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Greg Hildreth & Jordan Baker to Lead Peccadillo's THE SECOND MAN Reading, 10/14

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The award-winning Peccadillo Theater Company will present a staged reading of S.N. Behrman's 1927 play THE SECOND MAN, under the direction of Peccadillo's Artistic Director Dan Wackerman, Monday, October 14 at 7 PM at Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46 Street (between Ninth & Tenth Ave.) The cast will feature JorDan Baker (Three Tall Women, Suddenly Last Summer, "The New Adventures of Old Christine") and Greg Hildreth (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The entire cast will be announced early next week.

THE SECOND MAN concerns a hack writer faced with a romantic choice between a wealthy woman who supports him financially and a beautiful younger woman who adores him. This sparkling comedy of manners was praised by critics for its cultured, witty dialogue and its subtle insight into human psychology. THE SECOND MAN opened April 11, 1927 at the Guild Theatre (now the August Wilson), where it played for 178 performances starring Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne and Margalo Gillmore.

S.N. Behrman was an American playwright, screenwriter, biographer, and longtime writer for The New Yorker. Behrman, considered one of Broadway's leading authors of "high comedy" from the late 1920's into the 1950's, was often produced by the legendary Theatre Guild and wrote for such stars as Katharine Cornell, Ina Claire, Jane Cowl, and the acting team of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who became his close friends. His other Broadway hits include Fanny (with score by Harold Rome),Jacobowsky and the Colonel, Biography, I Know My Love, No Time for Comedy, The Pirate, and End of Summer. S.N. Behrman also penned the screenplays for such film classics as A Tale of Two Cities, Queen Christina, Quo Vadis, Waterloo Bridge, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Anna Karenina, Tess of the Storm Country, Daddy Long Legs, Hallelujah I'm a Bum, and Liliom.

Founded in 1994, The Peccadillo Theater Company is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to the rediscovery of classic American theater, particularly those works which, despite their obvious literary and theatrical value, are not regularly revived. Beginning with Eugene O'Neill (generally considered the starting point of modern American theater), Peccadillo concentrates on the era of the so-called well-made play, a period of sparkling wit and sophistication in comedy as well as deepening realism in the drama. It encompasses such diverse and little-known works as Jane by S.N. Behrman, The Shanghai Gesture by John Colton, as well as the neglected plays of celebrated authors like Moss Hart, Dorothy Parker and John O'Hara. Collectively, this work represents nothing less than the American experience itself in all its contradictions and screwball energy.

In recent years, Peccadillo has broadened its mission to include original plays and musicals that share some of the virtues of classic American theater such as period style, well-defined characters and strong plotting. Such was the case with TenChimneys, by Jeffrey Hatcher, a charming comedy of manners about the marriage of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. And Zero Hour, about the actor/comedian Zero Mostel, whose appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee was just as explosive as his stage performances.

General admission is $25 and reservations may be made by calling 212-352-3101. For more information, visit www.ThePeccadillo.com.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride


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