Palm Beach Dramaworks Names New Season With Albee & Friel

By Bill Hirschman

Palm Beach Dramaworks’ affinities for Edward Albee and Irish-themed plays are reflected in its upcoming 13th season for 2012-2013.

The season will open Oct. 12-Nov. 11 with Lanford Wilson’s quirky romantic comedy about two wounded souls in small town Missouri gingerly seeking love in the Pulitzer-winning Talley’s Folly. No pressure, but look forward to what set designer Michael Amico will deliver for the overgrown, deteriorating boathouse of the title.

The Albee slot (they’ve done six before this) is another Pulitzer-winner,  A Delicate Balance  Dec. 7-Jan. 6. An unnerving blend of a surreal premise in familiar surroundings, Albee depicts a well-to-do Connecticut family upended when the daughter’s godparents, seized by a nameless terror, come to live with them and won’t leave.

Lorraine Hansberry’s classic groundbreaking drama, A Raisin in the Sun, is set for Feb. 1-March 3, a rare foray for the West Palm Beach theater into African-American themes.

Dramaworks had a surprise triumph four seasons ago with Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist comedy, The Chairs. It’ll take a chance on another Ionesco masterpiece, Exit the King from March 29-April 28, which was a success in a New York revival in 2009 with Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon. The comedy centers on an incompetent King who has left his country in near ruin. Despite the efforts of the Queen and others to convince him he has only 90 minutes of real stage time left to live, he refuses to relinquish any control.

The regular season will end with Dancing at Lughnasa May 24-June 3. Brian Friel’s poignant tale unfolds the story of the Mundy sisters, who make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland, as told decades later from the perspective of the youngest daughter’s son.

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