Michael Emerson, Stephen Belber and Katie Firth will lend their skills to the American premiere of French playwright Jean Luc Legarce's poignant swan song, Only the End of the World. The play will be presented by Company Charniere in association with Sherri Kotimsky at Off-Broadway's Theatre 3, Aug. 1-24.
Legarce wrote End of the World in 1990, four years after he was diagnosed with AIDS. He died in 1995. The play is considered autobiographical. It concerns a man's return to his hometown and family. He wants to tell them about the illness that will kill him. But his arrival unearths so many repressed grievances that he is forced to sit quietly while his mother and siblings unpack and air the anger and sorrow built up over many years. Finally, he leaves without having accomplished his task.
Company Charniere produced Finally, which was written by Belber and starred Firth. Firth was more recently seen in the Keen Company's production of Museum. Emerson was Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency and last season played opposite Kate Burton in Hedda Gabler. Also in the cast are Sandra Shipley, of the Roundabout's The Deep Blue Sea and Arms and the Man; and Jennifer Mudge. Lucie Tiberghien directs.
Tickets are $15. Theatre 3 is located at 311 W. 43rd St. For information, call (212) 252-4437.
—By Robert Simonson