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October 30, 2013

Other Desert Cities



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Other Desert Cities, the Broadway triumph by Jon Robin Baitz about one family's moving struggle with the challenges and the cost of recasting the truth in the name of love, will be the first play in the Hampton Theatre Company's 29th season for a three-week run in Quogue.

Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway play, Other Desert Cities earned five Tony Award nominations after it moved to Broadway and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Set in Palm Springs, California, during the 2004 Christmas holiday, the play explores with heart and great wit the dynamics of the Wyeth family, as parents Polly and Lyman, successful show business Republicans, react to the announcement by their liberal daughter Brooke that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history.

Brooke must also navigate through some tricky emotional dust storms in explaining her motives to two other family members: her liberal aunt Silda, a recovering alcoholic and her mother's former writing partner; and her quick-witted and affable brother Trip, who is making his own way as a television producer and is loath to rock the family boat.

Playing the role of Brooke in the Hampton Theatre Company production is Morgan Vaughan, returning to the Quogue stage after following up her tour de force in the role of Margie in the HTC's fall 2012 production of Good People with a compelling turn as Lady Macbeth in the Round Table Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's Scottish play in Wainscott last winter.

HTC artistic director Diana Marbury, last seen on the Quogue stage in Other People's Money before directing last spring's production of How the Other Half Loves, has the role of Brooke's mother, Polly. Vay David, another HTC veteran, returns to the stage in Quogue in the role of Polly's sister Silda.

Brooke's father, Lyman Wyeth, will be played by Craig Braun, a newcomer to the Hampton Theatre Company who is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and trails a long list of credits in stage work in New York and Los Angeles, as well as work in television—including the lead role in the acclaimed German miniseries Betrayal in Paradise—and in films.

The role of Trip Wyeth will be played by another newcomer to the HTC, Ian Bell, a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts who studied with Terry Schreiber at his studio in New York and lists among his credits Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Hampton Theatre Company Executive Director Sarah Hunnewell directs. The set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting is by Sebastian Paczynski; set decor by Diana Marbury; and costumes by Teresa LeBrun.

Other Desert Cities runs through November 10 at the Quogue Community Hall on Jessup Avenue. Showtimes for this season are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 PM, Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30. PM The Hampton Theatre Company will once again be offering special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Southampton, Westhampton Beach, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries, as well as Arts Alive LI. Complete information about the dinner and theater packages is available on the company website, www.hamptontheatre.org, on the Other Desert Cities page.

To reserve show tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 866-811-4111.

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