Alhought there may be little cause for celebration in U.S. right now, Harold Pinter's Celebration, partnered with his early play, The Room, will open Sept. 19 at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre. Peter Reigert and Diane Venora head up the cast. The Room and Celebration, which recently played at the Lincoln Center Theatre Festival, is directed in San Francisco by ACT artistic director Carey Perloff. The pair play through Oct. 14 in the Geary Theatre.
Riegert's New York credits include David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood, An American Daughter, The Road to Nirvana and Pinter's The Birthday Party, directed by Perloff. Known for her Shakespearean roles, Venora has played Hamlet and Gertrude in Hamlet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth on Broadway and in the film versions of "Romeo + Juliet" and "Hamlet" with Ethan Hawke.
Joining them will be ACT's new core acting company Rene Augesen, Marco Barricelli, Steven Anthony Jones and Gregory Wallace. Also in the cast are Joan McMurtrey, Jason Butler Harner, Anthony Fusco and Atosa Babaoff. Harner and Fusco replace actor David Conrad in Celebration and The Room respectively.
The Room was Pinter's first play to have produced, while Celebration is his latest work. The Room takes place in the apartment occupied by Rose and her husband Bert, who works as a driver. Each knock on the door brings a visitor who feels he or she has some claim to the room Rose and Bert share. Celebration, on the other hand, takes place in a noisy restaurant where several couples insult each other as they interwine at a post-theatre meal.
American Conservatory Theatre's Geary Theater is located at 415 Geary Street. For reservations, call (415) 749-2250. American Conservatory Theatre is on the web at www.act-sfbay.org. — By Christine Ehren