Hit Play Mrs. Farnsworth Mulls Extra Performances, Future

News   Hit Play Mrs. Farnsworth Mulls Extra Performances, Future
Prior to the April 7 opening of her latest project, A.R. Gurney's Mrs. Farnsworth, actress Sigourney Weaver told Playbill On-Line of her hopes the show will transfer to another space. "I hope that perhaps we'll be scooped up and put in a small theatre elsewhere," she said, "so that we can continue to do the play a while longer."

Weaver and company woke April 8 to positive notices from the Times, Post, Variety and elsewhere, making her wish a real possibility. A spokesperson for the Flea said talk of a move to a commercial space was premature, but confirmed that the company had begun speaking to potential producing partners.

The Flea is also considering tacking on additional performances to the run, which is sold out and ends on May 8. The Gurney play cannot extend, as the space is booked by an upcoming show. Weaver and Lithgow—the venture's primary draws—are said to be committed to the project and want to see it continue.

In the comedy, set at a creative writing workshop, the title character Mrs. Farnsworth shares with the class the opening to her in-the-works novel about an old lover. Upon further exploration into the plot, the lover begins to resemble a certain successful Republican from a privileged family. Lithgow plays Weaver's disapproving husband.

If the show did continue through the summer, it would become more topical with every day. The Republican National Convention will be held in New York City Aug. 28-Sept. 2.

Also in the cast are Danny Burstein, as Gordon, Mrs. Farnsworth's writing instructor, Kate Benson, Fernando Gambaroni and Tarajia Morrell. The piece is directed by Jim Simpson, artistic director of The Flea Theatre and Weaver's husband. Weaver and Simpson have teamed frequently of late, in such plays as The Guys.

(To read the full interview with Weaver, visit Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter section or click here.)

Political theatre has done well in New York in recent weeks. Tim Robbins' satire about the war in Iraq, Embedded, extended its sold-out run despite tepid reviews. Mrs. Farnsworth sold out its run before its opened.

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