The Waverly Gallery is a play by Kenneth Lonergan. It is considered a "memory play". The show, first produced Off-Broadway in 2000, follows a grandson watching his grandmother slowly die from Alzheimer's disease. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001.
The play opened Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theater on March 22, 2000 and closed on May 21, 2000. Directed by Scott Ellis, the play starred Eileen Heckart as Gladys Green and Josh Hamilton as Daniel. The play originally premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, running from August 11, 1999 to August 22, 1999. Joanne Woodward filled in for an ailing Eileen Heckart in the final four performances.
- Elaine May as Gladys
- Lucas Hedges as Daniel
- Joan Allen as Ellen
- Michael Cera as Don
- David Cromer as Howard
Gladys Green owns a small art gallery in Greenwich Village. She is in her 80s and showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. Don, a young artist, arrives for a showing of his work. The landlord wants to close the art gallery and replace it with a restaurant. How her family – daughter Ellen, son-in-law Howard and grandson Daniel – deals with her decline is told by the grandson.
(The minor character of the landlord, onstage at the Williamstown production, was dropped for the Off-Broadway 2000 production. He was included in a later production at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2002.)
Charles Isherwood in Variety said, "The life trauma being depicted has an inherent pathos, and in Lonergan's hands, no small amount of comic potential. And yet, while Lonergan mines his subject with delicacy and wit, he runs out of dramatic ore well before the evening's end."
Ben Brantley in The New York Times called the play a "finely observed story of the predations of old age...[it] isn't so much a proper play as an essayistic memoir given dramatic form. It is nonetheless deeply theatrical. Mr. Lonergan ... has one of the keenest ears of any working playwright.... is also often deeply funny."
Awards and nominations
Awards and Nominations:
- The 2000 Drama Desk Awards - Outstanding Actress (Heckart) - Winner
- The 1999–2000 Obie Award - Performance (Heckart) - Winner
- The 2000 Lucille Lortel Award - Outstanding Actress (Heckart) - Winner
- The 2000 Drama League Award - Distinguished Performance (Heckart) - Winner
- The 2000 Outer Critics Circle Award, John Glassner Award (Lonergan) - Nominated
2018 Broadway revival
- Outstanding Revival of a Play - Winner
- Outstanding Actress in a Play (Elaine May) - Winner
- Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play - Nominated
- Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Elaine May) - Winner
- Brantley, Ben. "A Shattered Mind, Jagged and Confused" The New York Times, March 23, 2000
- Simonson, Robert. " 'Waverly Gallery', Eileen Heckart, Take Their Final Exit, May 21" playbill.com, May 21, 2000
- Simonson, Robert."Woodward Subbed for Heckart at Lonergan's Williamstown Gallery" playbill.com, August 24, 1999
- Evans, Greg (April 11, 2018). "Elaine May, Lucas Hedges & Michael Cera To Star In Broadway Premiere Of Kenneth Lonergan's 'The Waverly Gallery'". Deadline. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Clement, Olivia. "The Band's Visit Director David Cromer Joins Cast of 'The Waverly Gallery' on Broadway" Playbill, August 9, 2018
- Clement, Olivia. " 'The Waverly Gallery' Begins Previews on Broadway September 25" Playbill, September 25, 2018
- Clement, Olivia. " 'The Waverly Gallery', Starring Elaine May, Closes on Broadway January 27" Playbill, January 27, 2019
- Shirley, Don. "Picture of a Family in Crisis Hangs in 'The Waverly Gallery'" The Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2002
- Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. 2005. ISBN 978-0-7876-3995-2.
- "Pulitzer Prize for Drama" pulitzer.org, accessed September 14, 2014
- "Off-Broadway Listing" Internet Off-Broadway Database, retrieved August 14, 2018
- McPhee, Ryan. "Nominations for the 2019 Drama Desk Awards Announced; 'Oklahoma!', 'Tootsie', 'Rags Parkland' Lead the Pack" Playbill, April 25, 2019
- Fierberg, Ruthie. " 'Tootsie', 'Hadestown', and 'The Ferryman' Lead 2019 Drama Desk Award Winners" Playbill, June 2, 2019
- McPhee, Ryan. "2019 Tony Award Nominations: 'Hadestown' and 'Ain't Too Proud' Lead the Pack" Playbill, April 30, 2019