Friday, January 29, 2010

Westport's 80th Season to Include 'Dinner with Friends'

The Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama Dinner with Friends by Connecticut’s own Donald Margulies will be the second production in the 2010 season at Westport Country Playhouse.

Scheduled for June 1-19, the play will be directed by David Kennedy, the playhouse's associate artistic director.

“Dinner with Friends” is about Gabe and Karen and Tom and Beth, two couples who have been close friends for years, and who participate in all the familiar and comfortable rituals of shared vacations, good conversation and great food. When Tom abruptly walks out on Beth, it threatens more than just their marriage alone. This vibrant and edgy contemporary play explores the difficulties of one couple surviving the other pair’s divorce.

“Dinner with Friends” also received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, the Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination. The play premiered at the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays and opened in New York in 1999.

Margulies’ works include Time Stands Still, which premieres on Broadway this week, and Collected Stories, which is set for a Broadway revival this spring.

This production will mark Kennedy's Westport Country Playhouse directing debut.

The performance schedule is Tuesday at 8 pm., Wednesday at 2 and 8 pm,Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 4 and 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm.

Westport Country Playhouse’s five-play 80th season will open with the musical comedy She Loves Me April 20 through May 8, with book by Joe Masterhoff, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director.

Dinner with Friends will be followed by Happy Days by Samuel Beckett July 6-24, directed by Lamos. The musical I Do! I Do! will be staged Aug. 10-28, written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. The timeless and powerful classic The Diary of Anne Frank by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, adapted by Wendy Kesselman, rounds out the season Sept. 28 through Oct. 16.

Subscriptions to all five plays are available for preferred seating and pricing. Single tickets range from $35 to $55; opening night tickets, including post-performance reception, are $65. Students and educators are eligible for 50% discounts. Groups of 10 or more save up to 30%. For group sales information call (203) 227-5137, x120.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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