Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Mint Theater Opens Rare Revival of THE FATAL WEAKNESS Tonight

pixeltracker

The Mint's latest production, The Fatal Weakness by George Kelly, recently extended performances through October 26th to accommodate audience demand even before tonght's opening, September 15th (7pm) at Mint's home (311 West 43rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue).

Jesse Marchese directs a cast that features Cliff Bemis, Cynthia Darlow, Kristin Griffith, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Patricia Kilgarriff, and Victoria Mack.

The Fatal Weakness has scenic design Vicki R. Davis, costume design by Andrea Varga, lighting design by Christian DeAngelis, original music & sound design by Jane Shaw, and properties design by Joshua Yocom.

The Fatal Weakness tells the story of Ollie Espenshade, who, after 28 years of marriage is still an incurable romantic (her fatal weakness). Perhaps discovering that her husband is a lying cheat will cure her?

George Kelly's last produced play is a smart comedy about romance, marriage and commitment. It opened in New York on November 19, 1946 in a production by the legendary Theatre Guild starring Ina Claire. The play went on to be hailed "Best New Comedy" by George Jean Nathan's Honor List in Theatre Book of the Year, 1946-1947.

Admired for his character-driven satires and gimlet-eyed plays of modern manners, George Kelly (1887-1974) led a distinguished career in the New York theatre from the 1910s through the 1940s. Starting out as an actor and writer for vaudeville one-acts, Kelly rose to the height of acclaim in the early 1920s, with plays that he both wrote and directed. Kelly followed his breakout 1922 theatrical satire The Torch Bearers with 1924's The Show-Off (which Heywood Brouncalled "the best comedy which has yet been written by an American"), as well as his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1925 psychological drama Craig's Wife.

Although Kelly's commercial success declined steeply in the 1930s and 1940s, he produced some of his most striking and unconventional plays during these decades, including Philip Goes Forth (1931) and his two satiric dramas of marital infidelity: The Deep Mrs. Sykes (1945) and The Fatal Weakness (1946). Out of sync with sentimental postwar sensibilities, Kelly continued to write a number of unproduced plays as he shifted into semi-retirement with his longtime partner, William E. Weagly.

In recent years, George Kelly has made an emphatic re-entrance upon New York and regional stages, while his "sharply insightful" (The New York Sun) plays of middle-class domestic life have also invited critical rediscovery. Once "allowed to pass unremarked" (as Mary McCarthy noted in a 1947 essay) as a significant American playwright, Kelly returns to delight, provoke and surprise new audiences.

The Mint was awarded an OBIE for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition," and a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."

Performances for The Fatal Weakness are Tuesday through Thursday at 7PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM & 8PM, and Sunday at 2PM. Special added Wednesday Matinees at 2pm on September 10th, and October 15th. PLEASE NOTE: There will be no performances on Tuesday evenings September 9th, 16th or October 14th. Tickets are $55 with some half-price tickets (CheapTix) and Premium Seats ($65) available for most performances. Performances take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street. Tickets are available by calling the Mint box office toll-free at 866-811-4111 or go to www.minttheater.org.


Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You