Youth Doesn't Last: Lonergan's Play Ends at Berkshire Fest, July 14

News   Youth Doesn't Last: Lonergan's Play Ends at Berkshire Fest, July 14 While playwright Kenneth Lonergan enjoys the Off-Broadway success of his latest work, Lobby Hero, the play that kicked off his current run of good luck — This Is Our Youth — has had a new mounting at the Berkshire Theatre Festival's Unicorn Theatre. The production, directed by Oliver Butler, began on June 14 and will conclude its run July 14.

While playwright Kenneth Lonergan enjoys the Off-Broadway success of his latest work, Lobby Hero, the play that kicked off his current run of good luck — This Is Our Youth — has had a new mounting at the Berkshire Theatre Festival's Unicorn Theatre. The production, directed by Oliver Butler, began on June 14 and will conclude its run July 14.

This Is Our Youth, which draws on Lonergan's own experiences growing up in Manhattan during the 1980's, looks at a triangle of feckless, unfocused trust fund kids as they pose, pontificate, and vacillate between harmless and dangerous, but always empty, pursuits.

The play was originally produced by The New Group Off-Broadway. Mark Brokaw directed Josh Hamilton, Mark Ruffalo and Missy Yeager.

Next up on the Unicorn stage will be August Strindberg's A Dream Play, directed by Eric Hill, running July 18-Aug. 4.

* The Mainstage season at the 2001 Berkshire Theatre Festival began on June 21 with a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan classic comic operetta H.M.S. Pinafore. Now playing is Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing.

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In other Fest news, The Smell of the Kill, a black comedy by Michele Lowe set to play the Berkshire Theatre Festival this summer, may eventually land in New York City. Christopher Ashley will direct Kate Finneran, Kristen Johnston and Claudia Shear star in the piece, which runs July 31-Aug. 11.

Ashley, speaking to Playbill On-Line at the Tony Nominees Luncheon at Manhattan's Marriott Marquis on May 16, said producers Mel Nugent and Elizabeth McCann have long been attached to the project and that if all goes well the plan is to move the show to Manhattan sometime in 2001.

In The Smell of the Kill, three wives plan revenge on their complacent, golf-loving husbands. Shear wrote and starred in Dirty Blonde, which played Broadway up until earlier this year. Johnston is well known from the sitcom "Third Rock From the Sun." He stage credits include The Skin of Our Teeth in Central Park. Finneran's many credits include Arms and the Man Off-Broadway and The Iceman Cometh on Broadway.

Christopher Ashley recently directed Off-Broadway's Newyorkers and The Rocky Horror Show on Broadway, for which he received his first Tony nomination. Future projects include David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World at Manhattan Theatre Club this fall.

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The remaining Main Stage schedule runs as follows:

• Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing, July 10-28 (opening July 11)
The Smell of the Kill by Michele Lowe, directed by Christopher Ashley, July 31-Aug. 11 (opening Aug. 1)
My Fair Lady, directed by Eric Hill, Aug. 14-Sept. 1 (opening Aug. 15)

The smaller Unicorn Theatre will feature August Strindberg's A Dream Play, directed by Eric Hill (July 18-Aug. 4); and A Pound of Flesh by Michael Bolus (Aug. 8-18).

For more information, call (413) 298-3368, or consult www.berkshiretheatre.org.

—By Robert Simonson