Oct. 2-26, Pecadillo will stage Jane, a 1952 comedy by Behrman about Millicent Tower, a London society creature whose style is cramped when her frank sister-in-law Jane comes to call. Horrified by Jane's candid speaking style, Millicent is at a loss when her relative becomes the toast of the town and attracts the attention of both her current lover and her former husband. Playing the flustered Millicent will be Leila Martin, who in 1988 created the role of Madame Giry in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera and played the role until 2001. Martin conceivably saw the Broadway premiere of Jane, which starred Basil Rathbone, Irene Browne and Edna Best; the actress made her Broadway debut in 1951 in Two on the Aisle. Martin also starred in the original Broadway productions of Gypsy, The Rothchilds and 42nd Street.
Jane was not one of Behrman's greatest successes. It ran for 100 performances at the Coronet Theatre. Behrman's more lasting works include Biography, No Time for Comedy and The Second Man. The dramatist's heyday was the 1920s and 1930, when he was one of the Theatre Guild's foremost writers and penned vehicles for the Lunts. Behrman was frequently referred to as an American Noel Coward.
Dan Wackerman, artistic director of The Peccadillo Theater Company, will direct. Jane will be staged at Bank Street Theatre, 155 Bank Street, between Washington and West Streets in the West Village. Tickets are $15. For reservations, call (212) 561-9635.