Levin's thriller ‘Veronica's Room' appears at winery

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:00

Warwick — The Illustrious Theatre Company, in residence at the Warwick Valley Winery, will present the thriller-chiller ‘Veronica’s Room’ by Ira Levin, on the weekends of Nov. 11 to 13, and Nov. 18 to 20. “Veronica’s Room” ran successfully on Broadway in 1973. It is any absorbing spider’s web entwining fantasy and reality. One critic said the play was “like being trapped in someone else’s nightmare … with a jarring and surprising climax.” Levin is playwright and author of such works as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Stepford Wives,” “The Boys from Brazil,” and the comedy-thriller “Deathtrap,” which still holds the record as the longest running mystery play on Broadway. As often happens, his father’s plans for him did not include the theatre; rather, he wanted Levin to join the family’s toy business. They worked out an interesting compromise. After graduation, he could write without worrying about making a living, because his father would support him, for two years. After that, if the writing couldn’t pay his bills, he’d have to work for his father. With a handshake, it was a deal. In 1949, CBS ran a contest for original teleplays, and Levin’s entry was called “The Old Woman.” It told the story of an old lady’s murder, as plotted by her nephew and nurse, but in the end the old lady outsmarts her would-be-killers. Levin got second prize, $200, and later the same script was bought by NBC for $400, and filmed as an episode of that network’s mystery-thriller anthology, Lights Out. Ira Levin never worked in the toy business. The play is directed by Paul Meacham, artistic director and founder of Tri-State Actors Theater of Sussex, N.J. Meacham has performed Off-Broadway in numerous shows, including Arthur Miller’s “After The Fall” with Frank Langella and Diane Wiest. He was a founding member of the innovative WPA Theater in New York City, where he acted and directed for five seasons, and also an early member of Classic Stage Company. This production is part of new collaboration between the Illustrious Theatre Company and Tri-State Actors Theater. The cast includes Glenn John Arnowitz, Cindy Cullen, Priscilla Foglia, and Ted Morgan. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. Seating, cabaret style, begins 90 minutes before curtain time, and food orders must be placed 45 minutes before. Tickets are $17, or $15 for seniors and children 12 and under; for reservations, call 258-4858. Tickets are also available at the winery at 114 Little York Rd. in Warwick, just off County Route 1, and at The Bookstore at 20 Main St. in Warwick. For more information, call 973-764-4936 or visit www.wvwinery.com.