MOUNT DESERT — “Bus Stop,” William Inge’s 1955 play, runs at the Acadia Repertory Theatre nightly Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m.
In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and four or five weary travelers are going to have to hole up until morning. By the time the storm ends and the sun rises, new acquaintances will have been made, love will have been found and lost, and a remarkable panorama of humanity will have paraded across the stage.
“This play is as good an American play as has ever been written,” said the show’s director, Andrew Mayer. “It depicts characters one doesn’t often see on the theater stage: cowboys, a nightclub singer, waitresses and a bus driver, Kansans, Missourians, Montanans. It shows them in their own world, with all the dignity, flaws and humanity of each on full display. And while the play has the (highly unconventional!) love story between Bo the cowboy and Cherie the nightclub “chanteuse” at its heart, it gives plenty of stage time to the rest of the characters as well. Inge’s genius is in making these characters compelling and recognizable to everyone, while keeping the play deeply rooted in its Midwestern milieu. It’s not just a masterpiece, but a distinctively American masterpiece!”
“Audiences of a certain age will recall a film adapted from the play, starring Marilyn Monroe. But that movie was significantly different from the play; it functioned mostly as a vehicle for Monroe’s stardom and not as the stunning and generous ensemble piece Inge originally wrote. Funny and moving in equal parts, the play has aged remarkably well, and its sophistication makes it hard to believe it’s over 60 years old!”
Also running is the Children’s Theatre production of “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Written by Cheryl Willis, the play is performed every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. through Aug. 19.
Contact the Acadia Rep at 244-7260 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.