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.
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.
Manhattan Theater Club at Biltmore Theatre
From 4/28/05 to 7/03/05; opening 6/01/05
Raiser": J. Smith-Cameron (Gloria), Eddie Korbich (Keith),
Deirdre Madigan (Brittany), Jere Burns (Bartender), Brian Kerwin
(Another Man) and Joanna Glushak (Another Woman).
Up Smoking": Jeannie Berlin (Joanne), Mr. Burns (Sherman),
Mr. Kerwin (Mel) and Ms. Smith-Cameron (Kathleen).
Time": Ms. Smith-Cameron (Mitzi Grade), Mr. Burns (Darryl Grade),
Ms. Berlin (Gail) and Mr. Kerwin (Ron).