The Pearl Theatre Company presents An Evening with O. Henry, a one-night special event, on Sunday, December 2, at New York's legendary Players Club in Gramercy Park. Featuring works by the beloved American author and songs that celebrate the era, An Evening with O. Henry will benefit The Pearl; proceeds will support the company's work.
O. Henry, pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862–1910), came to New York City in 1902, and shortly after began to publish at an astounding rate, producing a short story every week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. With wit and humor he told tales of unlikely heroes, exploring tensions between class and wealth through intimate human moments with the city's colorful underdogs. O. Henry was especially celebrated for the classic twists his memorable short stories invariably featured. His works have remained perennially popular, having never gone out of print from the time of their first publications in the early 20th century.
"It is a great pleasure to present a few of these great stories in O. Henry's own neighborhood at The Players Club, ," according to J. R. Sullivan, who will also serve as host and narrator for the show. "O. Henry was and remains a New York classic, and The Pearl is all about the classics."
The Players Club, situated only blocks from where Porter lived, is a social club and national historic landmark on Gramercy Park. Founded by Edwin Booth in 1888 to promote "social intercourse between members of the dramatic profession and the kindred professions of literature, painting, architecture, sculpture and music, law and medicine, and the patrons of the art," The Players is now a social club and storehouse of American and British theatre history, memorabilia, and artifacts. Famous members have included Eugene O'Neill, John Barrymore, JP Morgan, and Norman Rockwell.
The Pearl Theatre Company's 2012-13 season began in October with a critically acclaimed production of Charles Morey's Figaro. In the winter, the company will present the New York premiere of writer-performer James DeVita's In Acting Shakespeare, the personal, playful story of one man's journey from the fishing boats of Long Island to a life as a classical actor. Next, The Pearl will stage Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare's tale of a headstrong prince teetering between two very different fates. The play picks up where Richard II (produced by The Pearl in the 2011-12 season) leaves off. The season will culminate with the world premiere of And Away We Go, a new play written expressly for The Pearl by four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally.