Sin and the City — Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner Reunite Onstage

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18 Nov 2013

Michael Stahl-David and Sarah Jessica Parker
Michael Stahl-David and Sarah Jessica Parker
Photo by Joan Marcus

Sarah Jessica Parker returns to the New York stage for the first time in 12 years in Amanda Peet's new play The Commons of Pensacola.


Is there life after sex and the not-so-single city girl? Yes, and, if you're Sarah Jessica Parker, it's called motherhood. And film producer. And ballet board member. And member of the Presidential Committee on Arts and Humanities. And bag and shoe designer. And, in at least one instance — Manolo Blahnik's line of The SJP shoe.

"I tend to do many things at once," understated Parker. "I've been working on a shoe collection. I have a company that produces for HBO, and right now we're in the middle of producing a documentary series on the New York City Ballet. I'm on the board of the NYCB and work a lot with the Presidential Committee on Arts and Humanities. And I have three children to take care of."

What we haven't seen lately is actress. Save for some "Glee" guest shots, a voiceover in "Escape from Planet Earth," and a couple of star-turns in all-star film-clusters, she hasn't acted much since the two movie spinoffs of her hit "Sex and the City" series.

She hasn't been seen on a NYC stage in 12 years, either — not since she trod Manhattan Theatre Club's City Center Stage I in Wonder of the World. Now, she's returning to that same stage to star in The Commons of Pensacola, currently in previews for a Nov. 21 opening. It's directed by MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow, who first hired Parker for a Charles Strouse musical revue, By Strouse, in 1977.

Making it even more like Old Home Week, she will be playing opposite Blythe Danner. They last appeared together 18 years ago on that same stage as unconventional rivals for Charles Kimbrough's attention and affection in A.R. Gurney's delightful Sylvia. Parker played the title role, a cunning canine that comes between the couple.

"That play was a very special experience for me," Parker recalled, "so I'm really excited about working again with Blythe, whom I have continued to know pretty well over the years. I think that she'll bring all sorts of great qualities to this role."

One thing Danner will bring are the graceful, patrician airs of an actress who had once been Tracy Lord of well-heeled Main Line in The Philadelphia Story on Broadway. A similar air surrounds her Judith in Pensacola, who, by any other name, is Ruth Madoff after the fall — having fled, humiliated, to a tiny Florida retirement condo, The Commons.


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