Blythe Danner Books 'The Country House' on Broadway
NEW YORK -- Having scored strong reviews last year starring opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in The Commons of Pensacola for Manhattan Theatre Club, Blythe Danner will return to the stage next season in the same company's Broadway premiere of Donald Margulies' new play, The Country House.
The Chekhov-inspired comedy follows a weekend of romance, jealousy and soul searching at a Berkshires summer house during the Williamstown Theatre Festival, with Danner playing the matriarch of a family of creative artists who have found varying degrees of fame. Representing an intersection between art and life, Danner has a long association with Williamstown, where the actress scored one of her early career successes starring opposite Frank Langella in Chekhov's The Seagull.
Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the new play is a co-production between MTC and The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, where a premiere engagement is scheduled this summer, running June 3 to July 13. Broadway previews begin Sept. 9 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with official opening set for Oct. 2.
Margulies currently is represented off-Broadway with a revival of his 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner, Dinner With Friends. The Country House marks his 10th production for MTC, which in recent seasons staged Time Stands Still, starring Laura Linney, and a revival of Collected Stories, with Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson.
Two off-Broadway premieres also have been announced for MTC next season. First up is Lost Lake, a new work from Pulitzer-winning Proof playwright David Auburn, which also will be directed by Sullivan. Revolving around two strangers seeking a connection in an imperfect world, it takes place in a shabby lakeside rental where a woman in need of a getaway for herself and her children encounters a man with problems of his own.
That play begins previews Oct. 21 for a Nov. 11 opening at New York City Center Stage I.
It will be followed at the same venue by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's The World of Extreme Happiness, a co-production with Chicago's Goodman Theatre, directed by Eric Ting. A darkly comic portrait of a woman determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city, the play premieres at the Goodman Sept. 13 to Oct. 12 before the MTC run, which starts previews Feb. 3 for a Feb. 24 opening.
Full casts for all three plays will be announced at a later date.