Inclusive Dates: 1998 - 1999
Roundabout Theatre Company staged a NY premiere of Richard Greenberg's Hurrah at Last at the Gramercy Theatre, with previews starting May 13, opening night on June 3, and closing night on August 22, 1999. The play was commissioned and first produced by South Coast Repertory in California.
John Simon, writing for New York Magazine, said "As Laurie, Peter Frechette is that remarkable actor unafraid of creative exaggeration. He sweats misery and oozes resentment as he pants after money in a fine hyperbolic frenzy that puts him right up there with our other master of plummy achievement, Kevin Kline. As Oliver, Paul Michael Valley is superbly obnoxious as he idolizingly yet also smugly bestows on Laurie adulation as welcome as a gorilla's embrace. The good Judith Blazer squeezes out all that the part of Gia can offer, and Kevin O'Rourke copes gallantly with the luck of the Irish clinging to him like Spanish moss. As the parents. Larry Keith and Dori Brenner are impeccable. The design team is in splendid form under David Warren's exemplarily resourceful direction. And even if the author cannot quite pull things together into a purposeful whole, the seeds of his fulfillment may be stirring here." (New York, June 14, 1999)
Directed by David Warren, with set design by Neil Patel, costume design by Candice Donnelly, lighting design by Peter Maradudin, and original music and sound design by John Gromada.
Peter Frechette played the part of Laurie, Ileen Getz played the part of Thea, Kevin O'Rourke played the part of Eamon, Paul Michael Valley played the part of Oliver, Dreyfus played the part of Thunder, Judith Blazer played the part of Gia, Larry Keith played the part of Sumner and Dori Brenner played the part of Reva. Understudies: Neal Lerner, Janet Metz, Jonah Bay, Richard M. Davidson and Jana Robbins. Reg Rogers replaced Frechette near the end of the run.
Hurrah at Last was written by Richard Greenberg in 1997 as a commission for South Coast Rep, where it premiered with David Warren also directing.
"Through Laurie, a novelist, we come to know the starving artist. Shivering with fever, desperate for money, he is forced to celebrate Christmas with his well-to-do family and friends, one of whom is a very successful playwright. Laurie's plight allows us to examine our materialistic society from a humorous angle. For Laurie, money is the key to happiness, but only because he doesn't have any. The people in his life who do have money all seek something else for their happiness, whether it be respect for their work, children, or some peace and quiet. For each person in the play who desires something for their happiness, there is another who has what the first wants but it doesn't make them happy. Inspired by a poem by Delmore Schwartz, the play serves to remind us that happiness, an elusive state at best, can best be won when we can let go of our desires and enjoy what we have and who we are." [Hurrah at Last study guide]
Production consists of 18 folders documenting the production, including author's agreement, script, design, press clippings and management files. Three copies of the playbill, ticket stock, direct mail flyers and company photo are also present.
Digital files include:
Scanned education study guide (PDF)
Scanned Playbill (jpg)
Scanned opening night photos and contact sheets (black and white)
Scanned press clippings (PDF-A)
Production photographs (includes black and white and color slides, prints and contact sheets)
Oversize set design plans consist of 13 pages of elevations [housed in oversize map drawers].
Access Restrictions: Open and available for research by appointment only.
Preferred Citation: Hurrah at Last (1999), Roundabout Theatre Company Archives
Library of Congress Subject Heading Haimes, ToddRichard, EllenRoundabout Theatre CompanyGramercy TheatreGreenberg, Richard, 1958-Warren, DavidBlazer, JudithFrechette, PeterKeith, Larry, 1931-2010O'Rourke, KevinValley, Paul MichaelRogers, RegPatel, NeilDonnelly, CandiceGromada, JohnArtists in literatureMiddle class in literatureSouth Coast Repertory (Theater : Costa Mesa, Calif.)