Betty's Summer Vacation, Christopher Durang's new play about a summer share gone terribly wrong, opens Off-Broadway March 14 at Playwrights Horizons' Anne Wilder Theatre.
Nicholas Martin (Full Gallop, Bosoms and Neglect) directs Kellie Overbey as Betty, who unknowingly shares a beachside place with an abuse victim, a serial killer, a sex addict and an exhibitionist. Insiders who have seen previews suggest the play is Durang (Baby With the Bathwater, Beyond Therapy, The Marriage of Bette and Boo) at his most wicked, funny and offensive. Others, offended, left the show early.
Previews began Feb. 19; performances continue to March 28.
The cast includes Guy Boyd (Sex and Longing), Geneva Carr, Jack Ferver, Julie Lund, Kristine Nielsen (Dog Opera), Godfrey L. Simmons Jr. and Troy Sostillio (Corpus Christi, Gross Indecency).
Overbey recently appeared in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company Broadway production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child. Designers are Thomas Lynch (scenic), Michael Krass (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Kurt B. Kellenberger (sound).
Durang's last major New York play was in October 1996, with Broadway's Sex and Longing starring Guy Boyd, Sigourney Weaver and Dana Ivey.
Sex and Longing also dealt with sex addiction, along with American Puritanism and governmental and religious hypocrisy. The Lincoln Center production was not embraced by critics and had a short run at Broadway's Cort Theatre.
Other works by the playwright, whose comedies often push the dark limits of farce, include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Actor's Nightmare, Nina in the Morning, Wanda's Visit, A Stye of the Eye, Mrs. Sorken and History of the American Film.
In addition to Full Gallop, Martin has directed The Rehearsal at the Roundabout Theatre Company and Overtime at Manhattan Theatre Club. In summer 1998, he piloted both The Matchmaker and Jonathan Marc Sherman's new Evolution at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Betty's Summer Vacation tickets are $37.50. For information, call (212) 279-4200.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz