Theater Preview: THE JACKSONIAN (The New Group Off Stage)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on August 4, 2020

in Theater-New York,Virtual

ORIGINAL CAST MEMBERS OF THE JACKSONIAN
UNITE FOR WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING

The New Group will present as part of its Reunion Reading Series Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian. featuring original cast members Juliet Brett, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Bill Pullman, with Jane Krakowski in the role originally played by Glenne Headly. The event, which will benefit The New Group and other local initiatives and organizations, happens live on Thursday, August 27 at 7pm EST. However, tickets will be available after the live broadcast to watch on demand until Sunday, August 30 at 11:59pm EST. Tickets to the online readings are available at $10 for the first 100 tickets and $25 for all remaining tickets at TheNewGroup.

Of the original production, Stage and Cinema said, “The narrative of The Jacksonian orbits a murder in 1964 Jackson, Mississippi. Susan Perch (Amy Madigan) kicks her husband Bill (Ed Harris), a respected dentist, out of their house. He checks into the Jacksonian, a seedy motel which employs a creepy bartender, Fred (Bill Pullman), and a doltish avaricious waitress named Eva (Jane Krakowski). Our guide throughout the show is Bill and Susan’s teenage daughter Rosy, who regularly visits her father, and has the power of second sight, which counterbalances her retarded social and scholastic skills (as Rosy, Juliet Brett is so visceral it’s disturbing).

“It would be misguided to try and pigeonhole The Jacksonian by attempting to encapsulate what it is really about; the play lends itself to various and sometimes conflicting interpretations – a testament to the depth and virtuosity of Ms. Henley’s writing. One way to look at it is as a tale of a basically benevolent, civilized man trying to remain so in a world full of vanity, insanity, and evil. Or perhaps it’s about individuals who have very definite ideas about who they are and why they do what they do, but who are in fact moved by powerful forces which they cannot understand nor perceive nor resist.

“Or maybe Ms. Henley’s play is about people who are so in love both with their ideas of themselves and with how they believe their lives should be that they are blind to reality, both internal and external. Or maybe it’s about how people grow to believe their own lies. There’s much to think about in Ms. Henley’s formidable creation, which is not without its comic moments, both dark and light, but which is ultimately a tragic, noir-ish, Southern Gothic tale of desperate vanity and violence.”

Each of The New Group’s Reunion Readings is paired with a local initiative that is working to support New Yorkers. For The Jacksonian, 10% of the proceeds will benefit Race Forward.

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