Fashion Turns Brutal in The Maids, Starring Cate Blanchett, Opening Tonight at City Center

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08 Aug 2014

Elizabeth Debicki and Cate Blanchett in <i>The Maids</i>
Elizabeth Debicki and Cate Blanchett in The Maids
Photo by Lisa Tomasetti

The Sydney Theatre Company production of The Maids, the psychological Jean Genet stage drama about power and class that stars Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, officially opens Aug. 8 after previews that began Aug. 6 as part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival.

Directed by Benedict Andrews, The Maids arrives in New York after a June 2013 engagement in Sydney. The limited, 13-performance engagement continues through Aug. 16 at New York City Center. High ticket demand for the production prompted Lincoln Center Festival to add an additional 2 PM matinee on Aug. 9.

"The challenge with Genet is to not smooth over the dangerous, often ugly, underbelly of his work," Blanchett told Playbill. "His obsession with murder, death, claustrophobia, brutality, dominance and submission. That's why it was so exciting to work on a new adaptation, which was at once brutal, shocking, lyrical and poetic." Read the full interview here.

The Maids features Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine," A Streetcar Named Desire) and Isabelle Huppert as servants Claire and Solange, with Elizabeth Debicki as Madame.

The staging has production design by Alice Babidge and lighting design by Nick Schlieper.

Here's how it's billed: "The play is set in a glamorous apartment crammed with flowers. Two maids, Claire and Solange (Blanchett and Huppert), are nearing the end of their psychological tether. Each night the sisters play a deadly game, or ceremony, creating their own theater in which they take turns playing the role of their mistress (Debicki)."

Tickets are available by phoning CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, online at, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, 65th Street and Broadway, and at the New York City Center Box Office, 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.