Wilma is co-producing with Meredith Vieira Productions, which is booking engagements of the show around the country. Hal Brooks (Off-Broadway's current No Child…) directs the performance.
This production premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008, played sold-out houses at 59E59 Theaters in New York City and transferred to critical acclaim at Off-Broadway's Soho Playhouse. The Wilma appearance is the show's first stop on tour — and its only Philadelphia stint. The 2011 national tour includes stops in Colorado, Illinois and Texas.
Life in a Marital Institution plays the Wilma Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM.
Here's how the work is billed: "The poignant, darkly humorous autobiographical comedy is set improbably in a hospice, where James sits at the bedside of his dying sister, who asks him to trade places with her. Until she realizes that would mean trading places with him…being in his marriage…a fate worse than death! The monologue cuts back and forth between the hospice, where his sister is engaged to be married, and scenes from his marriage, exploring infidelity, near-death childbirth and other high-stakes yet hilarious adventures. In the process, the comedy explores the roots of romantic love in familial love, and the notion: not only can you go home again, you can't not go home again; you can't escape your past. Until you confront it…which James does through his sister's deathbed wedding, before returning home to confront whether his own marriage should come to an end."
Braly's stories have been broadcast nationally on "This American Life," NPR and "Marketplace," and his essays appear in the recently published anthologies "Afterbirth" (St. Martin's Press) and "Mr. Beller's Neighborhood" (W.W. Norton). He has performed autobiographical stories at The Whitney Museum, Long Wharf Theatre and The Moth, where he was featured on the TNT National Story Tour and is the first two-time winner of the Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition. His full-length monologue, The Monthly Nut, directed by Seth Barrish (director of the Off-Broadway hit Sleepwalk with Me) is in development at The Barrow Group Theatre. His full-length monologue, Asylum, premiered at Dixon Place April 2010 and is in development as a television series with Meredith Vieira Productions. The tour schedule currently includes:
July 21-23 at Crested Butte Mountain Theatre in Crested Butte, CO
Aug. 7 at Mayne Stage in Chicago, IL (closing night of Fillet of Solo Festival)
Sept. 9-11 at The Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, NH
Sept. 23-24 at Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI
Oct. 11-16 at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, TX
Jan. 13, 2012 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC
Jan. 14, 2012 at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC
April 14, 2012 at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL
April 27-28, 2012 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, FL
Additional cities will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.jamesbraly.com.
Tickets start at $35 and are available at the Wilma's Box Office by calling (215) 546-7824, visiting wilmatheater.org, or coming to the theater, located at 265 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia.
Meredith Vieira Productions was founded by Emmy Award-winning journalist and host Meredith Vieira ("Today," "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?," "The View") and headed by Amy Rapp, that develops and produces film, TV, web and theatre. The company's first feature film "Return," starring Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon and John Slattery, recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. MVP "is dedicated to producing smart comedies and dramas with authentic characters."
The resident Equity-affiliated Wilma Theater "exists to present theatre as an art form, engaging artists and audiences in an adventure of aesthetic philosophical reflection of the complexities of contemporary life."