New in 2018 A memory play that centers around a boutique art gallery in Greenwich Village, the elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease who runs it, her family who struggles to care for her, and a building owner who aims to turn the gallery into a cafe.
From the producers: A powerfully poignant and often hilarious play, "The Waverly Gallery" is about the final years of a generous, chatty, and feisty grandmother’s final battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Gladys is an old-school lefty and social activist and longtime owner of a small art gallery in Greenwich Village. The play explores her fight to retain her independence and the subsequent effect of her decline on her family, especially her grandson. More than a memory play, "The Waverly Gallery" captures the humor and strength of a family in the face of crisis.
Author Kenneth Lonergan won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for "Manchester by the Sea," for which he also received a nomination as Best Director. Lonergan also received Oscar nominations for his screenplays "You Can Count On Me" and "Gangs of New York." His plays include "This Is Our Youth," "Lobby Hero" and "The Starry Messenger." "The Waverly Gallery" is inspired by his grandmother's Greenwich Village gallery.
"The Waverly Gallery" stars comedy royalty Elaine May, as well as Tony-winner Joan Allen ("Burn This," "The Heidi Chronicles") and Lonergan alums Michael Cera ("Lobby Hero") and Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges ("Manchester By the Sea") Elaine May, one half of the legendary comedy duo Nichols and May, made her Broadway debut in 1960 at the Golden Theatre with "An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May." She also penned the plays "Taller Than a Dwarf," "After the Night and the Music," and "George Is Dead," which was featured in the 2011 triple bill "Relatively Speaking." Drama Desk and Obie Award winner Lila Neugebauer ("The Wolves") marks her Broadway directorial debut with this production.
The play has little plot except for what is, perhaps, the default plot of life: the inexorable decay of something into nothing. The casting of May works brilliantly. She is funny and warm and she's familiar, which helps fill in some of the play's emotional blanks. May receives very fine support from the rest of the ensemble of Neugebauer's steady and unforced revival. In this moving play, one gets a sense of Lonergan committing his family history to the record, making hard truth into beauty, so it doesn't just disappear.
AM New York
Especially noteworthy is 86-year-old Elaine May giving her first performance on Broadway in more than 50 years in an otherwise underwhelming revival. May is joined by an impressive ensemble...While hardly Lonergan's finest work, it makes for a well-meaning character study that sensitively traces a woman's descent into mental instability and the reactions of her family, who acknowledge the need to take care of her despite a palpable reluctance to do so.