World Premiere of Jeff Daniels Comedy, Best of Friends, Opens Purple Rose's 20th Season

News   World Premiere of Jeff Daniels Comedy, Best of Friends, Opens Purple Rose's 20th Season
Best of Friends, a new play by film and stage actor Jeff Daniels, who is also a prolific playwright, gets its world premiere starting Oct. 14 by Michigan's Purple Rose Theatre Company, the Equity troupe founded by Daniels in his hometown of Chelsea.

Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels

The comedy is PRTC's 39th world premiere, and it opens the 20th anniversary season of the company, 60 miles west of Detroit. The ten-week engagement will play to Dec. 18. Opening is Oct. 22.

Daniels' 14th play is billed as "a wicked comedy set in a small Midwestern town." In it, "two middle-aged married couples — The Martins and the Porters — stand on the verge of becoming the best of friends. A perceived slight over dinner quickly devolves the blossoming relationship into an escalating game of one-upmanship to see which couple can devise a plan that will sever the relationship forever."

PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville directs Matthew David, Alex Leydenfrost, Michelle Mountain and Rhiannon Ragland.

The production team includes set designer Vincent Mountain, properties designer Danna Segrest, costume designer Sally L. Converse-Doucette, lighting designer Dana White and sound designer Quintessa Gallinat. Gregory Butka stage manages with Jessica Garrett as assistant stage manager.

Daniels, the film actor of Dumb and Dumber and The Purple Rose of Cairo, among others, appeared in the Broadway premiere of God of Carnage (in both male roles). His plays (seen in regional theatres beyond Purple Rose) include Shoe Man, The Tropical Pickle, The Vast Difference, Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Apartment 3A, Boom Town, Across The Way (2002 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Finalist), Norma & Wanda, Guest Artist (2006 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Runner-Up), Escanaba In Love, Panhandle Slim & The Oklahoma Kid and Escanaba. His four CDs are available for purchase at; proceeds benefit the PRTC. The Purple Rose Theatre Company's home is at 137 Park Street in Chelsea, MI. Tickets are available by phone at (734) 433-7673 or at

The cast of <i>Best of Friends</i>
The cast of Best of Friends Photo by Danna Segrest, courtesy of The Purple Rose Theatre Company
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