Friday, September 13, 2019

MEET THE 2019 NOMINEES: Mary, Mary

By Jean Kerr
Directed by Shay Gines
Produced by Retro Productions

Outstanding Set Design - Jack & Rebecca Cunningham
Outstanding Costume Design - Ben Philipp
Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role - Heather E. Cunningham
Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Meghan E. Jones
Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role - Desmond Dutcher
Outstanding Revival of a Play

Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role - Heather E. Cunningham

Nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role - Desmond Dutcher
Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Meghan E. Jones

Witty yet somehow earthy, MARY, MARY by Jean Kerr is, arguably, the most perfectly constructed light comedy of the English-speaking stage. Mary is a compulsively wise-cracking magazine editor who uses her sense of humor to shield her insecurities, while Bob is an infuriatingly sensible publisher. Their marriage ended in divorce and they haven't seen each other in 9 months, but now Mary has been called back to Bob's apartment by their mutual friend and lawyer, Oscar, in the hopes that they can avert an audit by the IRS. Throw in Bob's young fiancee Tiffany; his old war buddy, the handsome and single film hero whose star is in decline, Dirk Winston; and one major snow storm--and we begin to wonder, will Mary and Bob recognize that they are soul mates in time to get back together before they each end up in the arms of another?

Starring Heather E. Cunningham*, Desmond Dutcher*, Chris Harcum*, Meghan E. Jones, and Robert Franklin Neill*

Stage Manager:  Lara Tenenbaum
Set Designers: Jack and Rebecca Cunningham
Costume Designer: Ben Philipp
Sound Designer: Trevor Williams
Properties Designer:  Sara Slagle
Lighting Designer:  Asa Lipton
Press Representative:  Alton PR and Production
Photographer:  Connolly Photo NYC

*Appeared courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

Nominated for Outstanding Costume Design - Ben PhilippPHOTO: Kyle Connolly 

What attracted you to working on this project?
It is not often that we think of female playwrights when we think of this time period, and when searching for our next production I made the decision to only consider plays written before 1980 by women which fulfilled our mission of “Retro” (and honestly, I wanted to do a comedy!). Jean Kerr was one of the most prolific female playwrights of the 20th century and Mary, Mary is by far her best work. It’s really not hard to see what made it so popular that it ran for 1,572 performances (it remains number 52 on Playbill’s list of the 119 longest-running Broadway shows to this day).

What was your favorite part of working on this production? And why?
The cast and staff.

Nominated for Outstanding Set Design - Jack & Rebecca Cunningham. PHOTO: Kyle Connolly

What was the most challenging part of working on this production? And why?
Productions that require large scenic elements are always a challenge in small spaces and on small budgets. But our set design team figured out how to make the small stage seem much bigger than it was!

Nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role - Desmond DutcherPHOTO: Kyle Connolly  

What do you want the audience to come away with after watching your production?
Honestly, that they'd had a good time!

Why are the nominees from this production awesome?
Amazing designers, amazing actors - and every single one of them lovely people.

Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Meghan E. JonesPHOTO: Kyle Connolly 
Was there anything odd, quirky, innovative, funny or otherwise noteworthy about your experience with this production?
As a producer I HATE curtain speeches. I have always made an effort to create curtain speeches that don't feel like curtain speeches - that feel like they are part of the world that we are building for the play. For this show, since one of the characters is a movie star, we created a short film in the style of some of old Hollywoods fourth-wall-breaking previews. As a joke, for ourselves mostly, but one the audience definitely got, the end had a version of the MGM lion - played by my little black cat, Master Pinter Paws.

What does this nomination mean to you?
There is no greater reward than your peers telling you you did good work. None.

Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role - Heather E. Cunningham PHOTO: Kyle Connolly  


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