Things are heating up at the Folger with the cast of Theresa Rebeck’s The Way of the World gathering together next Tuesday for the first rehearsal. Despite the chill in the weather, the upper crust keep things hot in this new comedy which is entirely summer-in-the-Hamptons. Meet the high-flying boys and girls of this witty new play as they get ready to take the stage in January.
A Love Triangle..of sorts
Freely adapted from William Congreve’s Restoration comedy, the central romance of Theresa Rebeck’s The Way of the World concerns Henry’s attempts to win back the heart (and inheritance) of altruistic Mae after he steps out on her…with her aunt, Rene. Kristine Nielsen is a Tony Award nominee, and originated the role of Rene at the Dorset Theatre Festival in a production Seven Days called “theater at its finest and funniest.” A Broadway stalwart, Nielsen was recently seen playing opposite Kevin Kline in Present Laughter. Get to know her better through this video, which features a good old fashioned game of “Never Have I Ever:”
Causing all the trouble is Luigi Sottile, who brings this penitent playboy, Henry, to life. He comes to the Folger for the first time after appearing in shows at Signature, Woolly Mammoth, Chicago Shakespeare, and Steppenwolf Theatres, among others. Most recently he was seen in The Book of Will at Northlight Theatre, Chicago. And the poor heiress caught in the middle of this madness? She’s played by Eliza Huberth, whose career includes multiple appearance at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Where Henry goes, so go his entourage of badly-behaved bros, led by loudmouth Reg, played by Elan Zafir. House of Cards fans may recognize the actor as prison inmate, Gagik, while area audiences could have recently seen him in Ford’s Theatre’s Ragtime. Daniel Morgan Shelley’s Lyle, cousin to Reg, becomes integral to Henry’s plan to win back Mae. Shelley has performed with our friends at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival as well as Off-Broadway, but you may know him from his numerous television appearances in shows such as Mr. Robot, Bull, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, and Person of Interest. Similarly, Brandon Espinoza (Charles, Henry’s best friend) counts The Leftovers, The Mysteries Of Laura, Elementary, and The Carrie Diaries among his television credits, and has tread the Broadway boards in productions such as Tuck Everlasting, Gypsy, Big, and Les Misérables. He comes to the Folger after touring in A View from the Bridge.
Frenemies in the Hamptons
When deciding what to do about Henry and Rene, Mae needs the advice of a good friend with her best interests at heart. Too bad she only has Katrina, played by Erica Dorfler, whose own interest in Henry may complicate any perspective she might offer. Another Broadway baby, Dorfler has been seen on the Great White Way in productions including Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, The Book of Mormon, and Memphis. Finally, Ashley Austin Morris brings her keen comedic edge to the role of the Waitress, a character whose position just outside the Hampton’s social circle lends her cutting insight the lives of the rich and ne’er-do-well, as well as some inspiration to try some social climbing of her own. You may have seen her on The Good Wife, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, and The Big Bang Theory or caught one of her stand-up appearances.
See this talented cast in Folger Theatre’s The Way of the World when performances begin January 9. For tickets and more information, visit us online or call the Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077.