In 1948 playwright A.R. Gurney, then a young boarding school student, traveled to New York where he attended a performance of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, going backstage afterwards to meet the production's star, the great stage actress Katharine Cornell, who was dubbed "The First Lady of the American Stage" by the legendary critic Alexander Woollcott. A mix of remembrance and imagination, THE GRAND MANNER is a love letter to this fabled actress and a heartfelt look back at the glorious heyday of the Broadway theater.
Kate Burton portrays Katharine Cornell with Boyd Gaines as her husband, director Guthrie Mcclintic, and Brenda Wehle as her general manager and confidant, Gert Macy. Bobby Steggert portrays Pete, playwright Gurney's fictional self.
THE GRAND MANNER has sets by John Arnone, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Russell H. Champa and original music and sound by John Gromada.
Playwright A.R. Gurney's many plays include Far East, Ancestral Voices and Big Bill, all produced by Lincoln Center Theater. Director Mark Lamos returns to Lincoln Center Theater where he directed Gurney's Big Bill as well as such past LCT productions as Shakespeare's Cymbeline and Measure for Measure, Sheridan's The Rivals and Edward Albee's Seascape.
THE GRAND MANNER plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets, priced at $80 and $85, are available at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65 Street) or by visiting telecharge.com or www.lct.org.
Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski