The Wax Melts Jan. 21 at Playwrights Horizons; Lonergan in the Wings

News   The Wax Melts Jan. 21 at Playwrights Horizons; Lonergan in the Wings The world premiere of Kathleen Tolan's comedy, The Wax, ends its scheduled run at Playwrights Horizons Jan. 21 after a Jan. 7 opening and a Dec. 12, 2000, first preview.

The world premiere of Kathleen Tolan's comedy, The Wax, ends its scheduled run at Playwrights Horizons Jan. 21 after a Jan. 7 opening and a Dec. 12, 2000, first preview.

Side Man Tony Award-winner Frank Wood stars, joined by Laura Esterman, Mary Testa, Robert Dorfman, David Greenspan, Lola Pashalinski, Gareth Saxe, Mary Schultz and Karen Young.

Brian Kulick (The Public Theater's Kit Marlowe, The Winter's Tale) directs the new comedy, which takes place at a hotel by the sea where several anxious, unhappy middle-aged friends have reunited for a wedding. Mid-life crises and the festivities prompt intellectualizing, emotional searching, blank stares and "uncensored impulsiveness fueled equally by angst and hormones," according to a statement.

Playwrights Horizons' next mainstage play, following The Wax, is the world premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Feb. 16-March 13. Lonergan's original screenplay and direction for the film, "You Can Count On Me," are thought to be likely for Academy Award nominations.

* "One of the things I love about Kathleen's writing is the music of her writing," Kulick told Playbill On-Line earlier this season. "It's the music of emotions, the music of the rhythms of how people are when they are with each other. One of the characters writes chamber pieces, and I really do feel that what Kathleen has created is kind of an amazing score, like a piece of chamber music, with musical lines that criss-cross."

Playwright Tolan studied acting at NYU and the HB Studio and was a member of Andre Gregory's Company, The Manhattan Project. A Weekend Near Madison, her first play, was staged in 1983 at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and at Astor Place Theatre in New York City. Other plays include Kate's Diary (Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater), Approximating Mother (The Women's Project) and A Girl's Life (a Horizons commission that was subsequently staged at Trinity Repertory Theatre).

Designers are Wally Spangler (set), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costume), Kevin Adams (lighting), and Jill B.C. Du Boff (sound).

To see Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter interview with director Kulick, known for his work at The Public Theater, click here.

Tickets are $40. The Anne Wilder Theatre is at 416 W. 42nd Street. For information, call (212) 279-4200 or visit the website at www.playwrightshorizons.org.

— By Kenneth Jones