Music City Theatre Company is at it again with another Tennessee premiere of a hot-out-of-New-York play. Earlier this year it was Venus in Fur – twice – and now Bradley Moore and colleagues are tackling Other Desert Cities beginning Thursday.
Jon Robin Baitz’s play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2012 Drama League Award for Distinguished Play. Judith Light won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in the Broadway production of the show.
“When I read Other Desert Cities for the first time, it sat with me; I couldn’t get the script out of my brain,” Moore says. “There was something so universal about the message of the piece. I really loved how Jon Robert Baitz was able to capture the true dynamics of a family so perfectly through a complexity of emotions. After all, that is what any definition of family is: complex.”
The play is set on Christmas Eve 2004 in Palm Springs, Calif. The well-heeled family of Polly and Lyman Wyeth gather to roast chestnuts and each other: Their daughter Brooke, a successful author of one novel, is coming home after six years, a divorce and a nervous breakdown; Polly’s sister, Silda, arrives fresh from rehab with her tart tongue intact. Polly and Silda wrote film comedies for MGM in the 1970s (Polly and Lyman’s boy Trip is part of the biz now as a TV producer) while former film actor Lyman saw his star rise when kindred spirit Ronald Reagan appointed him to an ambassadorship.
Brooke has her own special gift for the rest of the family – she reveals she’s ready to publish a tell-all memoir that details the suicide of her brother Henry. His involvement in Weather Underground-like radical activities is an understandably still-sore spot decades later.
The cast includes Carrie Jennings as Brooke, Terry Occhiogrosso as Polly, Rod Streng as Lyman, Memory Strong as Silda and Michael Adcock as Trip.
Other Desert Cities is MCTC’s seventh show since Moore founded it in 2008. Its stated mission is “to provide the Nashville community thought-provoking, socially relevant work with a strong vision” – so far, so good on fulfilling that mission.
Take a look at some scenes from the play as performed in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in 2012:
MCTC PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
|Thursday, Nov. 14||7:30 p.m.|
|Friday, Nov. 15||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Nov. 16||7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 20||7:30 p.m.||Pay-What-You-Can|
|Thursday, Nov. 21||7:30 p.m.|
|Friday, Nov. 22||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Nov. 23||7:30 p.m.|
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for all performances – Full cash bar and snacks available at every performance
Vibe Nightclub 1713 Church St.
$12 – available at the door or in advance by calling (615) 756-7330; Music City Theatre Company accepts cash and all major credit cards.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
*Photo by Bradley Moore and Michael Adcock of (L to R) Rod Streng, Terry Occhiogrosso, Carrie Jennings, Memory Strong and Michael Adcock courtesy Music City Theatre Company.