After two Off-Broadway incarnations, the Donald Marguiles-penned play “Collected Stories” has moved to the Great White Way. The play, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club and directed by Lynne Meadow, opened April 28 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Linda Lavin stars as respected Greenwich Village author Ruth Steiner opposite co-star Sarah Paulson, who stands as the writer’s fawning student Lisa Morrison. The two-hander chronicles the women’s changing relationship over the course of six scenes that represent as many years.
At the start of the play, Ruth invites the wide-eyed and seemingly innocent Lisa into her home for a critique. Over the years, the veteran writer becomes both a surrogate mother and rival to the fledgling novelist. But by the play’s blow-out dénouement — a confrontation over a perceived literary betrayal — Ruth’s perception of creative principles is challenged as Lisa’s true character comes into question.
“Collected Stories” began a stretch of 20 previews April 9. In the ensuing weeks, audiences increased from 56 percent to 76 percent of capacity in the 650-seat playhouse.
Regular tickets for most performances of “Collected Stories” range in price from $57 to $97, except Wednesday matinees, which have tickets available from $47 to $87. Box office receipts totaled $137,026 for the final full week of previews, according to numbers from the Broadway League.
The limited engagement is on the books through June 13. The schedule currently calls for evening performances on Tuesday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., as well as matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. As of May 4, a Wednesday matinee is added to the schedule for 2 p.m., as Sunday evenings go dark to maintain the eight-perfs-per-week standard.
“Collected Stories” runs two hours, including a 15-minute intermission. The Samuel J. Friedman Theater is located at 261 West 47th Street in New York, NY. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Collected Stories”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“Lordy, lordy, what a boring play it is.”|
|New York Times||Charles Isherwood||“‘Collected Stories’…digs into its engaging tale of aesthetics and ethics with intelligence and sharp, literate humor.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||Frank Scheck||“Handed one of her richest roles, Lavin tears into it with gusto, beautifully lacing Ruth’s acerbic wit with perfectly timed doses of stringent humor.”|
|TheaterMania||David Finkel||“It’s the truth of the tale — and the commitment of its actors — that will linger in audiences’ memories long after the curtain has come down.”|
|NY Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“Though very well-made, the play gets too tidy, if even contrived, at times…”|
|Associated Press||Michael Kuchwara||“‘Collected Stories’ is a solid piece of theatrical craftsmanship — in the expert hands of two fine actresses.”|