Veanne Cox, Margaret Colin, Michael Countryman, Daniel Gerroll and Nicholas Woodeson are among those who'll be mingling in and out of Manhattan Theatre Club's staging of Alan Ayckbourn's unusual concurrent plays, House and Garden, works that have the same cast running between two venues to show what's happening indoors and outdoors during a party.
Stagings of the plays in other cities, such as Chicago, became the must-see events of the season, as theatregoers were hungry to witness what seemed like a logistical nightmare. At MTC, the true stars of the show just might be production stage managers James Fitzsimmons (House) and Barclay Stiff (Garden).
Performing simultaneously at MTC's Stage I and Stage II at City Center on 55th Street will be Woodeson, Colin, Cox, Countryman, Carson Elrod, Gerroll, Patricia Connolly, Laura Marie Duncan, John Curless, Ellen Parker, Bryce Dallas Howard, James A. Stephens, Olga Sosnovska and Sharon Washington.
John Tillinger directs. The production begin performances April 26. Opening Night is May 21.
According to MTC, in House, "Teddy Platt (Woodeson) is a wealthy industrialist in line to become a Member of Parliament. His wife Trish (Colin) isn't speaking to him because of his multiple infidelities. Mayhem erupts when Lucille (Sosnovska), a French film star, arrives to open the town garden fete, which the Platts are hosting. Garden focuses on the Platts' neighbors, Giles (Countryman) and Joanne Mace (Cox), whose marriage is dissolving while two bumbling caterers, Barry (Curless) and Lindy Love (Parker) wreak havoc, a backyard tent collapses, and Lucille (the French film star), has had a little too much to drink." The design team includes John Lee Beatty (scenic), Jane Greenwood (costume), Duane Schuler (lighting) and Bruce Ellman (sound). The productions feature original music by John Pattison.
The performance schedule for House and Garden is 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday, with 2:30 PM matinees. Sunday performances are at 2:30 PM and 7 PM. Tickets for House ($60) and Garden ($50) can be reserved by calling (212) 581-1212. For group ticket information, call (212) 399-3000, ext. 134. Student tickets at $20 are on sale for all performances based on availability, one hour before showtime (limit four per student with valid identification). Call (212) 581-1212 for further information, or visit manhattantheatreclub.com.
— By Kenneth Jones