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Guild Hall Presents Tennessee Williams’ Masterpiece ’The Glass Menagerie’

Originally Posted: July 10, 2009

Amy Irving to in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie." Photo by Zev Greenfield

East Hampton - Amy Irving, star of stage and screen has been cast as Amanda in the three week production of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" now running through July 26 at the newly renovated John Drew Theater at Guild Hall. "Few plays in modern theatre have captured the imagination and heart of the American public as this American masterpiece," says Harris Yulin, award-winning stage director.

Filled with failed expectations, false hope and heartrending desolation, "The Glass Menagerie" glitters and reflects with a haunting delicateness that will fix your gaze and move you to tears. This new production, starring Irving who has been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Yentl and nominated for a Golden Globe in the popular film, "Crossing Delancey," also features a talented cast of seasoned stage actors including: Ebon Moss-Bachrach ("The Lake House" and "John Quincy Adams") as Tom , Louisa Krause ("Law & Order") as Laura, and John Behlmann ("Journey's End," "Revolutionary Road" and "Guiding Light") as Jim.

The play inaugurates the John Drew Theater with a fresh interpretation of this award-winning play with costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, two-time Tony Award winner for Best Costumes, and current Tony nominee for his work on "Blithe Spirit." The set designer is Beowulf Boritt who designed the set for the original production of James Lapine's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Boritt has also received a Henry Hewes Award nomination, a Drama Desk Award nomination and a 2007 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Scenic Design.

"The Glass Menagerie" is thought by many to be autobiographical. Williams (whose birth name is Thomas) is portrayed by Tom, his Mother is Amanda, and his schizophrenic sister Rose, is Laura (in the play, the character's nickname is Blue Roses).

"The Glass Menagerie" was originally written as a screenplay for MGM. The initial theme stemmed from one of Williams' short stories, and the screenplay was titled: "'The Gentleman Caller." The play premiered in Chicago in 1944, and in 1945 won the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award. "The Glass Menagerie" was Williams' first successful play serving to debut one of America's most highly-regarded and successful playwrights.

About Amy Irving
Irving is no stranger to the theater or Glass Menagerie having starred with her mother, Priscilla Pointer, on stage in the early 1990s. Irving trained at the American Conservatory Theater and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Irving starred in Chekhov's "Three Sisters" at the Roundabout Theater. She received critical acclaim on Broadway in Arthur Miller's "Broken Glass" at the Booth Theater. For "Broken Glass," Irving was nominated for both the 1994 Drama Desk Award and The Outer Critics Circle Award. She has also starred in the Broadway productions of "Amadeus" and "Heartbreak House," for which she received another Drama Desk nomination, and won an Obie Award as Best Actress for her performance in "Road to Mecca," as well as receiving a Drama Desk nomination. She had the leading role in the 1991 Los Angeles premiere of "The Heidi Chronicles." At The Santa Fe Festival Theatre she starred with Madeline Kahn and Victor Garber in Coward's "Blithe Spirit." She enjoyed a run of "The Vagina Monologues," both Off Broadway and in the West End in London, and appeared in Ibsen's "Ghosts" at the Classic Stage Company, "Fear for the Naked Angels," and "The Exonerated." In the summer of 2004 she produced and starred in a new play as the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Elizabeth Bishop at The Powerhouse Theater for New York Stage and Film. Charles Evered wrote the play "Celadine" for her, and it was produced at The George Street Playhouse. In the spring of 2006, she produced and starred in "A Safe Harbor" for Elizabeth Bishop for Primary Stages. In 2007, she enjoyed a long run of the Tony winning play by Tom Stoppard, "The Coast of Utopia" at Lincoln Center. She most recently appeared in Leslie Lyles' "Waters of March" for The Summer Shorts series at 59E59.

About Harris Yulin
Yulin's recent production of Horton Foote's "Trip To Bountiful" at Signature Theatre won 4 Lortel Awards (production, actress, supporting actress and direction) before traveling to the Goodman Theatre, where it won the Chicago Tribune's Production of the Year Award. His Broadway acting credits include "Hedda Gabler," "The Price," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "The Visit," "A Lesson from Aloes," and "Watch on the Rhine." His film credits include "Another Woman," "Cradle will Rock," "Training Day" and "Fur."

Beowulf Boritt (Set Designer)
Credits: Currently represented on Broadway by Rock of Ages. Other Broadway - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, LoveMusik (Drama Desk Award Nomination, Henry Hewes Award Nomination), The Two and Only Off Broadway (selected) - The Last Five Years (Drama Desk Award Nomination), The Other Side (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination, Henry Hewes Award Nomination), Hank Williams - Lost Highway, Anne of Green Gables, Animals out of Paper.

Martin Pakledinaz (Costume Designer)
Credits: Currently represented on Broadway by Blithe Spirit. Other Broadway - Gypsy with Patti LuPone (Tony Award Nomination), Is He Dead, Grease, The Pirate Queen, The Pajama Game (Tony Award Nomination), Wonderful Town, The Look of Love. A Year with Frog and Toad, The Boys from Syracuse, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony Award Winner, Drama Desk Award Nomination), A Thousand Clowns, Taller Than a Dwarf, Kiss Me, Kate (Tony Award Winner, Drama Desk Award Winner), Golden Child (Tony Award Nomination), The Diary of Anne Frank, The Life (Tony Award Nomination, Drama Desk Award Nomination), Summer and Smoke, The Father, Holiday, Hedda Gabler, A Grand Night for Singing, Anna Christie, Hamlet, You Never Can Tell, La Cage aux Folles, I Won't Dance, Inacent Black, and Onward Victoria.

Brett Jarvis (Sound Designer)
Credits: Broadway - Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway. Off Broadway - Speech and Debate, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, Miracle Brothers, Avenue Q

Previews: Wednesday, July 8, Thursday, July 9, Friday, July 10 at 8 p.m. Press Opening - Saturday, July 11 at 8 p.m., Wednesdays, July 15, July 22 at 8 p.m., Thursdays: July 16, July 23 at 8 p.m., Fridays, July 17, July 24 at 8 p.m., Saturdays, July 18, July 25 at 8 p.m., Sundays: July 12, July 19, July 26 at 8 p.m. - $50/$48 members for Preview Shows and Wednesdays $55/$53 members on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; $65 members/$63 members on Saturdays $10 Students, under 18, must be present at time of pick-up at the Will Call window of the box office in order to receive this heavily discounted ticket. Half-price price Balcony only tickets on sale two hours prior to performance at Box Office.

For tickets call Guild Hall Box Office 631-324-4050; purchase online 24/7.

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