The Time of the Cuckoo

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The Time of the Cuckoo is a play by Arthur Laurents. It focuses on the bittersweet romance between Leona Samish, a single American executive secretary vacationing in Europe, and Renato Di Rossi, a shopkeeper she meets in Venice. Di Rossi, trapped in a loveless marriage, relentlessly pursues Leona, who initially is shocked by the thought of an illicit affair but eventually succumbs to the Italian's charms.

The Broadway production was directed by Harold Clurman. The play opened at the Empire Theater on October 15, 1952 and closed on May 30, 1953 after 263 performances. The theatre was demolished shorty after the play closed.[1]

The play was adapted for the screen under the title Summertime and titled in Great Britain as " Summer Madness" in 1955, directed by the acclaimed British director, David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and for the musical stage as Do I Hear a Waltz? in 1965.

Opening night cast[edit]

  • Shirley Booth[2] ..... Leona Samish
  • Geraldine Brooks ..... June Yaeger
  • Dino Diluca ..... Renato Di Rossi
  • Donald Murphy ..... Eddie Yaeger
  • Lydia St. Clair ..... Signora Fiora
  • Silva Gaselli ..... Giovanna
  • Jose Perez ..... Mauro
  • Daniel Reed ..... Mr. McIlhenny
  • Ruggero Romor ..... Vito
  • Jane Rose ..... Mrs. McIlhenny (Only cast member to appear in Summertime)

Bethel Leslie replaced Geraldine Brooks and Keith Green replaced Jose Perez later in the run.

John Serry, Sr. performed as the concert accordionist and soloist in the orchestra.[3]

Principal production credits[edit]

Awards[edit]

Shirley Booth won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.

Off-Broadway revivals[edit]

The York Theatre Company in Manhattan mounted a production of the play for 16 performances in early 1986. Stuart Howard directed a cast that included Michael Learned, George Guidall, and Debra Jo Rupp.[4]

In 2000, the play was revived for a limited run from January 27 to May 7 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater located in Lincoln Center. The production, with a revised script by Laurents, was directed by Nicholas Martin. The cast included Debra Monk (who won an Obie Award for her performance), Olek Krupa, Tom Aldredge, and Polly Holliday. Theoni V. Aldredge designed the costumes.[5]

In 2011, the play was again revived for a limited run on February 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27 at the Tap House Grill Theatre in downtown Oswego, Illinois by The Oswego Playhouse. The cast includes: Beth Goncher, Jill Orr, Steve Fiorito, Brent Miller, Lynn Meredith, Kelly Cash, Brandon Miller, Cole Perkins, Jim Stott and Sharon Pagoria. The production was directed by Daina Gielser.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Empire Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ "The Time of the Cuckoo". Internet Broadway Database. 
  3. ^ The New York Journal American, May 25, 1953,p. 15 (See photograph of all cast member's signatures on Shirley Booth's stage door)
  4. ^ The Time of the Cuckoo at the Lortel Archives Off-Broadway Database
  5. ^ Lincoln Center calendar
  6. ^ Oswego Playhouse presents "The Time of the Cuckoo"

External links[edit]