Jennifer Westfeldt, John McMartin and Lorenzo Pisoni Star in New Comedy The Explorers Club, Opening June 20

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20 Jun 2013

Jennifer Westfeldt
Jennifer Westfeldt
Joan Marcus

The Explorers Club, the Manhattan Theatre Club world premiere of Nell Benjamin's new play starring Jennifer Westfeldt, John McMartin and Lorenzo Pisoni, opens Off-Broadway June 20 following previews that began May 28 at New York City Center Stage I.

The comedy, which addresses various forms of exclusion and prejudice, features the madcap adventures of a group of London-based explorers, who search for escaped cobras and avoid the possibility of international war.

Marc Bruni, who directed the recent Encores! concerts of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream and Harold Rome's Fanny, as well as Off-Broadway's Ordinary Days and Old Jews Telling Jokes, stages the comedy that runs through July 21.

In addition to Tony nominee Westfeldt ("Kissing Jessica Stein," Wonderful Town), Tony nominee McMartin (Grey Gardens, Follies) and Pisoni (Equus, Humor Abuse), the cast includes Brian Avers (Rock 'n' Roll), Max Baker (Cyrano DeBergerac), Steven Boyer (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Arnie Burton (Peter and the Starcatcher), Carson Elrod (All in the Timing) and David Furr (The Importance of Being Earnest).

Here's how it's billed: "London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president (Pisoni) wants to admit a woman (Westfeldt), and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship."



Benjamin was one of the writers of the musicals Legally Blonde, Cam Jansen and Sarah, Plain and Tall, among other projects.

The creative team includes Tony winner Donyale Werle (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Philip S. Rosenberg (lighting design), Tony winner Darron L. West (sound design), Tony nominee Laurence O'Keefe (original music), Tom Watson (hair and wig design) and Angelina Avallone (makeup design).

New York City Center Box Office is at 131 W. 55th Street. For tickets, call CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or visit nycitycenter.org. For more information on MTC, visit ManahattanTheatreClub.com.


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The cast of The Explorers Club
Photo by Joan Marcus