Amy Rosenthal's Sitting Pretty may be about a sister-sister relationship, but the North American premiere of the play is bringing together a mother-daughter partnership. Respected British actor Maureen Lipman steps into her daughter Amy's play, March 7 for the final five performances (through March 11). She replaces Tanny McDonald as Nina, who leaves Sitting Pretty for a prior commitment outside New York.
Lipman's most recent stage appearance was as Aunt Eller in the successful London staging of Oklahoma! at the National Theatre. Her films include "Captain Jack," "Carry on Columbus," "A Little Princess" and "Educating Rita," for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Award from BAFTA, Britain's Academy Awards.
Broadway's Marc Jacoby (Ragtime, The Phantom of the Opera) and Drama Desk nominee Aviva Jane Carlin (Jodie's Body) also star in the show, playing since Feb. 14 at the Hypothetical Theatre Company's space at the New 14th Street Y.
Jacoby created the role of Father in Ragtime, as well as playing Ravenal in the most recent revival of Show Boat and the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. He won a Theater World Award for his Broadway debut as Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity with Debbie Allen and Ann Reinking.
Sitting Pretty is the story of the middle-aged Nancy (Carlin), who, after being down-sized (despite being plus-sized herself), becomes an nude model for a figurative art class and discovers the beautiful, creative force within. She is contrasted with her sister Nina, whose superficial confidence disguises a bitter woman angry with her National Gallery art guide career and a love affair which ended painfully in her 20's. Jacoby plays a Casanova-esque art teacher suffering from painter's block. The twenty-six-year-old Rosenthal is the daughter of British screen and television writer Jack Rosenthal and British actress Maureen Lipman. Her other plays include Lifeliness, Henna Night and Jerusalem Syndrome. Sitting Pretty premiered at the Chelsea Center in 1999.
Joining Lipman, Carlin and Jacoby in the cast are John O'Creagh, Lina Rosesller, Danna Chaifetz, Marilyn Bernard, Kate Konigisor, Charles Major and Nathan M. White.
The Sitting Pretty design team features Mark Symczak (sets), Rych Curtiss (lighting), Melissa Schlachtmeyer (costumes) and Tim Cramer (sound).
Tickets are $15 in advance, $19 at the door. The New 14th Street Y is located at 344 East 14th Street. For reservations, call (212) 206-1515. The Hypothetical Theatre Company is on the web at http://www.hypotheticaltheatre.org.
—By Christine Ehren