Friday, July 14, 2006

Anais Nin Stage Play Features Miller

On August 5th, 2006, a production of the play Anais Nin - One of Her Lives begins its run at the Beckett Theatre in New York. The stage play includes characterizations of Anais Nin, Henry Miller, June Mansfield and Otto Rank.

The play is written and directed by Australian writer Wendy Beckett (a distant relation to Samuel Beckett). Beckett's career--which spans over 24 plays--seems to favour the portrayal of the lives of artists, such as Joy Hester (Hester), Alma Mahler (For The Love Of Alma Mahler) and Tina Modotti (currently being written). She has also written a stage adaptation of Peter Carey's novel, Bliss.

According to Beckett's bio on the play's website [linked above], she considers Lawrence Durrell her "literary mentor." I assume, then, that she discovered Anais Nin and Miller through Durrell.

The focus of One Of Her Lives is clearly Anais Nin. Here's the promomotional blurb: " [the play]is set in 1930’s Paris, when many artists, escaping the confines of their morals and culture, converged on France in the hope of finding a greater aesthetic life. Thematically the play follows the development of a writer who, in the end, must choose her own path if she is to succeed in her literary ambition. Biographically, the play traces the complicated love triangle between Anais Nin, author, Henry Miller and his wife June. A literary ménage a trois is born that is like no other."

Henry Miller will be played by theatre (and sometimes TV) actor David Bishins [seen at right]. I've never heard of him and can only hope that he can embody Miller beyond being a middle-aged balding white guy. He was apparently on the cast of the American soap opera Guiding Light back in 1991. Soap Opera Digest summarizes his soap character and has a picture of Bishins back in the day when he had a full head of hair.

Anais Nin will be played by Angela Christian [seen at left in 2004], a Broadway actress who recently played the title role in The Woman In White, an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. She'll need to work her Parisien French accent in order to cover up the fact that she's from Texas.

June Mansfield will be played by Alysia Reiner, who played the Thomas Hayden Church's bride-to-be (to whom he is unfaithful) in the film Sideways [the rest of her theatre and TV work can be found at IMDB]. Besides the picture of her at right, check out these other photos of her. I like the physical casting of Reiner as June in particular, though all of the casting is pretty inspired. Reiner does double duty as Anais Nin's mother.

Anais Nin - One Of Her Lives begins its run at the Beckett Theatre [directions] in New York on August 5th, 2006, and ends on August 26th. Preview performances occur on August 3 and 4, after which I'll try to find some reviews and link them here. Tickets are $35 - $45 [details here and here].

NYC isn't really that far from me in Toronto. I should try to go. If I had the time, I'd try to arrange some kind of Henry Miller fan meet-up in New York for August. If anyone in New York sees this show, feel free to submt a review for this blog.

A couple of stills from the play can be seen on the Playbill website. Read reviews by Theatre Mania and BlogCritics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New York Times has published a review of the play "Anaïs Nin: One of Her Lives" here.

5:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the show yet--please submit your thoughts on it...I'm curious to hear.

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I think every person ought to read it.

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