By Kenneth Jones
13 Jan 2013
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Directed by Sam Gold, the production began previews Dec. 14, 2012, at the American Airlines Theatre on West 42nd Street. Performances will continue through Feb. 24.
The cast features Reed Birney as middle-aged shopkeeper Howard Bevans, Maggie Grace as ready-to-blossom Madge Owens, Elizabeth Marvel as marriage-hungry schoolteacher Rosemary Sydney, Sebastian Stan as shirtless Hal Carter (the drifter who stirs up urges), Mare Winningham as single mother Flo Owens and Ellen Burstyn as neighbor Helen Potts, with Madeleine Martin (tomboy sister Millie Owens), Ben Rappaport (Alan Seymour, Madge's college-boy suitor), Cassie Beck (as teacher Christine Schoenwalde), Maddie Corman (teacher Irma Kronkite) and Chris Perfetti (teen paperboy Bomber).
"Sensual, passionate and delightfully funny," Picnic, according to the Roundabout, is a "timeless American classic about the line between restraint and desire. It's a balmy Labor Day in the American Heartland, and a group of women are preparing for a picnic... but they'll have to lay a lot on the line before they can lay out the checkered cloths. When a handsome young drifter named Hal (Stan) arrives, his combination of uncouth manners and titillating charm sends the women reeling, especially the beautiful Madge (Grace). When Hal is forced out of town, Madge must decide whether their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life."
|photo by Joan Marcus|
Picnic premiered on Broadway in 1953 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Roundabout Theatre Company has a long history with William Inge, having produced the last Broadway production of Picnic (1994), Come Back, Little Sheba (1983) and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1979).
Sam Gold is a resident director at Roundabout Theatre Company where his recent work includes Look Back in Anger (2012) and Tigers Be Still (2010). Reed Birney returns to Roundabout following his award-winning performances at Roundabout Underground in Tigers Be Still (2010) and The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011).
Lizbeth Mackay plays the off-stage voice of Helen Potts' mother, and serves as an understudy. Elizabeth Marvel was featured in the Off-Broadway Roundabout production of Misalliance in 1997. Madeleine Martin was last seen at Roundabout and the American Airlines Theatre in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (2003), and Chris Perfetti was in the cast of last season's award-winning premiere of Sons of the Prophet (2011).
For tickets and information, call (212) 719-1300 or visit roundabouttheatre.org.