TACT company member Mary Bacon (of Broadway's Rock 'n' Roll) plays Alma Winemiller, the yearning preacher's daughter who has always loved the boy next door in her Mississippi town of Glorious Hill. The boy is now a man — Dr. John Buchanan, played by guest artist Todd Gearhart (of the Guthrie Theater's All My Sons).
This is the first New York City production of the play since its Broadway bow in 1976. Performances continue to May 24.
TACT bills the play this way: "A sensuous story of longing and rebellion, Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale charts the delicate journey of Alma Winemiller, known as 'the nightingale of the Delta,' who lives in her stifling parents' home in a small-minded Southern town. Suppressed by her joyless father and ostracized by the community for her artistic temperament, she finds solace in her music — and in the secret lifelong love she has for the boy-next-door, turned handsome grown-up, Dr. John Buchanan. Driven by her desire for truth and beauty, Miss Alma finally confesses her longing to John and what emerges is one of the theatre's most startlingly modern and complex love stories."
Bacon and Gearhart are joined by TACT company members and Broadway veterans Larry Keith (Primary Stages' Southern Comforts, Broadway's Caroline, Or Change, Titanic) as the Rev. Winemiller and Darrie Lawrence (Come Back Little Sheba, Steel Magnolias, Buried Child) as Mrs. Buchanan. Fellow company members Nora Chester, Cynthia Darlow, Francesca Di Mauro, Greg McFadden, James Prendergast and Scott Schafer round out the cast.
The Williams estate granted The Actors Company Theatre special permission to stage the play in Manhattan, more than 30 years after its brief 28-performance Broadway run. For more information about this production or TACT, visit www.tactnyc.org.
Here is a glimpse at the production:
Photos by Stephen Kunken