Pankow and Maxwell Are Harried Marrieds in Shadow of Barbra's Wedding, Off-Bway Feb. 11

By Kenneth Jones
January 17, 2003

Daniel Stern's comic play, Barbra's Wedding, about the frazzled nerves of the neighbors of Barbra Streisand around the time of the star's famous recent wedding, will star John Pankow and Jan Maxwell in its New York debut, starting Feb. 11, at Off-Broadway's Westside Theatre.

The two-character play had its world premiere May 31-June 30, 2002, by the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and was directed by David Warren (Hobson's Choice, The Dazzle), who'll helm in New York, as well. Pankow and Julie White played a married couple on the edge in the Philly run.

The New York production is produced by Dodger Stage Holding & Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC offers the play to its subscribers as part of the 2002-03 season). Barbra's Wedding settles into the longtime home of The Vagina Monologues. The Stern play has its official opening March 5.

Playwright Stern is best known as a film actor who appeared in the Academy Award-winning Breaking Away and Diner, Home Alone and City Slickers. This is his playwriting debut.

In Barbra's Wedding, according to the producers, "celebrity-obsessed unemployed actor and former television star Jerry Schiff (played by Pankow) lives next door to the most famous woman in the world, Barbra Streisand; she is getting married and he has not been invited. This revelation triggers a madcap, comic reflection on the media culture of celebrity, including the reverberations on his own marriage to wife Molly (played by Maxwell)."

John Pankow (Jerry) might be best known for playing Ira on TV's "Mad About You," and has appeared on Broadway in Amadeus (Mozart), in Jose Quintero's production of The Iceman Cometh (Rocky), and Caryl Churchill's Serious Money (Zac). Off Broadway credits include Aristocrats (Clarence Derwent Award), Cloud Nine, The Tempest, Measure For Measure and Forty Deuce (Downtown Villager Award).

Jan Maxwell (Molly) was recently seen in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of the plays House and Garden. Her most recent stage appearance was in My Old Lady Off-Broadway and she was last seen on Broadway in The Dinner Party. Also on Broadway, Maxwell played the Baroness in the recent revival of The Sound of Music for which she received an Outer Critics Circle nomination.

Designers are Neil Patel (sets), David C. Woolard (costumes), Jeff Croiter (lighting) and Fitz Patton (sound).

Performances are 8 PM Tuesdays-Fridays, 2:30 and 8 PM Saturdays, 3 and 7:30 PM Sundays.

The Westside Theatre is at 407 W. 43rd Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. All tickets are $60 and are available via Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200.

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Philadelphia Theatre Company, now in its 27th season, is Philadelphia's only non-profit professional theatre dedicated to producing regional and world premieres of works by contemporary American playwrights. Sara Garonzik is artistic director.