Before Fifty Shades of Grey, there was Rona Jaffe's scandalous 1958 bestseller THE BEST OF EVERYTHING. Now this controversial novel, which was the basis for the hit 1959 movie starring Joan Crawford, comes to the stage courtesy of the new theater company 95 WordsPerMinute. It is adapted and directed by Julie Kramer, and developed with actor and writer Amy Wilson. Previews begin September 29, with opening set for October 4 at HERE.
Set in the pre-women's liberation era, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING tells the story of five young and impressionable secretaries. New to the big city, they dodge the garter-snappers at Fabian Publishing while seeking thrilling careers, gay adventures, and a nice boy to take them out to dinner.
The cast will feature Jordan Geiger, Sas Goldberg (Stunning at LCT3), Molly Lloyd, Tom O'Keefe (Theatre Bedlam's Saint Joan), Alicia Sable (Gypsy with Patti LuPone), Hayley Treider (Double Falsehood at CSC), Amy Wilson, and Sarah Wilson with sets by Lucille Lortel Award winner Lauren Helpern (4000 Miles), lighting by Graham Kindred, costumes by Daniel Urlie, sound by Drama Desk Award nominee Jill BC Du Boff (Other Desert Cities, Wit, Good People), General Manager Leah Michalos, Associate Producer Holly Rosen Fink and Production Stage Manager Katharine Whitney.
This theatrical adaptation of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING is produced with the permission of The Rona Jaffe Foundation. "Back then, people didn't talk about not being a virgin. They didn't talk about going out with married men. They didn't talk about abortion. They didn't talk about sexual harassment, which had no name in those days," explained Jaffe in an interview about her novel. "I thought if I could help one young woman sitting in her tiny apartment thinking she was all alone and a bad girl, then the book would be worthwhile."
The play was developed in readings at The Directors Company and workshopped as part of in New Georges Spring Development series. The production is a part of HEREstay, HERE's curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment as well as technical support. Casting and the production team will be announced shortly.
95 WordsPerMinute is director/writer Julie Kramer and actor/writer Amy Wilson, longtime collaborators who think feminism and comedy go perfectly together. They make theater about fast-talking women with smart mouths to seize the narrative and question the status quo.
Julie Kramer is a critically-acclaimed director, known for her work developing new plays by women. Her directing credits include Amy Wilson's Mother Load (Off-Broadway and national tour), Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy with a (Somewhat) Happy Ending at New Georges, Baby Love at 45 Bleecker, None of the Above at The Lion on Theatre Row, and Dawn Powell's You Should Have Brought Your Mink at 78th Street Theater Lab. She was a Young Director in Residence at Ensemble Studio Theatre and is a member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers.
Amy Wilson has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and in dozens of other plays off- and off-off-Broadway. On TV, she was a series regular on Norm (ABC) with Norm MacDonald and Daddio (NBC) with Michael Chiklis. She is the author of the memoir When Did I Get Like This? (William Morrow). Amy's writing has also appeared in Redbook, Parenting, CNN.com and The Huffington Post, among many others. Amy served as a writer on the NBC sketch comedy show Live on Tape and has penned several plays, including the critically acclaimed Mother Load.