The show is structured along the lines of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters, James Naughton told Playbill On-Line, in that it is told entirely through letters. The younger Naughton plays Carolyn, a PhD student who is trying to get a reclusive author named Joel Gordon (played by the elder Naughton) to come to the Alumni Weekend. Gordon refuses again and again, but over the course of many missives, a friendship develops.
Playwright Cahn and Keira Naughton have met before. The actress graduated from Skidmore University, where Cahn teaches theatre. James Naughton said he has been aware of the play's existence for a long time, and Cahn's intention was always that the two family members star.
James Naughton just came off a big success as a director, piloting the money-making revival of Our Town starring Paul Newman. He will star in Roses only until March 9 in order to prepare for an engagement at the Cafe Carlyle. After that, Victor Slezak (The Graduate) plays Gordon.
Keira Naughton recently appeared on Broadway in The Dance of Death. Her brother (James' son), Greg Naughton, is also in the theatre and was the actor-manager of the Blue Light Theatre Company until the outfit folded.
Tickets are $35. The theatre is located at 259 W. 30th Street (between Seventh and Eighth). Call (212) 206-1515.