Jan Maxwell Tests Her Wings at Second Stage Oct. 5; John Doyle Pilots

By Kenneth Jones
05 Oct 2010

Jan Maxwell
Jan Maxwell
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Wings, Arthur Kopit's unique play about a former wingwalker grounded by a stroke, begins an Off-Broadway run by Second Stage Theatre on Oct. 5. Tony Award winner John Doyle (Sweeney Todd) directs Tony nominee Jan Maxwell. Opening night is Oct. 24.

Kopit's 1978 Tony-nominated play is billed as "a journey through the eye of Emily Stilson, a 1920s wingwalker who discovers her life's journey is a series of courageous adventures, proving that even when her mental self fails her, her daredevil spirit proves unflappable."

Wings also features Teagle F. Bougere, Beth Dixon, Adam Heller, January LaVoy, Anne L. Nathan and Michael Warner.

Maxwell was nominated for two Tony Awards in 2009-10, for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for The Royal Family and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Lend Me a Tenor. She also received the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress for The Royal Family. Her other Broadway roles include Coram Boy (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Drama Desk Award, Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations), Sixteen Wounded (Drama Desk nomination), A Doll's House (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Sound of Music (Outer Critics Circle), The Dinner Party (Outer Critics Circle Award).



Off-Broadway she starred in Howard Barker's Scenes From an Execution (Drama Desk nomination) and Camille (Potomac Theatre Project/NYC), Anton Dudley's Substitution, Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nomination), Tina Howe's translation of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano (Atlantic Theater), Jules Feiffer's A Bad Friend (Lincoln Center), Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady (Lortel Award, Drama Desk nominee), Opening Doors (Carnegie Hall), Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden (Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Seagull (Kennedy Center).

Kopit wrote the plays Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad; Indians (finalist for Pulitzer Prize); End of the World with Symposium to Follow; a new translation of Ibsen's Ghosts; the books for the musicals Phantom and Nine (both with scores by Maury Yeston); Road to Nirvana; the book for the musical High Society; Because He Can (originally entitled Y2K); Chad Curtiss, Lost Again and many one-act plays. Besides teaching playwriting at NYU, Kopit heads the Lark Theatre's Playwrights' Workshop and is on the council of the Dramatists Guild.

Doyle received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Outstanding Director of a Musical for his Broadway debut, Sweeney Todd. He also directed the recent Broadway productions of Company (Tony for Best Musical Revival) and A Catered Affair. Opera credits include Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera), Mahagonny (L.A. Opera) and Lucia (Scottish Opera). He won U.K. Best Musical Awards for The Gondoliers (West End), Fiddler on the Roof and Moll Flanders with nominations for four other productions including Mack and Mabel (also West End).

Wings features scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox and projection design by Peter Nigrini.

Wings plays to Nov. 21. Second Stage Theatre is at 305 W. 43rd Street in Manhattan.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by phoning (212) 246-4422 or (800) 766-6048 or online at www.2ST.com.