Winter Theater Gets Serious

Local theater companies are taking on some exciting and award-winning works this winter.

The season begins with Center Stage at the Southampton Cultural Center’s performance of Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” on Jan. 10. 

Hampton Theatre Company in Quogue launches “Admissions” by Joshua Harmon on Jan. 16 and the North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck is putting up Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Angle” beginning Jan. 17.

In “A Delicate Balance,” Albee’s 1966 Pulitzer Prize-winning production, Agnes and Tobias, a wealthy middle-aged couple and Agnes’s witty live-in alcoholic sister have their complacency shattered when longtime friends Harry and Edna appear on their doorstep claiming an encroaching, nameless “fear” has forced them from their own home.  

They are soon followed by Agnes and Tobias’s bitter 36-year old daughter Julia who returns home following the collapse of her fourth marriage.  These events bring a firestorm of doubt, recrimination and ultimately solace, upsetting the “delicate balance” of Agnes and Tobias’s household. 

This production features  Bonnie Grice, John Leonard, Joanna Mincarelli, Tamara Salkin, Kristin Whiting and Scott Wilson. Joan M. Lyons directs.  

Showtimes are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Jan. 26. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students, and can be had by calling 631.287.4377  or visiting scc-arts.org.

The Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton.

Playing the diversity card cuts both ways in “Admissions” at HTC.

Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of the admissions department  fighting to diversify the student body at Hillcrest, a New England prep school. With support from her husband Bill, the school’s headmaster, she has largely succeeded in bringing a stodgy institution into the 21st century. But when their only son, Charlie, is deferred by an  Ivy League university, claims he is the victim of reverse discrimination because he is white, personal ambition collides with progressive values, with convulsive results. 

HTC is offering free admission for high school juniors and seniors and their parents or guardians  to the dress rehearsal at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Call 631.653.8955 or email info@hamptontheatre.org for more details. 

Hampton Bays High School senior Ian Hubbard plays Charlie, Morgan Vaughan plays Sherri, Tristan Vaughan plays Bill, and HTC Artistic Director Diana Marbury plays Roberta, Minerva Perez plays Sherri’s best friend, Ginnie.  Hampton Theatre Company president Andrew Botsford directs.

Showtimes are Thursdays & Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 16 through Feb. 2, with an additional Saturday matinée Feb. 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for over 65, $20 for under 35 and $10 for students. 

The Hampton Theatre Company is located in the Quogue Community Hall at 125 Jessup Ave. in Quogue.

“Picasso at the Lapin Angle,” a long running Off-Broadway absurdist comedy coming to the NFCT Jan. 17, places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism.

In his first comedy for the stage, Steve Martin plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects as well as other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness. Bystanders, including Picasso’ agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher and an idiot inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile is a charismatic dark haired singer time warped in from a later era. 

“Picasso at the Lapin Angle” was the winner of the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play.

Bob Kaplan directs the NFCT’s production, which runs Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Feb. 2. Tickets are $25, and are available by calling 631.298.6328 or visiting  nfct.org. The North Fork Community Theatre is located at 12700 Old Sound Ave. in Mattituck.

NFCT’s 16th annual Variety Show kicks off January, with performances  at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3 and 4, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5. NFCT veterans and newcomers share their talents in a program that raises funds for the NFCT scholarship fund, which gives awards each year to six high school seniors. Tickets are $15 and available at the door. Call 631-298-NFCT (6328) for information.

Auditions for NFCT’s March production of “Wolf Hall” will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Jan. 5 and 6, at the Mattituck American Legion Hall, Pike Street and Wickham Avenue. Callbacks are tentatively set for Wednesday, Jan. 8.

“Wolf Hall” is Mike Poulton’s adaptation of the Hilary Mantel novel, tells the story of the rise of King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell. All roles (19 men and seven women) are open.

— BY

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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