Comedic actress Nancy Opel, who came to New York attention in David Ives’ Mere Mortals and has since appeared in Triumph of Love and Encores!’ On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever, costars with Merwin Goldsmith and Richmond Hoxie in Joe Orton’s dark farce Loot at New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse. The production, directed by company associate artistic director Wendy Liscow, began previews March 25, officially opened March 29 and ends its scheduled run April 23.
The loot of the farce's title is a stash of cash acquired in a bank robbery by friends Hal and Dennis. In order to protect himself from a snooping detective, Hal plots the perfect hiding place for his ill-gotten gains -- his mother's coffin.
Author Orton is best known for his farcical comedies, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and What the Butler Saw, and for being murdered in 1967 by his lover at the height of his career.
Joining Goldsmith (Grand Hotel) and Hoxie (I’m Not Rappaport) in Loot at George Street are Christopher O’Brien and Greg McFadden. Designing the show are R. Michael Miller (sets), Robert Jared (lighting), Karen A. Ledger (costumes) and Chris Bailey (sound).
Tickets, which are still available for all remaining performances, run $22-$40 and available by calling George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, at (732) 246-7717. *
Next up at George Street will be the regional premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Ancestral Voices, with previews beginning April 29 for an opening May 3 and a run through May 28. Artistic director David Saint will stage the piece, which ends its Off-Broadway premiere at Lincoln Center April 3. As with the New York production, the George Street mounting will use rotating casts each week. Casting announcements are expected to begin in early April.
Meanwhile, director Saint is in Florida keeping another George Street mounting together: Anne Meara’s Down the Garden Paths. The show is eyeing New York hungrily but, owing to a theatre logjam, can’t yet find a Broadway or Off-Broadway house for its transfer. In the interim, the full George Street Playhouse/Long Wharf Theatre cast is doing the show at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, March 24-26 and Palm Beach’s Royal Poinciana, March 28-April 2. “It’s a waiting game,” George Street spokesperson Gabriel Shanks told Playbill On-Line.
-- By David Lefkowitz