HELLMAN v. McCARTHY OPENS
Dick Cavett is starring, as himself, with winning style in the Abingdon Theatre Company ‘s presentation of HELLMAN v. McCARTHY, a new play by Brian Richard Mori at the June Havoc Theatre, 312 West 36th Street. The compelling new story about , arguably , one of the greatest literary feuds in modern times opened last night for a limited run through April 13. The feud turned into a legal catfight between the playwright Lillian Hellman and literary critic Mary McCarthy.
Jan Buttram, Artistic Director of the Abingdon Theatre Company, adeptly directs the play, which stars Emmy Award winning TV legend DICK CAVETT as himself, the catalyst to the unfolding events, with ROBERTA MAXWELL as the fiery Hellman and MARCIA RODD as the caustic McCarthy.
Their dislike of each other had been ongoing for years, however, their battle erupted when Mary McCarthy appeared as a guest on "The Dick Cavett Show” on January 25, 1980 " and declared that "every word Lillian Hellman writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’" Hellman went ballistic and sued McCarthy for libel, sparking a law suit that spanned more than four years consuming their lives. The tale is witty work of fiction based on facts and laced with saddness.
Completing the solid cast are Peter Brouwer, Rowan Michael Meyer, and Jeff Woodman. The design team includes set design by Andrew Lu, lighting design byTravis McHale, costume design by eighteen-time Tony Award-nominee Jane Greenwood, and sound design by Ian Wehrle.
By Patrick Christiano
HELLMAN v.McCARTHY is playing at the Abingdon Theatre Company’s June Havoc Theater, 312 West 36th Street, through April 13 on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 2pm. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.abingdontheatre.org
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Photo: Barry Gordi