Estelle Parsons Leads Palm Beach Dramaworks' New Production of MY OLD LADY, Beginning Tonight

Three lives intertwine in unexpected and profound ways in Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady, a funny, moving drama starring the legendary Estelle Parsons and featuring Angelica Page and Tim Altmeyer. This newly revised, never-before-seen version of Horovitz's 2002 play opens on December 5 (8pm) at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre. Performances continue through January 4, 2015, with specially priced previews tonight, December 3 and 4.

My Old Lady is a three-character play that takes place in the Paris apartment of Parsons' character, Mathilde. A down-on-his-luck New Yorker named Mathias has inherited her apartment from his estranged father, and travels to Paris with the intention of selling the flat. Only when he arrives at Mathilde's door does he learn that the apartment is a viager. In France, a property owned by an elderly person can be purchased for well below market value. But the new owner must allow the occupant to remain in the home until his or her death, and pay the resident an agreed upon fee as well. With no money and nowhere to go, Mathias winds up living with Mathilde and her rigid daughter, Chloé.

Horovitz recently directed a film version of My Old Lady, which opened in September. In adapting the piece for the screen, he began to rethink the play. "Working on the film adaptation gave me many fresh ideas about my stage play," Horovitz says. "The version that will be seen at PBD will still be my play, but (says I) slimmer and sleeker."

My Old Lady is directed by PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. Scenic design is by April Soroko, costume design is by Brian O'Keefe, lighting design is by Ron Burns, and sound design is by Rick Szczublewski.

Israel Horovitz has written over 70 plays, several of which have been translated into as many as 30 languages. He is the most produced American playwright in French theatre history, and is the recipient of the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France's highest honor for foreign artists. He won Obie and Drama Desk Awards for The Indian Wants the Bronx, and the revival of his play Line has been playing off-off Broadway for 40 years. A very short list of his other well-known work includes The Primary English Class, Today I Am a Fountain Pen, The Widow's Blind Date, Fighting Over Beverley, Unexpected Tenderness, Lebensraum, and Beirut Rocks. Horovitz is the founding artistic director of the Gloucester Stage Company, which he ran for more than 25 years.

Estelle Parsons, whose illustrious career spans six decades, was last seen on Broadway earlier this year in The Velocity of Autumn, for which she received her fifth Tony Award nomination. Although she has spent the better part of her professional life in the theatre, she is most widely known for her Academy Award-winning performance as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde and her portrayal of Beverly, mother of the title character in the hit sitcom Roseanne. In the theatre, she made an indelible impression as the tyrannical eighth-grade teacher in Roberto Athayde's Miss Margarida's Way, which she performed on Broadway, all over the United States, and internationally. She has appeared in plays by the great writers of our time, including Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Paul Zindel, and Horton Foote. Parsons also starred in Tracy Letts' August: Osage County for a year on Broadway, followed by another year on the road. She was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.

Palm Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

The performance schedule is as follows: Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM, and Sundays at 7PM. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM. Wednesday matinees and Sunday evenings include a post-performance discussion. There are no performances on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1, but evening performances have been added on Tuesday, December 16, 23, and 30, as well as a matinee on December 30. Individual tickets are $62, with specially priced preview tickets at $55 and Opening Night tickets at $77. Student tickets are available for $10; tickets for educators are half price with proper ID (other restrictions apply). Group rates for 20 or more and discounted season subscriptions are also available.

The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit Box office hours are 10AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday, and 11AM to 5PM on Sunday. On performance dates, the box office stays open through intermission.

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