After the Night and Music
by Elaine May

After the Night borrows its title from the Howard Dietz song "You and the Night and the Music." It actually is a one-acter preceded by a curtain raiser, a quartet of interlaced monologues, and an intermission.

The aptly-titled Curtain Raiser is set in the bar of a dance hall where a grim woman and overweight former dance instructor connect, much to the surprise of both, when she attempts to rebuff his advances by telling him she can only lead and he teaches her how to lead better than she ever has before.

Giving Up Smoking introduces us to Joanne, a lonely, middle-aged woman waiting to hear from Mel, that evening's date; Joanne's best friend Sherman, a lonely, middle-aged gay man waiting to hear from potential new boyfriend Gavin; guitar-strumming Mel, whose policy is to dump a woman before she becomes emotionally demanding; and Sherman's cancer-ridden but brightly optimistic mother Kathleen. The four discuss hopes and dreams and reminisce about happier days in monologues each delivers from a separate area of the stage.

In Swing Time, Mitzi and her husband Darryl are preparing for the imminent arrival of old friends Gail and Ron. What kind of evening lies ahead is revealed when high-strung Mitzi bemoans the fact her bra and panties don't match. The two couples are slowly easing themselves into the intended purpose of the evening when the phone rings and Mitzi refers to "the private line." Her friends' indignation at not being given the number and Mitzi's increasingly complicated reasons why they weren't disrupt everything in May's typically comic fashion.

Directed by Daniel Sullivan
Manhattan Theater Club at Biltmore Theatre
From 4/28/05 to 7/03/05; opening 6/01/05

"Curtain Raiser": J. Smith-Cameron (Gloria), Eddie Korbich (Keith), Deirdre Madigan (Brittany), Jere Burns (Bartender), Brian Kerwin (Another Man) and Joanna Glushak (Another Woman).

"Giving Up Smoking": Jeannie Berlin (Joanne), Mr. Burns (Sherman), Mr. Kerwin (Mel) and Ms. Smith-Cameron (Kathleen).

"Swing Time": Ms. Smith-Cameron (Mitzi Grade), Mr. Burns (Darryl Grade), Ms. Berlin (Gail) and Mr. Kerwin (Ron).