In a newly revised and rewritten form, Lynn Redgrave's The Mandrake Root will make its West Coast premiere Jan. 26-Feb. 24, 2002 at San Jose Repertory Theatre with Redgrave as the family matriarch Rose Randall. Warner Shook, who helmed the drama's world premiere at the Long Wharf in 2001, directs.
In The Mandrake Root, Redgrave plays Rose, the matriarch of a great family, as she is observed by her own daughter Sally. Around Rose, Redgrave has crafted a story of betrayal, sex and crippling family errors. The character she plays, the actress-playwright admits, is much based on her mother, the British actress Rachel Kempson. The world premiere run at the Long Wharf extended past its original close date to March 18.
One of five generations of actors in the Redgrave family, Redgrave already visited her family on stage with her Tony-nominated one woman show, Shakespeare for My Father. Other theatre work has included the Tony-nominated Mrs. Warren's Profession, Black Comedy, Aren't We All and Moon Over Buffalo. She was recently nominated for an Academy Award for "Gods and Monsters," her second such honor after being tapped for playing the title role in "Georgy Girl."
Joining Redgrave in the cast are Cynthia Mace (L.A.'s Angels in America) as Sally, Mercedes Herrero as Vicar/Nurse,/Sophie/Nun/Ruby, Jillian Wheeler (By the Bog of Cats opposite Holly Hunter) as Child Sally, David Adkins as Robert, Keith Langsdale (A Few Good Men, Other People's Money) as Allistar McKay/the Doctor.
The Long Wharf's Mandrake Root design team returns for this staging. They are Michael Olich (sets), Rui Rita (lighting), Frances Kenny (costumes) and Dan Moses Schreier (original music and sound). The Mandrake Root opens Feb. 1. Tickets are $20-$44. San Jose Repertory Theatre is located at 101 Paseo de San Antonio between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. For reservations, call (408) 367-7255. San Jose Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.sjrep.com.
— By Christine Ehren