A TEXAS TRILOGY Begins Today at McAlpin Hall
Preston Jones's Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, The Last Meeting of the White Magnolia, and The Oldest Living Graduate will get a rare New York revival this August. Commonly known as A Texas Trilogy or The Bradleyville Trilogy, the 3 plays about small town life set the theatre world afire in 1974. Originally presented at the Dallas Theatre Center, the plays drew such attention that NY critics and theatre luminaries were soon flying to Dallas. Signed by legendary agent Audrey Wood, who had also discovered Tennessee Williams and William Inge, Preston Jones's plays then transferred to a sold out run at the Kennedy Center. Jones went from obscurity to being on the cover of many national magazines. The Smithsonian Magazine cover proudly proclaimed him "The Next O'Neill." A bidding war broke out to bring the plays to New York, and they finally arrived on Broadway in 1976 directed by Alan Schneider. Despite overwhelming nationwide acclaim, the New York critics weren't so kind. Whether due to the unsustainable pre-New York hype or whether the NY critics were trying to show their prominence over regional theatres, the plays had a short NY life.
A Texas Trilogy is presented in a site-specific production at the renovated McAlpin Hall (86th and Amsterdam) starting today, August 7th. The trilogy will be directed by Allie Mulholland.
After 4 years of presenting many of the Group Theatre's plays for the first time in 80 years, as well as publishing them for the first time ever, the ReGroup spreads its wings by focusing on the plays inspired by the Group. With theatre legends like Estelle Parsons, George Bartenieff, Lois Smith, Frances Sternhagen and many more on their Board of Advisers, ReGroup has become an important new player in the NY theatre scene. Peter Filichia writes, "ReGroup is one of the most important companies in the city. Allie Mulholland unearths long-neglected treasures and directs them with loving care. He is the round-the-clock nurse for the Fabulous Invalid. Don't miss even on of his productions."
ReGroup's next season is based on Audrey Wood. Probably the most influential woman in American Theatre, she's mostly been forgotten. Tennessee Williams received his first prize after he submitted 3 short plays to the Group Theatre. From there, he was discovered by agent Audrey Wood, decades ahead of her time for a female power agent in the 1930's. Ms. Wood went on to discover such playwrights as William Inge, Arthur Kopit, Carson McCullers, Robert Anderson, Brian Friel, Preston Jones and many more.
The plays of A TEXAS TRILOGY run in repertory beginning today, August 7th, 2014 at the newly renovated McAlpin Hall at 165 W 86th St. For the performance schedule and ticketing information, please visit www.atexastrilogy.com
Photo by MIKIODO