Human Race Theatre's OTHER DESERT CITIES Begins Tonight
One of the most popular plays in the country, Jon Robin Baitz's critically acclaimed Other Desert Cities, makes its Dayton premiere this spring at The Loft Theatre. The Wyeth family's Palm Springs Christmas reunion is already a tense affair between conservative parents Lyman and Polly, former GOP celebrities, their two grown children and Polly's liberal alcoholic sister, Silda. Any sense of peace vanishes completely when daughter Brooke, a once-promising novelist, announces she is about to publish a tell-all memoir that threatens to tarnish her prominent family's past and reopen old wounds. As Brooke confesses her true motivations behind the book, she learns the real history is more shocking than she ever knew. The preview performance of Other Desert Cities is tonight, March 27. Opening night is Friday, March 28.
Back for her fifth production at The Human Race, director Margarett Perry (Under a Red Moon, God of Carnage) leads a five-member cast of familiar and returning actors, including Human Race Resident Artists Jennifer Joplin (Band Geeks!, God of Carnage) as "Brooke" and Scott Stoney (It's a Wonderful Life, Oliver!) as "Lyman", Kate Young (Love Makes the World Go 'Round, The Retreat from Moscow) as "Polly", Sherman Fracher (Steel Magnolias, Three Days of Rain) as "Silda" and Aaron Vega (Lend Me a Tenor, Man of La Mancha) as "Trip". Other Desert Cities marks the second time Perry has directed Stoney and Young as an on-stage married couple, this first being in 2005's The Retreat from Moscow.
The scenic designer is Tamara L. Honesty (Becky's New Car, Lombardi), the costume designer is Janet G. Powell (Torch Song Trilogy, Avenue Q), Resident Artist John Rensel (Fiddler on the Roof, Becky's New Car) is the lighting designer and Nathan D. Dean (Becky's New Car, Under a Red Moon) is the sound designer. Kay Carver is the production stage manager. Kevin Moore is the show's producer and Tara Lail is the associate producer.
The production sponsors for Other Desert Cities are the IUE-CWA, the Industrial Division of the Communication Workers of America; Morris Home Furnishings; Maryann and Jack Bernstein and Mrs. Wallace E. Johnson; with additional support from Martha Moody Jacobs.
To design the set of the well-to-do Wyeth family's Palm Springs, California house, scenic designer Tamara L. Honesty took a comment from director Margarett Perry to heart. "This is a family without stain," said Perry. As such, the interior of the home reflects an apparent cleanliness in its white, uncluttered Mid-century Modern style. In order to create a realistic environment, Morris Home Furnishings graciously provided the set's living room furniture to The Human Race. Once the production is completed, the theatre will raffle off the furnishings, valued at over $20,000, as a fundraiser. Raffle tickets will be sold for $25 during the run of Other Desert Cities.
Tickets for the preview performance of Other Desert Cities on March 27 are $34 and $31 for adults, $32 and $29 for seniors and $17.50 and $16 for students. For all performances March 28 - April 13, single ticket prices are $43 - $36 for adults, $41 - $34 for seniors and $22 - $18 for students. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and seating location. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. The Human Race is offering a pair of discount ticket opportunities. Side-area seats are available at most performances for $25 each, on sale two weeks prior to performance. The Sunday, March 30 7:00 p.m. performance is "Sawbuck Sunday", when any available seat can be purchased in person for just $10 at The Loft Theatre box office two hours prior to the show. Discounts are subject to availability and some restrictions apply.
All performances are at the Metropolitan Art Center's Loft Theatre, located at 126 North Main Street in downtown Dayton, Ohio.
Show times for Other Desert Cities are 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Performances on Sunday and Tuesday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday matinees.
The Pay-What-You-CAN open rehearsal is Wednesday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m. The "Inside Track" pre-show discussion begins at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, prior to the 8:00 p.m. preview performance. The opening night performance on Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. is followed by a free party with the cast in The Loft Lobby. "Lite Fare at the Loft" with food and drink provided by Citilites begins in The Loft Theatre lobby at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. The "While We're on the Subject" post-show talkback is on Sunday, April 6, immediately following the 2:00 p.m. performance.
Photo by Scott J. Kimmins