Brooks Atkinson Theatre, (5/26/1982 - 6/13/1982)

First Preview: May 17, 1982
Opening Date: May 26, 1982
Closing Date: Jun 13, 1982
Total Previews: 11
Total Performances: 21

Category: Play, Comedy, Original, Broadway
Setting: A restaurant; Dr. Stuart Framingham's office; the office of Charlotte Wallace; and Bruce's apartment. The Present.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Messrs. Nederlander

Produced by Warner Theatre Productions, Inc./Claire Nichtern and FDM Productions

Commissioned and originally produced by The Phoenix Theatre (T. Edward Hambleton: Co-Founder and Managing Director; Norris Houghton: Co-Founder; Steven Robman: Artistic Director)

Written by Christopher Durang

Directed by John Madden

Scenic Design by Andrew Jackness; Costume Design by Jennifer von Mayrhauser; Lighting Design by Paul Gallo; Sound Design by Charles Bugbee III

General Manager: Gatchell & Neufeld, Ltd.; Company Manager: Roger Gindi

Production Stage Manager: Craig Jacobs; Stage Manager: Trey Hunt; Technical Supervisor: Theatrical Services, Inc.

Musical Coordinator: Jack Feldman

General Press Representative: Jeffrey Richards Associates; Advertising: Serino, Coyne & Nappi; Casting: Mary Colquhoun

Opening Night Cast

John LithgowBruce
Dianne WiestPrudence
Jack GilpinBob
Peter Michael GoetzStuart
Kate McGregor-StewartCharlotte
David Pierce
Broadway debut

Standby: James Eckhouse (Bruce, Stuart)

Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Award

 1983 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play [nominee] 

Kate McGregor-Stewart


New York Daily News: "A play 'Beyond Therapy'"

Christopher Durang is still our there dancing the varsity drag in "Beyond Therapy," a slightly altered version of his 1981 comedy that came to the Atkinson last evening. When the Phoenix Theater presented it Off Off Broadway early last year, it seemed crammed with college humor, funny but shapeless. That still holds.

A farce ostensibly concerned with the rickety romance between a jittery bisexual male and a perplexed female, both under therapy, it is practically yanked form under their splayed feet by their nitnutty analysts.

Charlotte (Kate McGregor-Stewart), who tends to Bruce (John Lithgow), is an almost totally distracted practitioner who fondles a Snoopy doll and has enormous difficulty finding the proper word (it takes her a long chain of associations to get from "dirigible" to "secretary" in summoning her receptionist in the next room). And Dr. Framingham (Peter Michael Goetz), who not only hears out Prudence (Dianne Wiest) but has seduced her, is vain and short-tempered as well as lecherous. Baiting shrinks is very old hat, of course, but these two provide the play with its funniest moments.

Bruce, who would like a wife and children to kind of round out his life, which already includes his male lover Bob (Jack Gilpin), has placed an ad for a woman, and Prudence turns up in a restaurant whose service is not merely poor but absent, since no waiter can be found. The two get off on the wrong feet, those awkward ones, but after a series of scenes switching back and forth between the therapists' offices and the restaurant, and one in Bruce's (and Bob's) apartment, they reach a sort of rapprochement to the strains of "Someone to Watch Over Me."

But the sentiment is to be found only in the music, for we neither believe in nor care a jot for the pair. Durang's insolence, particularly as expressed by the therapists, is a strong point, and there are many outrageously amusing lines, along with some titillating nonsequiturs.

In an earlier day, Durang might have written profitably for the Marx Brothers, who would then have tried out his stuff in front of live audiences before chopping it up and committing it to film. But on his own, so to speak, and I'm not discounting the help he's gotten from his cast and director, he is unable to make it all hang together. He's lopped off the final scene, bringing the play to a close much as before, but in the restaurant after the free-for-all, the latter never achieving the sought-after heights of hilarity.

I intend no disservice to the excellent Dianne Wiest, who makes an appealing Prudence, by saying that I missed the tall and gorgeous comedienne Sigourney Weaver, who created the part and whose mere presence on stage made the Phoenix production worth catching. John Lithgow, who towers over Wiest, is an engagingly bumbling Bruce, and Jack Gilpin, who also created his role, is modestly entertaining as Bruce's crushed and eventually bitchy lover Bob, who dates the waiter (David Pierce) when gunshots finally produce him.

But it is McGregor-Stewart and Goetz who bring the most enjoyment. John Madden has directed this slipshod piece with considerable flair, and Andrew Jackness has contributed some nicely dressed and smoothly sliding sets. Jennifer von Mayrhauser's costumes and Paul Gallo's lighting are also slickly professional. It's only the play that's lacking.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre

(5/26/1982 - 6/13/1982)
Press Representative: C. George Willard.

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