“Nobody goes to the theater anymore,” says Bradley, the well-off 75-year-old WASP father who presides over The Cocktail Hour, in a poignant comedy that concludes the 33rd Season at The Theater Barn. Popular playwright and author of Sylvia, A.R. Gurney sets us in the mid ’70s, in upstate New York. John, a playwright, returns to his family’s house, bringing with him a new play which he has written about them. His purpose is to obtain their permission to proceed with production, but his wealthy, very proper parents are cautious from the outset. For them the theatre is personified by the gracious, comforting era of the Lunts and Ina Claire, and they are disturbed by the bluntness of modern plays. And there is also John’s sister, Nina, to contend with, although her reservations have to do with the fact that John has given her character such a minor role. Their confrontation takes place during the ritual of the cocktail hour, and as the martinis flow so do the recriminations and revelations, both funny and poignant.
Director Phil Rice returns with a strong cast including Barn favorites Meg Dooley (The Wedding Singer, Boeing, Boeing & The Unexpected Guest) and Eric Derringer (Moonlight and Magnolias & It Had to Be You) with newcomers Colleen Lovett and Steve King. Gurney’s play was a long-run New York success and this witty, perceptive play blends mordant humor with moments of affecting poignancy. The NY Post wrote that “The Cocktail Hour makes for a deliciously funny and also occasionally touching evening, as Gurney’s family sit around raking over old coals and settling old scores with a quite new and beguiling freshness.” This invigorating evening of theater will close out the Theater Barn’s successful 33rd season.
The Cocktail Hour opens at the air-conditioned Theater Barn on Friday, September 9, 2016 and runs through Sunday, September 25, 2016. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $27.00 for the evening performances and $25.00 for the Sunday matinee. For information and reservations, please call (518) 794-8989. www.thetheaterbarn.org