It’s been a best selling novel and an Academy Award winning movie. Cult classic and Broadway’s smash hit comedy, “The Graduate,” arrives at the Merriam Theater this month to seduce theater goers.
“The Graduate” is set in 1960’s California and tells the story of Benjamin Braddock, a college graduate who returns to his family home when he doesn’t know what to do with his future. Nave and confused, Benjamin is seduced by Mrs. Robinson, the frustrated wife of his father’s business partner.
The pair initiates a chaotic affair that begins to unravel when Benjamin falls in love with the Robinson’s daughter, Elaine. The play took London and New York by storm where the theatrical sensation performed to packed audiences. The play, which opened in London in March 2000, featured Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson.
A number of film and television stars followed Kathleen Turner in the lead role, including Jerry Hall, Amanda Donahoe, Anne Archer and the award-winning star of “Dallas,” Linda Gray.
Broadway opened its curtains in spring 2002, once again featuring Kathleen Turner accompanied by Alicia Silverstone as Elaine and Jason Biggs as Benjamin. Lorraine Bracco took over as Mrs. Robinson in November 2002.
The Broadway troupe will only be in Philadelphia for a five-day run beginning Mar. 16. This two and half hour production has been receiving applause across the nation for its smooth transition from film to stage.
In the Philadelphia stage production, seductive Mrs. Robinson is played by actress Kelly McGillis. And McGillis is no stranger to the stage. Currently a resident of Bucks County, she has given critically-acclaimed stage performances at Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theater and has an impressive list of film credits, including parts in Top Gun, The Accused and Witness.
“The Graduate” is directed by Peter Lawrence and adapted by Terry Johnson. Originally taken from the Charles Webb novel and the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, the play is produced by Jon B. Platt.
The show features songs by Paul Simon, performed by Simon and Garfunkel, and original music composed and arranged by Barrington Pheloung.
Considered by The New York Times as “one of the best social satires we’ve ever had,” this coming-of-age story about an innocent college grad seduced by an older woman should not be missed.
Merriam Theater, located at 250 S. Broad St., will stage the production from Mar. 16-21. Curtains open at 8 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.
Two additional shows, beginning at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., are scheduled for Sunday. Tickets, ranging from $34.50 to $60, are available through TicketMaster or at the Merriam Theater box office.
Josephine Munis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.