WAITLIST SIGN UP AVAILABLE:  This event sold out in less than a day.  We will attempt to get additional tickets; however it is unlikely we will be able to.  If you do not now have a ticket and would like to be on the wait list for any tickets which become available (either through the box office or individual cancellations), please go to SIGN UP! now.  Additional tickets will be allocated in order of sign ups on the wait list.  The performance is on Wednesday, January 22nd to the matinee performance of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, the stage adaptation of the Elizabeth Strout novel, starring Laura Linney.  This is a highly, highly anticipated production which was sold out in London for the entirety of its run – and it will only be in New York for two months. This will be a 90-minute performance with no intermission. Tickets are $175; seats are highly limited and it is unlikely we will be able to get any additional ones.

MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON – Especially for MWC Book Group readers who have read this work by Elizabeth Strout or her other well-known work, OLIVE KITTERIDGE, this new, limited run London transfer of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON starring Laura Linney will be a special treat.  We are hugely fortunate to have secured tickets to one of the very few matinees.  In fact, this play (and Linney’s performance) is so highly anticipated after its UK run, that in the several days between reserving seats and getting the contract submitted our tickets were snapped up and we had to re-book: TWICE!

“LONELY WAS THE FIRST FLAVOR I HAD TASTED IN MY LIFE.”  That statement by Lucy – so, so painful to read – sets the tone for this production which artfully uses a variety of theatrics to evoke it.  There’s the fact that this is a one-woman show, where Linney is intentionally alone on the stage.  There are the highly effective projection screens which minimize her against vast spaces – the New York skyline; fields in her native, rural, Illinois; the abstract, rain-splattered interior windshield of the family truck. There are her descriptions of the soul-crushing, isolating and stigmatizing, poverty she experienced as a child and how that led her to the library and the world of books. She’s alone in a hospital room with undiagnosed symptoms after an appendectomy has gone wrong and neither her husband nor children can visit her.  There’s the fact that Linney plays not only Lucy Barton but also her mother and her mentor (metaphorically named “Payne”).  And, ultimately, you’re reminded that Lucy Barton is a writer – a lonely profession undertaken solo.

The basic plot, in case you haven’t read the book (although if you intend to see the play it might be a good idea) is that Lucy Barton awakes in the hospital after having had an operation and –surprisingly – finds her mother in her room.  They have not had a relationship for many, many years.  During the course of the long visit, Lucy revisits her past and begins to understand how her family and childhood experiences shaped her.  And she begins to define herself as a writer. But you’re not going to see this because of plot – but because of the performance.

Several years ago the MWC saw the Broadway production of LITTLE FOXES, starring Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon who alternated the lead roles.  If you were fortunate enough to see the “swap” it was extraordinary and, honestly, one of the best productions on Broadway that year.   Interestingly, I’ve begun to think that LUCY BARTON is a book-end to THE SOUND INSIDE, which also features a consummate actor, Mary Louise Parker (at the very top of her game) – contemplating her life as a writer while in the throes of illness.   My guess is that these two pro’s will be in direct competition when the Tony’s roll around.


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