Academy-Award nominee Mason directs ATC’s performance of “Chapter Two”

Academy award-nominee Marsha Mason returns to direct Arizona Theatre Company’s production of “Chapter Two.” (Submitted photo)

Arizona Theatre Company welcomes back four-time Academy Award-nominee Marsha Mason to direct “Chapter Two,” Oct. 5-22, at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe in Phoenix.

Ms. Mason, who directed last season’s ATC’s performance of “An Act of God,” was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the movie version of “Chapter Two,” which originally opened on Broadway in 1977 and ran for 857 performances, according to a press release.

She received two Golden Globe Awards for her film roles and had an Emmy Award nomination for her role on Frasier. Her television credits include a recurring role on ABC TV’s The Middle, The Good Wife, Madam Secretary and Grace & Frankie.

ATC’s season opener is based on the Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award-winner Neil Simon’s autobiographical romantic comedy and life story, the release said.

Mr. Simon’s “Chapter Two” is the story of successful writer George Schneider, who is mourning the recent death of his first wife. Wanting to rush in to another marriage, following a whirlwind courtship, the memories of his first wife threaten to ruin his second chance for happiness, the release described.

Mr. Simon, who lost his wife of 20 years to cancer in 1973, met and married Ms. Mason later that year, the release said, noting their on-stage collaborations outlasted their marriage, resulting in The Goodbye Girl (1971), The Cheap Detective (1978) and Only When I Laugh (1981).

Ms. Mason earned additional Best Actress nominations for Only When I Laugh, The Goodbye Girl and Cinderella Liberty (1973), the release added.

“What an auspicious start to our 51st season as we embark on the next ‘chapter’ of ATC’s unwritten future,” said ATC Artistic Director David Ivers in a prepared statement. “Neil Simon’s brilliantly funny and touching Chapter Two has it all and doubly so considering the central character was written in honor of his wife, Marsha Mason, who happens to be directing our production.”

“Chapter Two” stars four actors making their ATC debuts: David Mason (no relation to Marsha) as George Schneider; Ben Huber as Leo Schneider; Blair Baker as Jennie Malone; and Diana Pappas as Faye Medwick.

Single ticket prices start at $28 and are available in-person at the Herberger Theater Center box office. Call 602-256-6995 or go to arizonatheatre.org.

David Mason and Blair Baker in ATC’s Chapter Two (Submitted photo)

 

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