Abbott & Holm's Three Men on a Horse and Vaclav Havel's Memorandum Will Get NYC Revivals by TACT

News   Abbott & Holm's Three Men on a Horse and Vaclav Havel's Memorandum Will Get NYC Revivals by TACT
TACT/The Actors Company Theatre, the Off-Broadway company devoted to neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, will present Vaclav Havel's The Memorandum in the fall, followed by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm's Three Men on a Horse in spring 2011.

TACT Co-artistic directors Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris and Simon Jones announced the 2010-11 season on July 27. Evans (Incident at Vichy, The Cocktail Party) will direct the spring comedy, and TACT associate producer Jenn Thompson (The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) will direct the fall satire. TACT presents its mainstage shows at The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row on West 42nd Street.

Opening the season Oct. 25-Nov. 27 is The Memorandum, one of the most popular plays by playwright, former political prisoner and the first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel. Opening is Nov. 4.

According to TACT, "When the managing director of an enormous corporation discovers that all office communications are suddenly being written in 'Ptydepe,' a newly invented and impossibly complicated language, his attempts to get one memo translated lead him through an increasingly ridiculous maze of red tape."

TACT is staging the play's first major Off-Broadway revival in over 40 years. First written in 1960, the play was revised over the years and became the second of Havel's plays produced at Prague's Theatre of the Balustrade, where he was then literary manager. The play had its American debut in 1968 as part of Joseph Papp's inaugural season at The Public Theater, winning an Obie Award for Best Foreign Play. It was first produced in London in 1977 and revived in 1995.

Three Men on a Horse (March 14-April 16, 2011) is billed as a "dizzy and delightful Depression-era comedy." Opening night is March 23, 2011. In it, according to TACT, "Hen-pecked greeting-card writer, Erwin Trowbridge, has an uncanny ability for predicting the winners of horse races. For Erwin it's just a hobby, but when his extraordinary talent is discovered by a down-and-out pack of gamblers, Erwin suddenly finds himself very far from his safe suburban home in Ozone Heights."

Three Men on a Horse has had four Broadway productions since it debuted at the Playhouse Theatre in January 1935. It played there to November 1936 before transferring to the Fulton Theatre to complete its run of 835 performances. The original cast included Garson Kanin, Shirley Booth and Sam Levene. The most recent Broadway run was produced by the National Actors Theatre in 1993. In the spring of 1987, the play was presented at the Royal National Theatre and because it was the first time it was produced in London, it was eligible for nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy — and it won.

TACT presented a concert performance of Three Men on a Horse in 1998 at its first home, The New-York Historical Society.

The cast and creative team for both productions will be announced at a later date.

The Memorandum and Three Men on a Horse will both have the following performance schedule: Monday, Wednesday-Friday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $20-$56.25 and will be available through They may also be obtained at the Theatre Row box office (410 W. 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues) noon-8 PM daily.

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TACT's company of actors was drawn together in 1992 "by a love of the literature of the theatre." After presenting 13 seasons of "in-concert" performances, the company took a leap with its 2006-07 season by presenting fully staged productions of David Storey's Home and The Sea by Edward Bond at The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. TACT became a resident company on Theatre Row with its 2007-08 season when they presented The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale by Tennessee Williams, which The New York Times included in its Top 10 Theatre Picks for 2008. The company's productions of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce, Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy, and last season's The Late Christopher Bean and The Cocktail Party followed.

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