Bruce Norris' The Pain and the Itch, a tale of family dysfunction that won Chicago's 2005 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, opened Sept. 21 in its New York City premiere. The company along with friends and family gathered to celebrate the opening of the play at the West Bank Cafe on 42nd St.
The Playwrights Horizons production reunites the earlier Steppenwolf Theatre production's star Jayne Houdyshell (who plays a grandmother in denial about family issues) and director Anna D. Shapiro. Tony Award nominee Houdyshell (Well) won a Jeff Award for her work in The Pain and the Itch.
"With a young daughter in serious need of attention and a ravenous creature possibly prowling the upstairs bedrooms, what begins as an average Thanksgiving for one privileged family unravels into an exposé of disastrous choices and less-than-altruistic motives," according to Playwrights Horizons. "The Pain and the Itch is a scathing satire of the politics of class and race, a controversial, painfully human examination of denial and its consequences."
At Left (From Top): Director Anna D. Shapiro and playwright Bruce Norris; Lisa Kron and Jane Houdyshell; Mia Barron, Christopher Evan Welch; Alternating Kaylas, Ada-Marie L. Gutierrez and Vivien Kells.
Below: The company of The Pain and the Itch celebrates their opening night.
photos by Aubrey Reuben