Sean McNall — and guest actors Jolly Abraham, Meg McCrossen, Orville Mendoza, Jack Moran, John Pasha, Eduardo Placer, Caleb Rupp and David L. Townsend.
According to Pearl notes, "George Farquhar's The Constant Couple follows the misadventures of two star-crossed couples, as they navigate fops and flatterers, rivals and rustics — and their own double dealings. Farquhar's youthful comedy combines all the bawdy intrigue of the Restoration with the 'novel notions' of truth and integrity, creating a London merrily careening between the follies of the past and the glorious possibilities of the future."
Restoration comedy is a favorite genre for the Pearl company; The Constant Couple will be the second "lost" Restoration comedy that The Pearl has professionally premiered in New York. The Gentleman Dancing Master by William Wycherley in the 2005-06 season was the first.
The creative team includes scenic designer Harry Feiner, costume designer Liz Covey, lighting designer Stephen Petrilli, sound designer Jane Shaw, stage manager Dale Smallwood and dramaturg Kate Farrington. Tickets range $25-$50 ($90 on opening night), with senior, student and rush discounts available.
The Pearl Theatre Company performs at 80 St. Marks Place at First Avenue in the East Village. For more information call (212) 598-9802 or visit www.pearltheatre.org.
The Pearl Theatre Company, founded in 1984, is an Off-Broadway classical theatre "that nurtures an on-going resident company of actors," according to its mission. "The Pearl's commitment to foster a resident acting company is both important and rare. The Pearl believes that a resident acting company, made up of a cohesive and experienced team of actors, is best equipped to keep vital our rich tradition and to keep fresh the wisdom, wit, and craft of the classics."
As artistic director, Shepard Sobel explains, "The Pearl produces a classical repertory because the great plays of the last 2,500 years provide a context, a perspective, by which we here in America in 2007 may see ourselves more clearly. We can — and have an obligation to — design the strength and character of the future only by knowing the character of the past."
Also on the 2007-08 Pearl season: the world premiere of Peter Constantine's fresh translation of The Mandrake, "blending modern sensibilities with Machiavelli's political genius and conversational tone"; Ibsen's Ghosts and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.