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Press Release

Michael Frayn's "Benefactors" opens April 25th

Apr 02 2008
Palm Beach Dramaworks

West Palm Beach’s only resident professional theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, concludes its 8th anniversary season with Michael Frayn’s Broadway and London hit, Benefactors, on Friday, April 25th (8PM) at their intimate downtown theatre (322 Banyan Boulevard). Special priced preview performances are slated for April 23rd & 24th (8PM) and the production will play through June 15th. Benefactors, a timely mix of political drama, irony and wit, centers on David and Jane, who are a happy and prosperous couple and by contrast, their neighbors, Colin and Sheila, are bitter and struggling. David, an idealistic architect, is currently working on the redevelopment of an inner city slum – this propels him and his wife to take on their neighbors as their next 'redevelopment' project; however, their new construction has a disastrous outcome. This well-crafted and complex play written by Michael Frayn explores the contrasting natures of those who help and those who are helped; those who create and those who destroy. Directed by Dramaworks’ Resident Director, J. Barry Lewis the cast includes: Nanique Gheridian, Todd Allen Durkin, Irene Adjan and Michael St. Pierre. The play will feature scenery designed by Michael Amico, costumes designed by Leslye Menshouse and lights designed by Todd Wren. Benefactors was first staged in London in 1984 winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play before its Broadway premiere in 1985. The original Broadway cast included Glenn Close, Mary Beth Hurt, Simon Jones and Sam Waterston and was nominated for two Tony Awards. The play was revived in London in 2000 for the first time in sixteen years. Michael Frayn is an English playwright and novelist. He began as a reporter for The Guardian and The Observer after graduating college in 1957. His first novel, The Tin Men, was published in 1965 winning him his first of many accolades. His other award winning novels include Headlong, The Russian Interpreter and Spies. Considered to be Britain’s finest translator of Anton Chekhov, he adapted four major plays along with several smaller plays for an evening called The Sneeze in London in 1988. Theatrically, Frayn is the playwright for such well received plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen, and Democracy, which won the Tony Award in 2000.