David Auburn's The New York Idea, a Slice of Manhattan's Upper Crust, Opens Jan. 26

News   David Auburn's The New York Idea, a Slice of Manhattan's Upper Crust, Opens Jan. 26
The Atlantic Theater Company world-premiere adaptation of The New York Idea, a play about social change and those who can and cannot adapt, opens Jan. 26 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.

Michael Countryman and Jaime Ray Newman
Michael Countryman and Jaime Ray Newman Photo by Ari Mintz

The ATC commission by Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn (Proof) will play to Feb. 26, representing a two-week extension. Inspired by Langdon Mitchell's 1906 comedy of social mores, the play — which Auburn has called an extensive rewrite of the source material — began performances Jan. 7 at the Lortel, which ATC is borrowing while its Chelsea mainstage undergoes renovation.

Under the direction of Mark Brokaw, Jaime Ray Newman (Geffen Playhouse's Some Girls and Fat Pig) makes her New York acting debut as Cynthia Karslake, who is at the center of Mitchell's original play.

The cast also includes Patricia Conolly, Michael Countryman, Francesca Faridany, Mikaela Feely-Lehmann, Rick Holmes, John Keating, Peter Maloney, Jaime Ray Newman, Patricia O'Connell, Jeremy Shamos, Joey Slotnick and Tom Patrick Stephens.

Here's how Atlantic bills the work: "Cynthia Karslake is a freewheeling young divorcee in 1906 New York City society. She has decided to settle down again into a much more stable, reliable relationship with the prominent Judge Philip Phillimore [played by Michael Countryman]. Little does she know, however, that neither of their impetuous and unpredictable ex-spouses, nor her beloved race horse Cynthia K is yet down for the count. In this sharp-tongued comedy, David Auburn sheds new light on a little known play from a century ago that offers a surprisingly contemporary look at social mores, status and attitudes about sex and divorce in upper crust New York."

Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Auburn's plays include Proof, An Upset and Amateurs and Skyscraper. He wrote the screenplays for the feature films "The Lake House" starring Sandra Bullock and "The Girl in the Park" starring Sigourney Weaver, which he also directed. He recently staged A Delicate Balance at The Berkshire Theatre Festival. Brokaw is currently represented Off-Broadway with his staging of The Language Archive. He has directed After Miss Julie, The Constant Wife, Reckless and the musical Cry-Baby on Broadway. Off-Broadway, he received Obie, Drama Desk and Lortel Awards for his direction of Paula Vogel's acclaimed play How I Learned to Drive, a Lortel Award for Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth and Lortel nominations for Lonergan's Lobby Hero and Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home.

The New York Idea features scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger and original music by Lewis Flinn.

The Lortel is at 121 Christopher Street. All tickets are $65 and available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (ticketcentral.com), in person at the Ticket Central box office or in person at the Atlantic Stage 2 box office located at 330 West 16th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).

Visit www.atlantictheater.org.

Patricia Conolly, Jaime Ray Newman, Michael Countryman and Joey Slotnick
Patricia Conolly, Jaime Ray Newman, Michael Countryman and Joey Slotnick
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