Playwright A.R. Gurney to Perform His Own Love Letters in August

News   Playwright A.R. Gurney to Perform His Own Love Letters in August Award-winning playwright A.R. Gurney will perform his own popular valentine of a play, Love Letters, at a benefit for Boston's Shakespeare & Company Aug. 18.

Gurney and actress Annette Miller will read the two-hander at Shakespeare & Company's Founders' Theatre; show time is 8 PM. Miller is a 2003 Elliot Norton Award winner for Best Solo Performance for her work as Golda Meir in the Boston production of Golda's Balcony. Daniela Varon will direct the benefit performance.

In a statement actress Miller spoke about her relationship with famed playwright A.R. (Pete) Gurney: "Pete Gurney and I have known each other about as long as his characters in Love Letters have known each other. The first play I did in Boston was Pete's The Bridal Dinner when he was teaching at M.I.T. It was a huge success, and soon after we became friends and colleagues — our families taking vacations together and discussing the familial traditions of Jews and 'WASPs.' We have remained supportive professional and family friends, but this will be the first time we have been on stage together. I'd venture to say that of all the pairs of actors who have read Love Letters, the two of us bring the most years of friendship to the performance. I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to perform this amazing play — and especially with Pete."

Love Letters traces the lifelong correspondence between two friends: lawyer Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and artist Melissa Gardner. The piece premiered at Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre in 1989 with Joanna Gleason and John Rubenstein and has been performed all around the world. Laura Linney and Steven Weber starred in a television version of the play.

Annette Miller portrayed Sylvie in the female version of The Odd Couple on Broadway; her other theatrical credits include Collected Stories, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Dance of Death, Eastern Standard, The Glass Menagerie, Broadway Bound, The Sisters Rosensweig and Ethan Frome. On screen Miller was seen in "Autumn Heart," "The Next Karate Kid," "Treading Water," "Night School," "Boardwalk" and "Imported Bridegroom."

A.R. Gurney's plays include The Dining Room, The Cocktail Party, The Perfect Party, Another Antigone, A Cheever Evening, Sylvia, Ancestral Voices and Buffalo Gal. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award, a Rockefeller Award and two Lucille Lortel Awards. Tickets for the Aug. 18 Love Letters range from $75 to $250. A pre performance reception with cocktails and light fare will be held at 6 PM. To purchase tickets, call Karen Climo at (413) 637-1199, ext. 125.