STAGE TUBE: Behind the Scenes of Huntington Theatre's COCKTAIL HOUR

A host of favorite Huntington Theatre Company artists return for a new stagging of A.R. Gurney's American comedy of manners The Cocktail Hour. Maria Aitken (Betrayal, Private Lives, and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps at the Huntington) directs the company that features James Waterston (Private Lives and Ah, Wilderness!) as John, the young playwright that reveals to his familuy members that they are the subject of his newest play. Richard Poe (The Taming of the Shrew) plays his father Bradley, Tony Award nominee and renowned Gurney interpreter Maureen Anderman (Becky Shaw and Third) plays John's mother, Ann; and Pamela J. Gray (Present Laughter and Butley) plays Nina, John's sister. Check out a behind the scenes look below!

Gurney's play is a window into a stalwart element of WASP culture: the pre-dinner cocktail hour. A revered ritual in John's parents' elegant home, all semblance of calm demeanor dissolves when he announces over martinis that he has written a play about his family. As the drinks flow, so do the revelations and recriminations, both funny and poignant, in this heartfelt comedy about the ties that bind. Performances begin November 15 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

The Cocktail Hour is one of my Gurney's most autobiographical plays. "Despite its post-modern tone, it is probably the most personal thing I had written up to this time," he recalled. "Because the details are so close to home, I promised my family not to let it be produced in Buffalo, my home town, until after both my parents were dead. I personally don't feel that it's terribly rough on either one of them, but the world I grew up in treasures its personal privacy and doesn't enjoy being displayed on stage. And, of course, that's the big issue in the play."


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