The work of four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally will be celebrated in Eclipse Theatre Company's 2015 season.
The Chicago-based company, which traditionally dedicates a full season to one playwright, will open April 16 with Lips Together, Teeth Apart and continue with A Perfect Ganesh and The Lisbon Traviata at the Athenaeum Theatre.
"We are thrilled to dedicate our 2015 season to the works of one of the most beloved and prolific playwrights working in the American theatre today," said Eclipse artistic director Nathaniel Swift in a statement. "With insightful humor and sharp wit, Terrence McNally's plays embody the human spirit and illuminate the ever changing social and sexual politics of our time. We look forward to showcasing a wide range of his canon, from his award-winning Broadway hits to his rarely seen Pulitzer-nominated comedy. The Terrence McNally season will be a memorable and exciting theatrical experience for our audiences and artists alike."
In Lips Together, Teeth Apart, directed by Ted Hoerl, "a gay community in Fire Island provides an unlikely setting for two straight couples who are discovered lounging poolside, staring out to sea," according to press notes about the upcoming season. "Through monologues unheard by the others, the characters reveal a desperate sense of individual isolation. The only people these four characters find more alien are the gay men partying in the houses on either side of them. As they divert themselves from their own mortality with food, cocktails, The New York Times crossword puzzle, fireworks, charades, and biting jabs at each other and the boys next door, Sally and Sam and John and Chloe find little to celebrate about themselves or their country on its birthday."
"On their journey for inner peace, two middle-aged women travel to India instead of to their more usual Caribbean vacation spots" in A Perfect Ganesh, directed by Swift. "They have chosen India as a way of healing from the deaths of their sons. While there, they meet a Hindu god, Ganesha, meaning 'wisdom.' Faced with the women's despair, who but the golden elephant god could intervene? Fluid in his power to assume any guise, at peace with all things, Ganesha is the spiritual center around which the play spins itself, drawing upon the tragic and the comic, the beautiful and the deplorable, until a breathtaking release arrives for both women at his hands."
Directed by ensemble member Steve Scott, The Lisbon Traviata "centers around a revealing conversation between depressed literary editor and opera fanatic, Stephen, and Mendy, a flamboyant opera queen. The two dish late into the night, distracting Stephen from his failing relationship with hilarious riffs on records, divas and more. But when Stephen returns home to confront his boyfriend, a tragedy unfolds on the scale of the grand opera he loves so much."
Meanwhile, in New York, a star-studded staging of McNally's comedy It's Only a Play opened October 9 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, marking the playwright's 21st Broadway outing. An off-Broadway revival of Lips Together, Teeth Apart opens October 29 at Second Stage Theatre.