Tony Simotes, Annette Miller bringing Charles Buschs’ Hilarious, Irreverent “Allergists Wife” to Lenox

Annette Miller plays Marjorie Taub, who is the Allergist’s WIfe. They live above a Zabar’s. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife is a rare foray into the smart and sophisticated humor of Charles Bush, a playwright whose work we see far too rarely around these parts. Even if you never heard of Mr. Busch, let me assure you his plays have good bones. And great skin. Busch is best-known for his appealingly warped cinematic parodies with wall to wall laughs and offbeat leading ladies. The Tale of the Allergist’s Wifeopened at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2000 and then moved to Broadway for 777 performances. It was nominated for three Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards. Playwright Charles Busch received the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Outstanding Playwriting.

The premise is to keep the family together, and afloat. For Marjorie Taub, having an overzealous philanthropic husband, a self-loathing bowel-obsessed mother, and a crumbling sense of intellectual stimulation makes her efforts all the more difficult. That is, until an exuberant woman appears at her door and plants a seed of self-discovery, pushing Marjorie to the edge of reality. The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife is a vibrant and hysterical tale of new beginnings and rediscovery of oneself.

Ah, Annette Miller

The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife stars Elliot Norton and IRNE Award-winner Annette Miller as Marjorie Taub, a failed a novelist married to retired Upper West Side allergist (audience favorite, Malcolm Ingram) Dr. Ira Taub. When we meet Marjorie, she’s sulking on her couch, debating the “extravagant decadence” versus the “romantic opulence” of her newest lighting fixture.

When her therapist passes away, she falls into a midlife crisis of epic proportions that not even her mother (Sonya Hamlin), who appears more interested in the schedule of her own bodily functions, can pull her out of. To distract herself, Marjorie delves into the world of art, culture, and literature. But despite her constant search for knowledge, she still feels painfully inadequate.

Uh oh, Tony Simotes

“I believe that love is at the center of all comedies,” says director Tony Simotes, “That’s evident in all of Shakespeare’s comedies, and this play is no different. Marjorie has reached a point in her life that tastes stale to her and she has fallen into a bit of a funk. Most of us have experienced a similar phase, which makes this piece not only hilarious and irreverent, but universal on a very human level. We’ve been having such a great time in rehearsals. I am blessed to be working with such a versatile and talented cast who bring so much humor and humanity to this piece.”

Enter Lee (Jan Neuberger), a childhood friend of Marjorie’s, full of irreverence and intensity, a character Simotes calls a “catalyst for both change and rediscovery.” The rekindled friendship causes Marjorie to question the validity of her depression, and just about everything else in her life.

A Summer Full of Laughs

Written by Charles Busch and directed by Artistic Director Tony Simotes, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife runs from June 12 through September 1 in S&Co.’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

Tickets are $15-$50, and S&Co. offers a wide range of discount options, including discounts for groups, students, senior citizens, military, teachers and our very popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. To view a complete schedule, receive a brochure, or inquire about discounts, please call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.shakespeare.org. For customized group visits—which may include artist talkbacks, tours, and catered events—contact the Group Sales office at (413) 637-1199, ext. 132. Founders’ Theatre is hearing aid assisted and wheelchair accessible.

At a Glance

PRODUCTION: The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife
THEATRE: Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
PLAYWRIGHT: Charles Busch
DIRECTOR: Tony Simotes
CAST: Jules Findlay, Sonya Hamlin, Malcolm Ingram, Annette Miller, Jan Neuberger
COSTUME DESIGNER: Esther Van Eek
WARDROBE: Jessica Ziemek
STAGE MANAGER: Sandy Cleary
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER: Meredyth Pederson
SET DESIGNER: Patrick Brennan
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Stephen D. Ball
SOUND DESIGNER: Michael Pfeiffer
SOUND BOARD OPERATOR: Iain Fisher

Performance Dates

Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 8:30 (Preview)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 8:30 (Preview)
Thursday, June 14, 2012, 8:30 (Preview)
Friday, June 15, 2012, 8:30 (Press Opening)
Saturday, June 16, 2012, 3:00
Saturday, June 23, 2012, 3:00
Sunday, June 24, 2012, 8:30
Thursday, June 28, 2012, 8:30
Friday, June 29, 2012, 3:00
Thursday, July 5, 2012, 3:00
Friday, July 6, 2012, 8:30
Saturday, July 7, 2012, 3:00
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 8:30
Saturday, July 14, 2012, 8:30
Sunday, July 15, 2012, 3:00
Friday, July 20, 2012, 8:30
Saturday, July 21, 2012, 3:00
Sunday, July 22, 2012, 8:30
Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 8:30
Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 3:00
Thursday, July 26, 2012, 3:00
Sunday, July 29, 2012, 8:30
Thursday, August 2, 2012, 8:30
Friday, August 3, 2012, 3:00
Saturday, August 4, 2012, 8:30
Sunday, August 5, 2012, 3:00
Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 8:30
Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 8:30
Saturday, August 11, 2012, 3:00
Sunday, August 12, 2012, 8:30
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 3:00
Thursday, August 16, 2012, 8:30
Friday, August 17, 2012, 3:00
Sunday, August 19, 2012, 3:00
Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 8:30
Thursday, August 23, 2012, 8:30
Friday, August 24, 2012, 3:00
Saturday, August 25, 2012, 8:30
Sunday, August 26, 2012, 3:00
Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 8:30
Friday, August 31, 2012, 8:30
Saturday, September 1, 2012, 3:00 (Closing)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s