"THE DINING ROOM" WELCOMES YOUR VISIT


BONNIE GOLDBERG

A whole lot of living can take place in the dining room, especially if it is decorated by the imagination of playwright A. R. Gurney. From good conversation to gourmet meals to congenial company, the dining room can be the gathering place for families to unite and celebrate life.

 

Pull up a chair and adjust your napkin and silverware, fill your water glass and gaze with affection at the fellow guests seated in Gurney's "The Dining Room" at Westport County Playhouse. Reservations will be accepted until Saturday, May 18.

 

Michael Yeargan's robin's egg blue set invites three decades of diverse family members to enter and leave this sacred family assembling point. Gurney focuses on a succession of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, WASPS, who breakfast and dine, squabble and savor, reveal secrets and protest indiscretions, enjoy poached eggs and welcome the cocktail hour, plan funerals and reveal divorce proceedings, hold birthday parties and toast business successes, strategize game plans and draw up architectural blueprints, all in the name of civility, conviviality and gentility.

 

Six talented actors, three male and three female, Chris Henry Coffey, Jake Robards, Charles Socarides, Heidi Armbruster, Keira Naughton and Jennifer Van Dyck, play everyone from silly teenagers to crusty old grandfathers, overworked and underappreciated maids to adulterous matrons, eager to please architects to unenthusiastic and awkward dance partners, apology-seeking defenders of justice to a photographer desiring to be a recorder of a dying breed. These vignettes comprise a kaleidoscope of a changing horizon of life, all witnessed by one room, the dining room. Mark Lamos directs this evolving picture of society and the changes in mores, morality and manners it reveals.

 

For tickets ($30 and up), call the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 1-888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

 

The snowy white linen tablecloth is laid, the tall tapers are lit, the chilled cocktails are poured, and all that is missing is you.

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