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Playhouse to hold reading of 'Intimate Apparel'

Published 4:58 pm, Thursday, January 24, 2013
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Westport Country Playhouse's next Script in Hand playreading will be the play "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage, set for one night only at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at the playhouse, 25 Powers Court.

The cast includes Geneva Carr, Lynda Gravátt, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Billy Eugene Jones, Paul Anthony Stewart and Susan Kelechi Watson. Director is Anne Keefe, the playhouse's artistic advisor.

The play, which takes place in 1905 in New York City, is centered around Esther, a black seamstress who sews intimate apparel for rich white women and well-paid black prostitutes. Lonely and longing for a husband and a future, she begins corresponding with George, a Caribbean man working on the Panama Canal, who persuades her to marry him, sight unseen.

Meanwhile, Esther's heart lies with the Hasidic shopkeeper, Mr. Marks, from whom she buys cloth, but the impossibility of the match is obvious to them both, according to a release.

Grays, who will portray Esther, performed at the playhouse in "Twelfth Night" and was in Broadway's "In the Next Room or the vibrator play" and "Well."

Jones, to play George, appeared at the playhouse in "A Raisin in the Sun" last season, and on Broadway in "Passing Strange," "Radio Golf," "Gem of the Ocean" and "A Raisin in the Sun."

Stewart, who will portray Mr. Marks, was at the playhouse last season in the world premiere of "Harbor" and the previous season in "Twelfth Night." He earned an Emmy Award nomination for his role as Danny Santos on "Guiding Light," the release states.

Carr, who will play Mrs. Van Buren, appeared at the playhouse in "How the Other Half Loves," "Time of My Life," "Relatively Speaking," and several Script in Hand playreadings.

Gravátt will portray Mrs. Dickson, a role she originated in the off-Broadway production. She was seen last fall at the playhouse in "A Raisin in the Sun," and appeared on Broadway in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Doubt."

Watson, to play Mayme, was in playhouse productions of "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Twelfth Night" and appeared on Broadway in "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way," the release states.

All artists are subject to change. Tickets are $15.

For information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, stop by the playhouse or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.