Stamp Collection Separates Sisters Pill and Finneran in Rebeck's Mauritius

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13 Sep 2007

Katie Finneran and Alison Pill star in <i>Mauritius</i>.
Katie Finneran and Alison Pill star in Mauritius.
Photo by Henry Leutwyler

Philately is not a subject often addressed on stage, but it's front and center at the Biltmore Theatre starting Sept. 13, when Manhattan Theatre Club begins performances of Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius.

Postage stamp collecting prompts the central conflict of what's billed as a "sinister comedy": Tony Award nominee Alison Pill and Tony winner Katie Finneran play Jackie and Mary, half-sisters whose mother's death leaves them in possession of a rare stamp collection. Gems from the collection come from the island country of Mauritius. But which sister actually owns the stamps?

And which of three men (Bobby Cannavale, F. Murray Abraham and Dylan Baker) will be entrusted with the stamps' sale?

This marks the Broadway debut of Rebeck, whose Bad Dates is a regional theatre sensation, and whose Omnium Gatherum, The Scene and The Water's Edge have been seen Off-Broadway. Omnium was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) directs Rebeck's play. Opening is Oct. 4. Tickets are on sale through Nov. 25.

Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) appeared in Blackbird for MTC Off-Broadway; Finneran earned laughs in Broadway's Noises Off revival (for which she won a Tony Award), and was seen in Pig Farm at the Roundabout Off-Broadway; Abraham won the Academy Award for playing Salieri in "Amadeus" and recently starred in The Jew of Malta Off-Broadway; Cannavale appeared in Hurlyburly Off-Broadway and on TV's "Will & Grace" (for which he won an Emmy); Baker was last seen on Broadway in La Bete, which earned him Tony and Drama Desk nominations.

Mauritius is a co-production with the Huntington Theatre Company, which recently received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production for the world-premiere production of the play. The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust supports new American plays at Manhattan Theatre Club.

Director Hughes was recently represented on Broadway with the Tony-nominated revival of Inherit The Wind starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer.

The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Paul Gallo (lighting design)and David Van Tieghem (original music and sound design).

Tickets to Mauritius are available by calling at (212) 239-6200, (800) 432-7250 outside the New York metro area, online at, and at the Biltmore Theatre box office, 261 W. 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. Tickets range in price from $46.50-91.50. Student ticketing is available. For information visit