WITHIN IN THE LAW Revival Set for the Metropolitan Playhouse, 5/31-6/29
Obie Award-winning Metropolitan Playhouse revives WITHIN THE LAW, by Bayard Veiller, running May 31 - June 29, 2014, directed by Associate Director Michael Hardart at Metropolitan Playhouse (220 E 4th Street). From 1912, a story of a good girl gone bad...all while playing by the rules.
The tale of a good girl done wrong...and out for revenge.
Mary Turner is suspected of theft from the department store where she works as a shopgirl. Sent up the river for three years, she comes out determined to give society its just desserts, and she discovers ingenious means of doing so while always staying within the law. That law is out to get her and her "gang," though, and her friends are set up to commit a robbery that ends in murder. But the man who takes the blame is the son of the one first put her in prison, for he is in love with Mary. Unraveling the false accusations, straightening out a life twisted by revenge, and making a circus of bad cops, good crooks, and life among the high and low classes, Within the Law is a twisting and turning melodrama. It is also a stinging and recognizable social rebuke from the Progressive Age that draws a sharp picture of a legal system that judges early and finally, keeping the wealthy and the struggling right where they are. The balance the play struck in 1912 is evident in this line from the Times rave: "How [Veiller] dared have the play performed during the present demoralized condition of the police force is a matter he must settle with his own conscience. The worst of it is that everybody in New York will go to see the play."
(Philip) Bayard Veiller (1869 - 1943) Dating his interest in theater back to a performance he saw when he was 10 (Patience, in Chicago), he was a prolific playwright with a play on stage nearly every year from 1907 to 1922, and is best known best known for The Trial of Mary Dugan (1927), The Thirteenth Chair (1916), and Within the Law (1912).
However, he fter his first effort met with disapprobation from none other than Augustin Daly, he worked as a reporter for The World for several years, then varously in a logging camp, as a mule-skinner for the Union Pacific Railroad, as owner of a stock company, a theatrical agent, and again in newpapers on the West Coast, before returning to stage writing. He later joined many others of his generation in writing for Hollywood, and contributed to over 32 screenplays, including adaptations of some of his popular stage works. In 1901 he married English actress Margaret Wycherly, and after their divorce in 1922, author Marguerite Vale (who wrote under the pseudonym Martin Vale).
Within the Law, which ran 541 performances and was turned into a film five times, opened in 1912 in Chicago with only moderate success, but Edgar Selwyn bought a controlling interest, and brought the play to the Eltinge Theatre in New York. Veiller, in need of cash, sold his royalty rights to Selwyn, which deprived him of an income that might have set him for life, as the play was an immediate hit in New York. The play brought fame to Veiller nonetheless, and his future life as a writer begins with this triumph. The play was revived for a short run on Broadway in 1928.
Under the direction of Michael Hardart (A Man's World, Both Your Houses, Deep Are the Roots, Under the Gaslight, and It Pays to Advertise) the cast features Robert K. Benson (Bristol Old Vic, Pearl Theatre Co.), Kelly Dean Cooper (A Man's World), Jay T. Johnson, Olivia Killingsworth, John D. McNally (The Portland Stage, Primary Stages), David O'Hara, Elisabeth Preston, Deb Radloff (Caucasian Chalk Circle at Classic Stage Company, United Solo Theatre Festival, Les Freres Corbusier, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park,The Old Globe), David Logan Rankin, Ryan Reilly, Christian Rozakis (The Hero), Andrew Spieker, and Meredith M. Sweeney.
Metropolitan Playhouse, now its 22nd season, devoted to Justice, explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The Playhouse will receive an award in June for Outstanding Performane Art Group from the Victorian Society New York. Called an "indispensable East Village institution" by nytheatre.com and "invaluable" by Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, and received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Other awards include nominations for 2 NYIT awards in 2013 (for The Detour), 5 nominations in 2012 (The House of Mirth; Sidney Fortner winner for costumes), and 5 more in 2010 (The Return of Peter Grimm; Frank Anderson winner for lead actor). Recent productions include The Hero, Self, A Man's World, The Henrietta, The Detour, The Boss, Both Your Houses, The House of Mirth, Deep Are the Roots, The Jazz Singer, From Rags to Riches, One-Third of a Nation, The Great Divide, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Drunkard, Dodsworth, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.
Ticket Prices: $25 general admission, $20 students/seniors, and $10 children under 18.Preview admission prices are $15.00 for those over 18; $10 for children. To purchase tickets online visit www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/tickets, or call 1 800 838 3006.
Saturday, May 31st at 7:30
Sunday, June 1st at 3:00 pm
Monday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm (Press Preview)
Thursday, June 5th at 7:30 pm (Press Preview)
Friday, June 6th at 7:30 pm (Press Preview)
Saturday, June 7th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 29th at 3:00 pm
Performance Days: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pmPLUS
Monday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm - Pay What You Will
Wednesdays, June 11th, 18th, & 25th at 3 pm
Saturdays, June 21st & 28th at 3 pm