Picnic Spreads Its Blanket on Broadway Starting Dec. 14
By Kenneth Jones
Picnic, William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of small-town folk yearning for what's beyond, returns to Broadway starting Dec. 14 in a Roundabout Theatre Company production starring Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Marvel and Ellen Burstyn as three of the many locals aroused by the arrival of a stranger.
Directed by Sam Gold, the production will officially open Jan. 13, 2013, at the American Airlines Theatre on West 42nd Street. Performances will continue through Feb. 24.
The cast features Reed Birney as Howard Bevans, Maggie Grace as ready-to-blossom Madge Owens, Elizabeth Marvel as Rosemary Sydney, Sebastian Stan as Hal Carter (the drifter who stirs up urges), Mare Winningham as Flo Owens and Ellen Burstyn as Helen Potts, with Madeleine Martin (Millie Owens), Ben Rappaport (Alan Seymour), Cassie Beck (Christine Schoenwalde), Maddie Corman (Irma Kronkite) and Chris Perfetti (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."
The creative team includes Andrew Lieberman (sets), David Zinn (costumes), Jane Cox (lights), Jill BC Du Boff (sound) and Chase Brock (choreography).
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). Elizabeth Marvel was featured in the Off-Broadway 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.
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