What's that smell? It's revenge — for three women whose husbands become accidentally trapped in a meat locker in Michele Lowe's black comedy, Smell of the Kill. Following successful runs at Seattle's Intiman Theatre and the Berkshire Festival, the play is set to start previews at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre March 7 and officially open March 26.
The production only held on to one of the three actresses—Claudia Shear, — that headed the all star Berkshire mounting. Of the other two, Katie Finneran is locked into a long-term contract in Noises Off on Broadway, and Johnston just finished an extened run in The Women at the Roundabout. Taking their places in the Broadway mounting are Lisa Emery (Dinner with Friends) and Jessica Stone (The Country Club).
Initially, the show was announced for an Off-Broadway mounting to open on Valentine's Day, but the plans then switched to Broadway when the 577-seat Helen Hayes Theatre came available upon the closing of By Jeeves.
Christopher Ashley, who staged the Berkshire version of Kill, will again direct the piece, which will have sets by David Gallo (Bunny Bunny). Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Nell Nugent, Milton Maltz and Tamara Maltz are producing, with Roy Gabay serving as general manager.
In Kill, the trio think themselves happily married until the meat freezer incident brings new meaning to the words "women's liberation." Smell of the Kill premiered at the Cleveland Playhouse in 1999. Other plays by Lowe include Backsliding in the Promised Land, the tale of two Dutch Jews who escape the Holocaust by retreating to America and becoming Episcopalians, Germany Surrenders and the book and lyrics to the musical Hit the Lights!. As a television and screenwriter she penned several episodes of Nickelodeon's "Little Bear," "The Emergence of Emily Stark" and "Let the Bastard Sing" with Eric Simonson.