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SpeakEasy Stage Company presents Craig Lucas’ ‘Reckless’


'Reckless' graphic, courtesy of SpeakEasy Stage Company.

'Reckless' graphic, courtesy of SpeakEasy Stage Company.

Yes, Virginia, there is something new onstage in Boston this holiday season.

From November 13-December 12, 2009, SpeakEasy Stage will proudly present the Boston Professional Premiere of Craig Lucas’ hit Broadway comedy Reckless.

Hailed by The New York Times as “a bittersweet Christmas fable for our times,” Reckless is a darkly comic tale about a modern day Alice trying to find her way in a perilous winter wonderland. The plot follows a young woman named Rachel who, when suddenly forced to flee her home on Christmas Eve, embarks on a series of outrageous adventures that test her belief that it is indeed a wonderful life.

Reckless is just one of many acclaimed works by the prolific Craig Lucas, whose plays include Missing Persons, Blue Window, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, This Thing of Darkness (with David Schulner), Small Tragedy, Prayer For My Enemy and The Singing Forest. His screenplays include Longtime Companion, The Secret Lives of Dentists, Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and The Dying Gaul, the last of which he also directed. Lucas also wrote the book for the musical The Light in the Piazza. He is the Associate Artistic Director for the Intiman Theatre in Seattle.

2009 Norton Award-winner Marianna Bassham (Blackbird) will play Rachel in the SpeakEasy production, which will also feature popular Boston actors Barlow Adamson, Larry Coen, Kerry A. Dowling, Sandra Heffley, Will McGarrahan, Karl Baker Olson and Paula Plum.

Scott Edmiston will helm the project, his sixth for SpeakEasy. Mr. Edmiston’s other SpeakEasy credits include Lucas’s The Light in the Piazza, which received the 2008 IRNE Award for Best Musical; The History Boys, honored with two 2009 Elliot Norton Awards including Outstanding Director; Five by Tenn, lauded with five 2006 Elliot Norton Awards including Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production; and The Women, which received five 2007 IRNE Awards including Best Director and Best Production.

The design team includes Cristina Todesco (scenic design), Charles Schoonmaker (costume design), Karen Perlow (lighting design), and Dewey Dellay (original music & sound design).

Reckless will be performed in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s historic South End.

Ticket prices run from $30-$50 with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call 617-933-8600 or visit SpeakEasyStage.com.

Reckless went through a few incarnations before landing on Broadway.

An early version of the play had its New York City premiere thanks to The Production Company (Norman René, Artistic Director; Abigail Franklin, Managing Director) in 1983, directed by Norman René. That version was also staged in 1985 at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, California, and in 1987 at the Atlantic Theatre Company.

In 1988, a new version of the work, again directed by Mr. René, debuted Off-Broadway at Circle Repertory Company, where it played 125 performances.

After numerous regional productions, Reckless finally made it to Broadway in 2004, with a cast headed by Tony Award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker. The play was jointly produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage and ran for 77 performances.

Reckless was also made into a feature film in 1995 starring Mia Farrow.

For the Boston Premiere production of Reckless, Scott Edmiston has assembled some of Boston’s finest actors, including (in alphabetical order):

Barlow Adamson (Tom/Ensemble) has appeared in numerous SpeakEasy productions, including Fuddy Meers; Theater District; and Almost, Maine. A veteran Boston actor, Mr. Adamson has also appeared in productions at the Lyric Stage, the Huntington, Gloucester Stage Company, Worcester Foothills and the Nora. He has also directed for the Mill 6 Collaborative.

Marianna Bassham (Rachel) won the 2009 Norton Award for her unforgettable performance in SpeakEasy’s 2009 production of Blackbird. Ms. Bassham’s other recent credits include Quills, Tartuffe, A Streetcar Named Desire, Silence, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (New Rep); The Tempest, Hamlet, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and The Merchant of Venice (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Miss Witherspoon and Talley’s Folly (The Lyric); Antigone (The Nora); The Heidi Chronicles (Gloucester Stage); and Little Black Dress (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre).

Larry Coen (Lloyd) is a Norton Award-winning actor who appeared in the SpeakEasy productions of The Seafarer and The Last Sunday in June. He also directed Ruthless! for the company in 2003. 2009 credits include two World Premieres by Tennessee Williams; Comedy of Errors for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Shear Madness; and Of Mice and Mink for Gold Dust Orphans. Mr. Coen is also Artistic Director of City Stage Company which provides free arts education for urban youth.

Kerry A. Dowling (Pooty/Ensemble) has appeared in numerous SpeakEasy productions, including Jerry Springer – The Opera, Bat Boy: The Musical, and Company, for which she won a 2005 IRNE Award. Other Boston credits include Follies (Lyric Stage), Into the Woods (New Rep), A Man of No Importance (Súgán/SpeakEasy), Pal Joey (Stoneham Theatre), Gypsy, Anything Goes, and She Loves Me (Fiddlehead Theatre). Kerry has performed with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and is featured on the recordings Oz and Beyond, and Razzle Dazzle.

Sandra Heffley, (Trish/Derelict/Ensemble) returns to SpeakEasy after roles in The Women and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Ms. Heffley also directed Edward Albee’s Seascape and Marsha Norman’s ‘night, Mother for the Alley Theatre; and Holly Hughes’ The Well of Horniness and Claudia Allen’s Movie Queens for the Triangle Theater. On television, Ms. Heffley played Lee Kantor in the award-winning lesbian soap opera Two in Twenty.

Will McGarrahan (Roy/Tim Timko/Ensemble) is a SpeakEasy veteran, having appeared in such productions as The Wrestling Patient (co-produced with Boston Playwrights’ and Forty Magnolias); Some Men; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Five By Tenn; The Last Sunday In June; Elegies: A Song Cycle; Ruthless!; A Class Act; End of the World Party and A New Brain. Other local credits include Grey Gardens, November, Souvenir and Dirty Blonde at Lyric Stage; Billy Bishop Goes to War, The Wind in the Willows and Happy Days at Gloucester Stage; and Buried Child at the Nora Theatre.

Karl Baker Olson (Ensemble/Student) was last seen at SpeakEasy in The History Boys. A recent graduate of Boston University, Mr. Olson has also appeared in The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Misanthrope (New Repertory Theatre); Little Black Dress and Gary (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); A Moon for the Misbegotten (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Duchess of Malfi (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); and The Comedy of Errors (Commonwealth Shakespeare).

Paula Plum (Doctors/Mahalia Maden) has appeared in SpeakEasy’s productions of The History Boys, The New Century, and The Savannah Disputation. A founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Ms. Plum has worked extensively throughout the Boston area, and has been honored with three Elliot Norton Awards and four IRNE Awards. In 2003, Ms. Plum was named a Distinguished Alumna of Boston University’s School for the Arts.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the SpeakEasy Stage Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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