“MR. LUCAS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE THEATER’S MOST PROBING AND POETIC CHARTERS OF THE SINISTER UNDERTOW THAT PULSES BENEATH DAILY AMERICAN LIFE.”
– The New York Times
THE LYING LESSON
by CRAIG LUCAS
directed by PAM MACKINNON
Linda Gross Theater, 336 W 20th St.
In a remote seaside village in Maine, legendary film star Bette Davis (Carol Kane) shows up to buy the home of an elderly couple. When she encounters a young local woman (Mickey Sumner) who appears never to have heard of her, “Ruth” stakes a claim on her distant past, and plays a relentless game of cat and mouse with her new “assistant.”
In this hilarious and unsettling comic thriller, Craig Lucas, celebrated author of Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and The Light in the Piazza twists and turns the audience around essential questions about memory, identity and truth-telling.
Review: Lucas’ ‘The Lying Lesson’ A Gentle Comedy
Women’s Wear Daily
Mickey Sumner’s Big Spring
“Photo Flash” of The Lying Lesson in rehearsal
CAROL KANE (Ruth) made her theatrical debut in the 1966 production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie starring Tammy Grimes. Since then she has appeared on the New York Stage both on and Off-Broadway. Plays include Beth Henley’s Family Week and The Debutante Ball. She co-starred with Gena Rowland’s in the John Cassavettes play A Woman of Mystery directed by John Cassavettes. At Lincoln Center for Joe Papp her performances include The Tempest and Macbeth as well as plays at Mr. Papp’s Public Theatre, including Wasp and Other Plays by Steve Martin. She starred alongside Shelley Winters on Broadway in The Effect of Gamma Rays, on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. In addition Kane has been seen on Broadway and Los Angeles, starring as Madame Morrible in Wicked. Recently, she was seen as Gingy in Nora & Delia Ephron’s Off-Broadway hit, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the Broadway production of Harvey at the Roundabout and Ian Rickson’s West End production of The Children’s Hour with Keira Knightly, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn. Kane owes her film debut to Mike Nichols in Carnal Knowledge. Other films include: Wedding in White co-starring with Donald Pleasence, The Last Detail for director Hal Ashby, Dog Day Afternoon, director Sidney Lumet, Annie Hall directed by Woody Allen, The Lemon Sisters co-starring Diane Keaton and Kathryn Grody, The Princess Bride, director Rob Reiner, Scrooged director Dick Donner, My Blue Heaven written by Nora Ephron, as well as Steve Buscemi’s Trees Lounge, Adams Family Values, When a Stranger Calls, Flashback starring Dennis Hopper, The World’s Greatest Lover co-starring Gene Wilder and The Muppet Movie. Most recently Kane performed in Mike Birbiglia’s film Sleep Walk with Me and the soon to be released independent feature Clutter. Kane was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Joan Micklin Silver’s film Hester Street. Television includes: Simka, wife of Latka (Andy Kaufman) on the television series “Taxi.” For which she won two Emmy Awards®. Pearl, All Is Forgiven and Chicago Hope where she garnered another Emmy nomination. She was seen as Richard Belzer’s ex-wife on “Law & Order: SVU,” as well as the television series “Two and Half Men.”
MICKEY SUMNER(Missy Bodine) makes her Off-Broadway and Atlantic Theater Company debut after recently appearing on the New York stage in the Culture Project workshop of The Seagull (directed by Max Stafford-Clark). Other theater credits include the recent 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, Tomorrow Morning (HB Playwrights Foundation), Hillbilly Women and Rumspringa. London credits include Think Global, F**k Local at The Royal Court. Television includes a recurring role in the Showtime series “The Borgias” (Season 1). Film includes the co-starring role opposite Greta Gerwig in Noah Baumbach’s film Frances Ha (2012 Toronto Film Festival, 2012 New York Film Festival and 2012 Telluride Film Festival) which will be released by IFC in May, a cameo role as iconic rocker Patti Smith in CBGB with Alan Rickman, the lead role in Missed Connections (Winner of the Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award 2012, opening night film of the 2012 Gen Art Film Festival in NYC, winner of Gen Art’s Audience Award, and winner of the Savannah Film Festival Audience Award), Girl Most Likely (2012 Toronto Film Festival) to be released by Lionsgate this summer, I Have No Hold on You, This is not an Umbrella and We’re going to the Zoo (Red Bucket Films). Born and raised in England, she currently lives in New York City, having graduated with a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in 2007.
CRAIG LUCAS (Playwright) is the author of the plays Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest. His screenplays include Blue Window, Longtime Companion, Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Secret Lives of Dentists and The Dying Gaul (which he also directed). Lucas has written the scripts for the musicals Marry Me A Little, Songs by Stephen Sondheim, Three Postcards (music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia) and The Light in the Piazza (music and lyrics by Adam Guettel). His opera libretti include Orpheus in Love (composer Gerald Busby) and Two Boys (composer Nico Muhly), which premiered at the English National Opera. Lucas directed the world premiere of The Light in the Piazza at the Intiman Theater in Seattle, the film Birds of America, the play This Thing of Darkness (by Lucas and David Schulner) and Harry Kondoleon’s plays Saved or Destroyed and Play Yourself. He has created a new scenario for Christopher Wheeldon’s version of Prokofiev’s ballet Cinderella for the Dutch National Ballet.
Pam MacKinnon (Director) Recent credits include Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Broadway, Steppenwolf, Arena Stage); Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park (Broadway,Taper; Playwrights Horizons – Tony® and Lortel nominations for direction, Obie Award); Horton Foote’s Harrison, TX (Primary Stages); Itamar Moses’ Completeness (Playwrights Horizons, SCR). She is a frequent interpreter of the plays of Edward Albee, having directed, in addition to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,Peter and Jerry (now called At Home at the Zoo; Second Stage, Hartford); Occupant (Signature); A Delicate Balance (Arena); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Alley, Vienna); Play About the Baby (PTC; Goodman). She is a WP Lab, Drama League and Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab Alumna and is chair of the board of the downtown company Clubbed Thumb, Inc. dedicated to new American plays.
Neil Patel (Scenic Designer) Recent work includes Water by the Spoonful at Second Stage, Golden Child at the Signature Theater and Checkers at the Vineyard. Mr. Patel’s work is well known to audiences on and off Broadway, and in many regional theaters and opera houses in the United States and abroad. He is the recipient twice of an OBIE for sustained excellence, the Helen Hayes and EDDY award and numerous Drama Desk, Hewes and Lortel nominations. He also designs television and film including HBO’s In Treatment and Neil Labute’s upcoming feature Some Velvet Morning. www.neilpatel.com