Well, Kron's Play About a Mother, a Daughter and a Precarious Fourth Wall, Has Broadway Plans

News   Well, Kron's Play About a Mother, a Daughter and a Precarious Fourth Wall, Has Broadway Plans
An Equity casting notice indicates that Lisa Kron's well-reviewed play, Well — featuring the actress-writer Kron in a comic meta-theatrical journey to understand her mother's chronic illness — will begin Broadway performances in March 2006.
Lisa Kron in Well at The Public Theater in 2004.
Lisa Kron in Well at The Public Theater in 2004. Photo by Michal Daniel

In May 2005, producer Elizabeth McCann (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) told Playbill.com she was hoping to bring the theatrical, comic and bittersweet play back to Gotham.

"We just got the final rewrite from Lisa Kron," she told Playbill.com May 11. "We had it out at San Francisco at ACT. Now she's made the last changes and they're very, very good."

The so-called "solo show with other people" had an acclaimed and extended run at The Public Theater March 16-May 16, 2004, and the played San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre in February 2005.

McCann earlier said she was considering both Broadway and Off-Broadway as a possible home, though she added, "Both places are pretty treacherous to new writers right now."

The fresh casting notice indicates that McCann will partner with Scott Rudin to bring the work to the Longacre Theatre, recent home to Virginia Woolf starting on or around March 10, 2006, toward an opening on or about March 30. Leigh Silverman will again direct, as she did at the Public and at ACT. Kron will again play herself, and Jayne Houdyshell, who won an Obie Award for playing Lisa's exhausted and lumpy mother, Ann Kron, will bring the performance to Broadway.

According to the casting notice, "Well is Lisa Kron's journey into her past. It's about her mother, her well-being and the alternate universe your parents live in where your therapy has no power. The play asks the question: Are we responsible for our own well-being? The answers Kron gets are much more complicated than she bargained for as the play spins dangerously out of control into riotously funny and unexpected territory of deconstructed theatre. The actors critique the script, her mother keeps interjecting her own homespun opinions, and Kron finds herself in the middle of a comedic coup d'état."

In Well, Kron (who is known for her works for one performer — herself) leads the audience through stories of her childhood and family. This time, however, the solo actress surrounds herself with a cast — who portray various characters — and her barrier-breaking mother. Mom is a socially progressive and seemingly hypochondriacal woman who both fascinates and frustrates her daughter—and occasionally sabotages Lisa's own play by winning over the other actors and talking directly to the audience.

Casting for the four other actors (two women, two men in multiple roles — including "themselves") is apparently ongoing.

The play is introduced as wanting to be about the nature being "well," but as she explores the history of her own past illnesses — which were apparently allergies – Kron creates a vivid portrait of her lethargic mother who (despite health issues) helped bring smooth social change to their neighborhood in Lansing, MI. (the neighborhood was a model of racial integration for its time).

Some observed that Well was a unique view of the mysterious nature of parent-child relationships, and about integrating parents into one's own life.

Playwright-performer Kron has also penned 2.5 Minute Ride and 101 Humiliating Stories. As an actress, she has appeared in The Vagina Monologues and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.

As part of the theatre group The Five Lesbian Brothers, Kron appeared in Oedipus at Palm Springs at New York Theatre Workshop in August. The play was a take on the Greek tragedy set during a vacation for two lesbian couples.


To view at 2004 interview with Lisa Kron, who discusses the creation of Well, click here.

L-R, Jayne Houdyshell and Lisa Kron in <i>Well</i> at The Public Theater in 2004.
L-R, Jayne Houdyshell and Lisa Kron in Well at The Public Theater in 2004. Photo by Michal Daniel
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