Well now that we have your attention, there’s even more naughtiness. The final offering from the Town Players of Pittsfield this season is not exactly family entertainment, and unless they play it safe, this promises to be a hilarious evening of entertainment.
In their press release, they are a bit skittish about revealing that the shows characters happen to include a drag queen, an alcoholic and a perverted sadistic deluded man. Perhaps there is a fear of scaring the neighbors away. But such characterizations are classic fodder for an evening of laughter and good fun. In any case, it is good advice, so leave the children home, and bring an open mind. Don’t invite the Fossils, either, no point in rousing the brain-dead. You won’t regret it. It’s Terrence McNally after all. That means given a decent production, you will likely laugh your ass off.
Gay playwright Terrence McNally knows his way around clever quips and yummy bon mots. And you get two for the price of one, since Bad Habits is actually two plays, the first called Dunelawn, the second Ravenswood.
Winner of the Obie Award, Bad Habits is brilliantly satirical, employing “a biting and hilarious study of events in two very singular sanitariums.”
In the first play, Dunelawn, we are in an expensive retreat for the unhappily married, where the wheel-chaired director, Dr. Pepper, dispenses a definitely unique sort of marital guidance. His theory includes complete indulgence in such “bad habits” as smoking, drinking and sexual promiscuity—which seems to work wonders for his patients, whose wacky case histories are each examined in hilarious detail.
In the second play, Ravenswood, the approach is quite the opposite. Here the saintly Dr. Toynbee injects his straitjacketed charges with tranquilizing drugs to calm such urges—but again the catalogue of aberrations revealed in his patients is subjected to close, and enormously funny, scrutiny.
About Terrence McNally
McNally has authored 32 plays and the books of a dozen musicals. Among them are Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion!. He has worked with Kander and Ebb on the musicals The Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Rink. His play Lips Together,Teeth Apart, is a study of the irrational fears many people harbor towards homosexuals. With these and other works he has received four Tony Awards, an Emmy, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild since 1970 and has served as vice-president since 1981. McNally was partnered to Thomas Kirdahy following a civil union ceremony in Vermont in 2003 and they subsequently married in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2010.
Directed by Sam Slack, the cast includes Chris Dellea, Jody Kordana, Jonathan Slocum, Matt Barbas, Dana Grieb, Peter Mitchell, Charlie Wright, Ryan Cavanaugh and Kevin Wixsom.
Details and Tickets
Performances will be held in the Robert Boland Theatre at Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street in Pittsfield on Friday and Saturday evenings, June 10, 11, 17 & 18 at 8 PM, with matinees on Sundays June 12 and 19 at 2 PM. Tickets are $12 and $15. Reservations/Info available at 413-443-9279.
And once again, this play contains strong language and is not recommended for children.
For more information on the Town Players of Pittsfield please visit