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YOU AND I: Philip Barry's First Hit To Open Metropolitan Playhouse's 27th Season

YOU AND I: Philip Barry's First Hit To Open Metropolitan Playhouse's 27th Season

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse brings Philip Barry's first Broadway play, "You and I" to the stage for its first New York revival in 95 years. The limited run from September 7 to October 7, 2018, will be at the Playhouse home at 220 E 4th Street.

"YOU AND I" makes intimate and personal the American dilemma of the turn of the 1920's, an age of eager but anxious pursuit of financial success and social status through commerce. Maitland (Matey) White has built an enviable life for his family by working doggedly for a soap manufacturer, having abandoned his youthful dreams to be a painter. At 43, encouraged by his wife, Nancy, he determines to take a leave from business and pick up a brush. But when their gifted son determines to give up his own artistic ambitions for financial security, just as a turn in the markets squeezes the family's resources, Matey and Nancy must face decisions they thought they'd put behind them--this time, without the naive confidence of their youth.

"YOU AND I" launched Barry's career. First called "The Jilts," the play took the Herndon Prize in George Pierce Baker's famous 47 Workshop at Harvard, guaranteeing it a Broadway production. Under the new name "You and I," the play ran 170 performances, was included in Burns Mantle's "Best Play" series, and made its author's name in the theater. This early work shows us Barry the idealist appraising the specter of failure, and its bittersweet enthusiasms are particularly poignant in our own conflicted day. In Brooks Atkinson's words, if the play did not make Barry "a revolutionary, it made him a dissenter from the materialist mythology of America." Those who know his later triumphs will hear Barry's signature wit and distinctive articulation of the conflicts between artistic spirit, social constraints, and pecuniary obligation. Matey's dilemma and his affable but informed compromise are inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Meanwhile, every character is drawn with nuanced struggle and growth all their own. Not only the young lovers, but particularly Nancy strive to transcend their self-interest, to sacrifice for one another, and to accept the intractable oppositions life presents.

Son of an Irish immigrant stone mason who died the year he was born, Philip Barry (1896 - 1949) forfeit his share of his inheritance when he came of age so he might go to college at Yale, where his gift for playwriting flowered. It is the trenchant critique underlying his otherwise mannered social comedies that define his singular voices. Following his subsequent studies at Harvard and the run of "You and I," his theatrical successes--the comedies "Paris Bound" (1927), "Holiday" (1928), and "The Philadelphia Story" (1939)--more than made up for his commercial failures, which include experiments that explored religious and existential themes, such as "White Wings" (1926), "Hotel Universe" (1930), "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (1931), and "Here Come the Clowns" (1938). Barry died at age 53 of a heart attack.

YOU AND I is directed by MICHAEL HARDART (The Climbers, Both Your Houses, Within the Law, A Man's World, Under the Gaslight). The production stars Timothy C. Goodwin (A Man's World and Rollo's Wild Oat) and Elisabeth Preston (Within the Law), with Mac Brydon (Rollo's Wild Oat), ALBERT Warren Baker, Aidan Eastwood, and MEREDITH M. SWEENEY (Within the Law, Alison's House). Set design is by CAITLIN BARRETT (The Property on Theatre Row). Lighting by Christopher Weston (The Climbers, A Marriage Contract). Costumes by NYIT Award winner Sidney Fortner (The Climbers, A Marriage Contract, The House of Mirth). Stage Manager is TERESA KELSEY.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE, no beginning its 27th season, explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The theater 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. Called "invaluable" by the Voice and Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. Other awards include Outstanding Performing Arts Group from the Victorian Society New York, 3 Aggie Awards from Gay City News, 20 nominations for NYIT Awards, including three winners, and 6 AUDELCO Viv Award nominations. Recent productions include THE JEWISH KING LEAR, A MARRIAGE CONTRACT, THE CLIMBERS, END OF SUMMER, O'NEILL (Unexpected), WALK HARD, ALISON'S HOUSE, INJUNCTION GRANTED, THE MAN OF THE HOUR, ICEBOUND, WITHIN THE LAW, THE HERO, A MAN'S WORLD, BOTH YOUR HOUSES, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, DEE
P ARE THE ROOTS, THE JAZZ SINGER, ONE-THIRD OF A NATION, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, and DODSWORTH, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.

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