The world premiere of Rebecca Gilman's The American in Me opened in San Francisco June 15 to strong reviews, proving that the City by the Bay is not immune to the hot young playwright. The social satire, directed by Amy Glazer (Wyoming, Stonewall Jackson's House), will add two more performances at the Magic Theatre at 7:30 PM July 1 and July 8 (the closing night).
The American in Me tells of the lengths to which a contemporary couple will go to conceive a child, often with surprising consequences. When Ben and Jeannie realize nature is not going to grant them a baby, they turn to the fertility industry for help. While Jeannie denies that she has never grown up herself, her husband understands that there is a vast difference between what he has and what he wants. Surrounding the couple are the power-mad mother who heads up their childlessness support group, a weary executive endlessly delivering motivational seminars and Jeannie's father, who figures the only way to get his daughter what she wants is to harass Ben.
A longtime associate of Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Gilman has recently sent two of her Goodman plays to New York City - Spinning Into Butter, which played Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Stage; and Boy Gets Girl, which recently ended a run at Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also the author of Osborn Award winner The Glory of Living, The Land of Little Horses, My Sin and Nothing More and Blue Surge, which premieres at the Goodman Theatre this summer. Gilman will be in residence at the Magic during the play's run.
Jeff Parker plays Ben with Bethanny Alexander as Jeannie. Also in the cast are Anne Darragh (Winnie, the support group leader), Julian Lopez Morillas (Leeth, Jeannine's father), Robert Parsons, Richard Gallaghter, Nicole Fonarow, Laura Owen and Michael Ray Wisely.
Performances began June 8. The Magic Theatre is located in Building D at the Fort Mason Center on Marina Boulevard. For reservations, (415) 441 8822. The Magic Theatre is on line at http://www.magictheatre.org. — By Christine Ehren