Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky in The Roommate. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Two of Boston’s best-loved actresses join forces for The Roommate, Jen Silverman’s quirky comedy about two middle-aged women who find themselves living together, trying new things, and reckoning with a demon or two. Paula Plum plays Sharon, a 54-year-old Iowa woman who has recently retired from her marriage and takes in a roommate in order to save a little money. Adrianne Krstansky plays Robyn, a gay vegan from the Bronx whose arrival awakens in Sharon something real and untapped.
Directed by Spiro Veloudos, The Roommate is an irresistible treat featuring two beloved actresses at the top of their games. The play loses a bit of steam in its last third when Sharon takes a special interest in Robyn’s past, but Plum’s evolution (or devolution, depending on how you look at it) from provincial Midwestern matron to a scheming, pot-selling hussy is profoundly entertaining. What’s more, it’s the best thing the Lyric has done in nearly two years.
THE ROOMMATE. THROUGH 11.18 AT THE LYRIC STAGE COMPANY OF BOSTON, 140 CLARENDON ST., BOSTON. LYRICSTAGE.COM
There are so many hidden jems in the set of The Roommate that give this cozy Iowan home its quirky Mid-Western charm. Check out some of the details that make the set come to life in the pictures below!
A brief guide to everything you might want to know about The Roommate.
by Sivan Amir & Alzi Kenney, Artistic Assistants
Approximate Run Time: 100 minutes
Playwright: Jen Silverman
Cast Size: 2
Lyric Actors You May Remember: Paula Plum (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Light Up the Sky, Death of a Salesman, 33 Variations, Three Tall Women), Adrianne Krstansky (Barbecue, November)
Director: Spiro Veloudos
Description: Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life completely. It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.
The Playwright Says: “So I really wanted to write a play for badass women in their 50s. I sort of thought that, like, there is a kind of energy, a kind of concentration that happens when they are the two players on that stage and they have all that agency and all that power.”
“The hilarious yet poignant work featured Leigh Barrett as Madame Flo and the irreplaceable Will McGarrahan as the ivory tickler whose affectionate commingling of horror and admiration allowed us to see the Muse-murdering Jenkins as both ridiculous and somehow valorous.” – Souvenir
“Director Scott Edmiston presided over this pitch-perfect, period-perfect revival of Edward Albee’s 1962 marathon marital battle whose combatants are named for America’s original First Couple.” – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Lyric Stage productions nominated in six categories
What are the Elliot Norton Awards?
“The awards are presented annually by The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) (Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Nick Dussault, Iris Fanger, Joyce Kulhawik, Kilian Melloy, Bob Nesti, and Ed Siegel) to honor the outstanding productions, directors, designers, and performers that audiences have seen on Greater Boston area stages throughout the year.”
Scroll down to preview the Lyric Stage winners and nominees, and send your congrats to the actors, designers, and directors on Facebook and Twitter.
WINNER: Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater My Fair Lady
The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up gets a constant makeover
by Katharine Mayk, Artistic Assistant
Peter and The Starcatcher is a prequel to the beloved classic Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Since his creation by the pen of J.M. Barrie in 1904, Peter has become one of the world’s most beloved characters.
Charming, callow, and clever, Peter Pan has become a household name.
Although Peter never ages, we watch as he is reincarnated and reimagined as we grow and mature. With every trip to Neverland with a new Peter, we are reminded that we can stay young at heart with “faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
So come with us “where dreams are born and time is never planned” as we take a look at Peter through the years.
Nina Boucicault originated the role of Peter in London in the West End 1904–1905. Boucicault was both a well-known actress of the time and the director Dion Boucicault’s sister.
Maude Adams, 1905–1907 originated Peter in the original Broadway play and is credited with having started the ‘Peter Pan collar’ fashion trend.
The first live action film of Peter Pan (1924) featured Betty Bronson in a silent film adaptation. The female tradition continued with well known Hollywood stars taking up Pan’s pipes including Eva Le Galliene (1928), Jean Arther (1950), and Veronica Lake (1951).
Disney’s animated feature Peter Pan in 1953 was the first time a male portrayed the role of Peter with Bobby Driscoll as the voice. The feature utilized the voice actors as physical models for their animated counterparts.
Mary Martin (1954) originated the title role in the musical Broadway production Peter Pan.
Many more women have donned the famous green tights over the years playing the role in revivals of the Broadway show including Sandy Duncan (1979), Mia Farrow (TV Movie, 1976), Kathy Rigby (1990), and most recently Allison Williams (TV Movie, 2014).
In Hook (1991), Robin Williams brought a childlike wonder to the imagined sequel of what would have been if Peter left Neverland and chose to grow up. Peter is forced to return to Neverland and face his past when his children are kidnapped by his old nemesis James Hook.
2003 marked the first live-action version of Peter Pan with a male lead, Jeremy Sumpter.
“Finding Neverland,” the 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp, delved into J.M. Barrie’s life, relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her sons, and his inspiration for writing Peter Pan. The movie was subsequently developed into a musical of the same name originating in Boston at the American Repertory Theater and moving to Broadway in 2015.
Peter and the Starcatcher plays May 20 — June 25, 2016 at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. It chronicles the adventures of Molly, a girl charged to protect a cargo of stardust from falling into the wrong hands, and an orphan named Peter who eventually becomes The Boy Who Never Grew Up.
Peter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling grownup prequel to Peter Pan that will have you hooked from the moment you let your mind take wing. As the NY Times raved, “this show never stops flying!”
One of the Year’s Most Produced Play Comes to Boston
What should you except from Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play?
There is no other theatre space like the Lyric Stage in Boston.
The front row rests their feet on the stage, and no one is more than 35 feet from the performers at any time. The audience is always part of the action, but for Mr. Burns, we have specifically built an immersive experience, so the audience is complicit in the events of the play.
From the moment you walk into the theatre, you’ll be entrenched in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. As the most-produced play in the country this year, many theatres have put their spin on this funny, dark, and theatrical show.