The Women, Including Anderson, Ayers, Baldwin, Williamson, Opens Sept. 21

News   The Women, Including Anderson, Ayers, Baldwin, Williamson, Opens Sept. 21 The Women, Clare Booth Luce's 1936 group portrait of female personalities on the subject of marriage, opens in a new production at The Old Globe Sept. 21 after previews from Sept. 13.
The Women stars Kathleen McElfresh and Kate Baldwin
The Women stars Kathleen McElfresh and Kate Baldwin Photo by Craig Schwartz

Directed by resident artistic director Darko Tresnjak, the San Diego revival of the large-cast play — a claws-out look at Manhattan femininity — features Nancy Anderson (A Class Act, Wonderful Town, London's Kiss Me, Kate) as Miriam Aarons/Princess Tamara, Heather Ayers (Ace) as Sylvia Fowler, Kate Baldwin (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Williamstown's She Loves Me) as Mary Haines, Linda Gehringer as Mrs. Moorhead, Mary Pat Green as 1st Hairdresser/Head Saleswoman/Maggie/Lucy/Sadie, Jenn Harris as Olga/Miss Trimmerback/2nd Model/1st Cutie, Amy Hohn as Edith Potter, Aaryn Kopp as Jane/1st Model/Debutante, Amanda Kramer as Peggy Day, Kathleen McElfresh as Crystal Allen, Amanda Naughton (The Constant Wife) as Nancy Blake, Aimee Nelson as Pedicurist/Fitter/Exercise Instructor/ Helene/2nd Cutie, Blair Ross as 2nd Hairdresser/2nd Saleswoman/Miss Watts/Nurse/Dowager, Kayla Solsbak as Little Mary and Ruth Williamson (Broadway's The Music Man, La Cage aux Folles) as Countess de Lage.

A new, contemporary-set film version of the play is in theatres now. Meg Ryan stars.

According to The Old Globe, "One of the most witty and stylish American comedies of all time, The Women offers an acidic commentary on the pampered lives and power struggles of a group of wealthy Manhattan socialites. Mary Haines' society girlfriends know a secret about her husband, and between the beauty parlors, the department stores and the dinner parties, something's sure to slip. Clare Boothe Luce's dishy, decadent 1936 classic comes to vivid life on the Old Globe stage in a major, large-scale production, as these sophisticated ladies use every weapon in their arsenal to fight for love, happiness and personal dignity."

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe presents the play (in The Old Globe Theatre) through Oct. 26.

* "We are thrilled that Darko will be helming The Women — a work that he is so passionate about and that features such an incredible cast of Broadway's leading ladies," Old Globe executive producer Lou Spisto said in a statement. "Only an institution like the Globe can bring audiences this kind of spectacular, large-scale production, highlighted by a world-class company of actors, and brought to vivid life by the theatre's renowned costume and scenic departments."

The production team includes David Gordon (scenic design), Anna Oliver (costume design), Matt Richards (lighting design), Paul Peterson (sound design) and Bret Torbeck (stage manager).

Luce was an editor, playwright, social activist, congresswoman, journalist and ambassador. A prominent figure in New York society circles, Luce was known for her skill with satire and understatement, as well as her charm, which she displayed with such oft-quoted aphorisms as "No good deed goes unpunished." Her first play, Abide with Me, a psychological drama about an abusive husband and his terrified wife, opened on Broadway in 1935. The Women was a hit, ran for 657 performances and was adapted for the screen by M-G-M in 1939. Her other works include Kiss the Boys Goodbye, Margin of Error, Child of the Morning and Slam the Door Softly. In 1949 she wrote the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for "Come to the Stable" and in 1952, she edited the book "Saints for Now," a compilation of essays about various saints written by various well-known authors including Evelyn Waugh, Bruce Marshall and Rebecca West.

For tickets call (619) 23-GLOBE or visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.

Kate Baldwin and Kathleen McElfresh with the cast of <i>The Women.</i>
Kate Baldwin and Kathleen McElfresh with the cast of The Women. Photo by Craig Schwartz