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See Jayne Act

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Making a spectacle of herself: Jayne Houdyshell

So it isn’t only vaguely grizzled men who make me eager to attend the theater. There are also plenty of women who have me rushing to get my tickets (though my desire to watch them typically has rather more to do with their craft than with their flashing eyes and strong chins). One of that number is the imcomparable Jayne Houdyshell, recently seen on Broadway in Lisa Kron’s Well. She’ll be playing the title character in Adam Bock’s The Receptionist, part of MTC’s new season.

After the jump, the rest of MTC’s offerings…

Mauritius
Written by THERESA REBECK
Directed by DOUG HUGHES
With F. MURRAY ABRAHAM, DYLAN BAKER, BOBBY CANNAVALE, KATIE FINNERAN, and ALISON PILL
A co-production with the Huntington Theatre Company
A gripping new play from the enterprising author of such acclaimed hits as The Scene, Bad Dates and Omnium Gatherum (for which she and her co-author were Pulitzer Prize finalists). Jackie and Mary are half-sisters whose mother’s death leaves them in possession of a rare stamp collection. But which sister actually owns the stamps? Which of three dealers can be trusted with their sale? And where do we choose to live: the present or the past? Tightly woven and ever-surprising, this sinister comedy marks Theresa Rebeck’s Broadway debut.

Top Girls
Written by CARYL CHURCHILL
Directed by JAMES MACDONALD
The Broadway debut of a Caryl Churchill masterpiece. Set at the Top Girls Employment Agency in London in the early 1980s, this groundbreaking, theatrical play tells the story of Marlene, an ambitious career woman who has just been appointed head of the firm. But as she celebrates her achievements, can we applaud her values? This bold and ingenious work from the singularly talented author of Far Away and Cloud Nine offers one of the theatre’s most honest portraits of what it means to be a woman in the modern world. Directing is James Macdonald, who staged the New York premiere of Churchill’s A Number, as well as this season’s hit production of Dying City at Lincoln Center Theater.

The Receptionist
Written by ADAM BOCK
Directed by JOE MANTELLO
With JOSH CHARLES, ROBERT FOXWORTH, JAYNE HOUDYSHELL, and KENDRA KASSEBAUM
Beverly takes pride in her work as the receptionist at a busy Northeast office. Whether coaching her co-worker Lorraine through romantic troubles, fielding calls for their boss Mr. Raymond or carefully monitoring the flow of office supplies, Beverly keeps her domain shipshape. But when handsome Mr. Dart arrives unexpectedly from the central office, Beverly is charmed, Lorraine is smitten and Mr. Raymond is caught completely off guard. This world premiere from Adam Bock, the author of The Thugs and Swimming in the Shallows will be directed by Joe Mantello, the two-time Tony Award®-winning director of last season’s Blackbird at MTC, as well as Wicked, Take Me Out, and Love! Valour! Compassion!

The Starry Messenger
Written and Directed by KENNETH LONERGAN
With MATTHEW BRODERICK
Mark (Two time Tony Awardâ winner Matthew Broderick) works at the Hayden Planetarium, teaching Upper West Siders about the mysteries of the galaxy. But when this forty-something married man meets a pretty young single mother, his own solar system begins spinning out of control, forcing him to come to terms with the inertia that is his life. Is it too late to try and re-connect with his wife and son? And how did his middling career get so badly off track? THE STARRY MESSENGER is a wise and stirring New York story from one of America ‘s most insightful playwrights. Told with wit and compassion, this world premiere comes from Kenneth Lonergan, the Academy Award®-nominated author of You Can Count on Me, as well as the celebrated plays Lobby Hero, The Waverly Gallery and This Is Our Youth.

Pumpgirl
Written by ABBIE SPALLEN
Directed by CAROLYN CANTOR
In this gripping play from one of Ireland ’s brightest new talents, playwright Abbie Spallen shapes a startling tale of three lives colliding in rural Ireland . The play unfolds with the story of a homely, tomboyish pump girl at a rundown gas station. When a local racetrack star becomes the focus of her obsession, the affair threatens more than the feelings of his disenchanted wife. A blazing success last season in Edinburgh and at London ’s renowned Bush Theatre, the play is in the best tradition of richly detailed and unforgettable Irish storytelling.

The Four of Us
Written by ITAMAR MOSES
Directed by PAM MacKINNON
Previews begin: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Opening Night: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
When Benjamin’s first novel vaults him into literary stardom, his friend David, a struggling playwright, is thrilled for his newfound success…or is he? Should Benjamin help David by using his new connections? Can David even expect such favors from his friend? And, most importantly, who should pay for lunch? THE FOUR OF US is a poignant new play about friendship and memory, the gap between our stories and our lives, and what happens when your dreams come true – for your best friend.

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