Brantley, The New York Times
OTHER DESERT CITIES
In Jon Robin Baitz’s OTHER DESERT CITIES, Brooke Wyeth (Elizabeth Marvel) returns home to Palm Springs after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents (Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach), her brother (Matthew Risch), and her aunt (Judith Light). Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.
OTHER DESERT CITIES had its premiere at LCT last winter where it played to sold-out houses during its limited engagement run at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. It was named Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play by the Outer Critics Circle. The Broadway production is again directed by Joe Mantello, fresh from the stage of The Normal Heart.
Winner of the 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play!
In OTHER DESERT CITIES, Brooke Wyeth (Elizabeth Marvel) returns home to Palm Springs to visit her parents (Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach) after a six-year absence. A once-promising novelist, she announces to her family the imminent publication of a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound that her parents don’t want reopened.
Brooke has come home to draw a line in the sand and is daring her family to cross it. Her brother (Thomas Sadoski) won’t play her game; her aunt (Linda Lavin) knows way too much, and her parents fall into all their old routines as they plead with her to keep their story quiet. In this family, secrets are currency and everyone is rich.
In simplest terms, the play is about a girl who comes home to the desert with a story about where she is from, who her people really are, what she thinks they really are. Her parents represent an Establishment that she feels has betrayed this country. She goes to war with them, and blood is spilled.
We welcomed Jon Robin Baitz back to Lincoln Center Theater where his plays A Fair Country and Ten Unknowns premiered and where his play The Substance of Fire enjoyed an extended run after its original run at Playwrights Horizons. His television credits include The West Wing, Alias and Brothers & Sisters, which he created.
Director Joe Mantello directed the LCT productions of God’s Heart and A Man of No Importance. Winner of two Tony Awards for his direction of Assassins and Take Me Out, his credits include Wicked, Pal Joey, November, The Receptionist, Three Days of Rain and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.