Kathryn Erbe & Arliss Howard Star in Craig Lucas' ODE TO JOY at Rattlestick, Beg. Tonight

Kathryn Erbe & Arliss Howard Star in Craig Lucas' ODE TO JOY at Rattlestick, Beg. Tonight

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's Artistic Director David Van Asselt and Managing Director Brian Long have announced that the world premiere of Ode to Joy, written and directed by Craig Lucas, will begin previews tonight, February 12 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street. The opening night is set for Thursday, February 27. The cast features Kathryn Erbe ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"), Roxanna Hope (Frost/Nixon) and Arliss Howard (Moneyball, Natural Born Killers). Ode to Joy is scheduled to run through Sunday, March 30.

Ode to Joy tells the story of love, heartbreak, addiction, and illness through the eyes of Adele, an audacious painter and her destructive relations with Mala and Bill, her two lovers.

The set design for Ode to Joy is by Andrew Boyce; costume design is by Catherine Zuber; lighting design is by Paul Whitaker; sound design is by Daniel Kluger. The production manager is Eugenia Furneaux; the production stage manager is Michael Denis.

Craig Lucas is the author of the plays Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Widow, Prelude to a Kiss, God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, Prayer for My Enemy, and The Singing Forest. His screenplays include Blue Window, Longtime Companion, Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Secret Lives of Dentists and The Dying Gaul (which he also directed). Lucas has written the scripts for the musicals Marry Me a Little, Songs by Stephen Sondheim, Three Postcards (music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia) and The Light in the Piazza (music and lyrics by Adam Guettel). His opera libretti include Orpheus in Love (composer Gerald Busby) and Two Boys (composer Nico Muhly), which premiered at the English National Opera. Lucas directed the world premiere of The Light in the Piazza at the Intiman Theater in Seattle, the film Birds of America, the play This Thing of Darkness (by Lucas and David Schulner) and Harry Kondoleon's plays Saved or Destroyed and Play Yourself. He has created a new scenario for Christopher Wheeldon's version of Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella for the Dutch National Ballet.

Kathryn Erbe (Adele) is best known for playing Detective Alexandra Eames in "Law & Oder: Criminal Intent." Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Erbe is a veteran of both film and television and has been a working actress since she graduated from New York University in 1989. Erbe's television credits include playing the infamous death row inmate Shirley Bellinger on the acclaimed HBO series "Oz." She also appeared on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street," the miniseries "George Wallace," Showtime's original production of "Naked City: Justice with a Bullet," NBC's "Another World" and the television movie "Breathing Lessons." Erbe also gained notice in the 1999 box office hit Stir of Echoes opposite Kevin Bacon and Dream with the Fishes with David Arquette. Her additional film credits include Entropy, Kiss of Death, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Rich in Love, and What About Bob? Erbe also filmed Three Backyards, starring opposite Embeth Davidtz and Edie Falco, Mother's House, Worst Friend's, and The Love Guide with Parker Posey. Before appearing in feature films, Erbe began her career on the stage. She is a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and has starred in many of their productions, including Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire as Stella, Curse of the Starving Class and My Thing of Love. She earned a Tony Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in Speed of Darkness. Erbe is also an active member of the Atlantic Theatre Company. For the last year, Erbe has recently focused her attention to the theater appearing as Pat Nixon in The Vineyard's Checkers, Natasha in Lincoln Center's Nikolai and The Others as well as Sue in TACT's Natural Affection. Erbe currently resides in New York with her two children.

Ode to Joy plays Tuesday through Fridays at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Individual tickets, which are $66, are now available and may be purchased at www.rattlestick.org or by calling OvationTix at 866.811.4111. Student tickets are $21; under-30 tickets are $26. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, west of Seventh Avenue South. For more information, visit www.rattlestick.org.

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