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Rep on ‘Retreat’ 

Broadway drama concludes Second Stage’s season starting Friday.

Maupin, Johnson, Bateman.
  • Maupin, Johnson, Bateman.

“The Retreat From Moscow,” a drama by William Nicholson that played Broadway’s Booth Theatre for four months in 2003-04, opens on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Second Stage Friday, April 14, and runs through April 30.

Rep artistic associate Brad Mooy directs the play, which focuses on a family coming apart after more than three decades together. Son Jamie comes home for the weekend to find that his parents’ 33-year marriage is dissolving because his father is leaving for another woman. Jamie tries to understand his parents while his world collapses all around him. The drama was called “the best new play in 20 years” by the Journal News, while the New Yorker called the play “riveting … subtle and powerful, [with] marvelous emotional quality.” “Retreat” was nominated for four Tonys in 2004, including Best Play.

Englishman Nicholson, born in 1948, is best known for his award-winning television drama and subsequent stage adaptation and film, “Shadowlands,” based on the life of author C.S. Lewis, and for his Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Gladiator.”

Mooy’s three-person cast comprises Tom Bateman as Jamie and Samuel Maupin and JoAnn Johnson as Jamie’s parents, Edward and Alice. Johnson recently appeared on the Rep’s Second Stage in “Towns Facing Railroads,” based on the poems of Jo McDougall, starred in the Rep’s Second Stage production of “Wit” in 2000 and appeared in Main Stage plays “All My Sons” and “You Can’t Take It With You.” Bateman, who has extensive theater experience in Chicago, and Maupin, who has worked on and off Broadway as well as on television, are making their Rep debuts.

Mooy says, “I’m attracted to the topics the show covers -– love, faith, marriage, commitment, fulfillment, loss and survival. It’s quite a stimulating piece of drama –- one in which there are no easy heroes, no easy answers.”

A sneak preview of the play is Thursday, April 13, with Mooy leading a discussion at 7:15 p.m. (curtain at 8 p.m.). Opening night’s showtime is 8 p.m., and regular showtimes through April 30 are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays, though there is no Sunday matinee on April 16. All seats are $20. Call 378-0405.

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