We got word that there is a new show based on Dorothy Parker material, the first one for 2010 (and it won’t be the last). The show is running in Mrs. Parker’s old neighborhood too, the Upper West Side.
“Against Her Better Judgement” runs at the Drilling Company Theater, 236 West 78th Street, February 11-13th at 7:30pm and Feb 14th at 2pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance here. The show’s creator/producer Meg Flaherty was kind enough to play 5 Questions and tell us about “Against Her Better Judgement” and the cast that is taking part:
Why did you want to produce a show based on Dorothy Parker material?
Dorothy Parker is well remembered today for her wit and bitter charm; her quips and bon mots are quoted (and misquoted) all over the internet and, generation after generation, women—and men—are drawn in by her poetry and prose. Whatever it is we find in her work, her life, her legacy, continues to affect us. What we read in a piece of hers from the 20s or 30s might just as well be happening tomorrow, next door, only perhaps the characters are a little less gussied up and their speech a little less precise.
There are lessons to be revisited, if not relearned, in her work. Fashions may change, but the bone structure is the same. The men and women in these stories have the same fights today. Her poetry touches on the universal.
Many one-woman shows and movies are made to showcase the character of Dottie herself. In crafting this piece, we wished to focus more on the people who populate Mrs. Parker’s fiction, to explore these caricatures as facets of her multifarious personality. These sketches and dialogues are a gold-mine for the actor, full of barbs and tactics, but also a beating, bleeding emotional center when you boil the material down to the fundamental problem of relationships.
What Parker pieces are in it?
Stories: Here We Are, The Sexes, A Telephone Call, Dusk Before Fireworks, You Were Perfectly Fine and The Waltz.
Poems: Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals, Parable for a Certain Virgin, Love Song, Men, Unfortunate Coincidence, Two Volume Novel, Social Note, Threnody, To A Much Too Unfortunate Lady, Résumé, Mortal Enemy, But Not Forgotten, Theory, Inventory and Symptom Recital.
Is there a favorite of yours in the show? Why?
We have tried to tie the pieces together into one 90 minute evening, stringing the stories along with a convivial dance-hall atmosphere punctuated by the poems. It is hard to choose a favorite moment, but we feel the crux of the matter is best expressed in A Telephone Call, where we have positioned the men in the ensemble as voyeuristic spectators to the damage caused in their name.
Who are the actors in the production?
Emily Asbury performed in the national children’s theatre tour of Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing with Two Beans Productions. She is a recent graduate of Otterbein College with a BFA in Acting where some of her favorite credits included Julius Caesar (Portia), Peter Pan (Mrs. Darling), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Nine.
Lee Chrisman was last seen in Amateurs Under St Marks. He has acted in several other premieres, including Jiminy In The Wild City with Prophet In Your Pocket, and Donut Play (With Guns) through Basement Arts and LAByrinth.
Kristen Gehling is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School where she studied musical theatre. She most recently was seen on the stages of Florida in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and A Christmas Carol.
Meg Flaherty last appeared in The Best Friend, the Ingenue and the Vamp at Don’t Tell Mama. Recent New York credits include Clytemnestra in the Subjective Theatre Company’s Face of Beauty, Woman in Intimate Things and Charlie in Cardboard Box. Other favorite credits include Dr. Dysart in Equus, Jean in the US premiere of After Mrs. Rochester and Anne in Mother of Us All.
Levi Morger is a seven year veteran of New Rome. He was most recently seen as a bearded Russian in The Assembly’s Three Sisters and as Bosola in Art.Party Theatre Company’s The Duchess of Malfi.
Winston Osgood has been seen on the stages of some of the most prestigious barns, basements and church gymnasiums in America and has appeared in a number (4) of independent films.
How to get tickets?
It’s running for one weekend only so purchase tickets in advance.