Helen Gallagher Stars in William Gibson's Handy Dandy, Opening Dec. 9 in NYC

News   Helen Gallagher Stars in William Gibson's Handy Dandy, Opening Dec. 9 in NYC
A feisty nun and a conservative judge spar in the Manhattan revival of William Gibson's Handy Dandy, starring Helen Gallagher and Nicolas Surovy, Dec. 9-Jan. 4, 2004.
Helen Gallagher and Nicolas Surovy
Helen Gallagher and Nicolas Surovy

The play premiered in the 1984-85 season at Syracuse Stage, directed by Arthur Storch. Now, the Colleagues Theatre Company, devoted to works by and for senior people, brings the work back to life in the same season that Gibson's Golda's Balcony plays on Broadway. Gibson, who wrote Two for the Seesaw and The Miracle Worker, is 90.

Handy Dandy is a comedy-drama that "pits a feisty activist Nun against a troubled, conservative Judge, both in court and out."

Handy Dandy has been seen in regional productions, and in a past production with James Whitmore and Audra Lindley at the John Houseman Theater, presented by Eric Krebs.

Don Amendolia directs the revival at The Neighborhood Playhouse, 340 East 54th Street (between First and Second Avenues).

Opening night is Dec. 9 at 7 PM. The performance is a benefit for The Colleagues Theatre Company. Tickets are $100 for the show and post-performance reception. *

Gallagher is well known to daytime TV viewers as Maeve Ryan on "Ryan's Hope" (for which she won three Emmy Awards), but she is a two-time Tony Award winner, too, having worked first as a Broadway gypsy, dancing her way through Billion Dollar Baby and Brigadoon, moving into featured roles in High Button Shoes, Touch and Go, Make a Wish, Pal Joey (winning her fist Tony) and graduating to her first starring role, in Hazel Flagg. She also appeared in The Pajama Game, Sweet Charity (opposite Gwen Verdon, for which she was Tony nominated), Mame and No, No, Nanette (her second Tony Award).

The 77-year-old actress last season appeared in playwright Ain Gordon's "non-fiction play," Art, Life & Show Biz, in which she discussed her long career.

Surovy has appeared on Broadway in Night of the Iguana, You Can't Take It With You (also filmed for PBS), Major Barbara, The Merchant, Crucifer of Blood and The Robber Bridegroom.

Colleagues Theatre Company, which was created in 1996 to "identify and develop performance opportunities for the mature and seasoned actor." Catherine Wolf is artistic director.

Tickets are $19. There will be no performances on Dec. 16, 24, 25 or 31. For reservations call (212) 239-2996.

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