Mike Ockrent directs an ensemble of seven for the American premiere of the intermissionless Paris comedy, La Terrasse, beginning previews May 18, toward a June 8 opening, at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II.
Mark O'Donnell adapted the script by Jean-Claude Carriere, about a couple splitting up amidst wild competition to rent their apartment. The title is French for The Terrace.
The Parisians are Tom Aldredge (1776, Passion, Into the Woods), Jeremy Davidson (DC's Nijinsky's Last Dance), Annie Golden (Assassins, On the Town), Margaret Hall (Sunday in the Park With George), Sarah Knowlton (On the Town), Bruce Norris (An American Daughter) and David Schramm (TV's "Wings," Roundabout's London Assurance).
Director Ockrent is best known for his sunny stagings of musicals Me and My Girl, Crazy For You, Big and the concert version of King David. He is director and co-conceiver of the upcoming musical, The Night They Raided Minsky's, by Charles Strouse and Susan Birkenhead, which is targeting Broadway in 2000.
Parisian Carriere is a prolific screenwriter and playwright whose best known films are "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," "The Tin Drum," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," "The Return of Martin Guerre," "Belle de Jour" and "That Obscure Object of Desire." He was nominated for a 1999 Moliere Award for La Controverse de Valladolid, a hit in 1998-99 in Paris. Peter Brook staged Carriere's expansive Mahabarata, the epic work of eastern myths, and was a longtime collaborator with the film director Luis Bunuel.
The staging is produced by special arrangement with Laura Pels Productions. Theatre benefactor and producer Laura Pels co-produced La Terrasse at the Theatre Antoine in Paris and had the play translated into English by O'Donnell, who collaborated with Bill Irwin on the Roundabout's Scapin and A Flea in Her Ear.
Manhattan Theatre Club is at City Center, 131 W. 55th St. (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). Single tickets (Stage I, $50; Stage II, $36) can be reserved by calling (212) 581-1212.
MTC offers $20 student tickets for all performances and $15 general admission passes for Stage II, both subject to availability.
* Meanwhile, on MTC's Stage I, Scott Elliott directs the American premiere of the London play, East is East, about the cross-cultural world of the children of a Pakistani father and an English mother, in London in 1971. Performances began May 4; opening is set for May 25.
-- By Kenneth Jones