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Cider House to Rule, with Hamilton, at NY's Atlantic, April 17

By David Lefkowitz
February 26, 1999

The Cider House Rules will take effect at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre Company April 17, when the Peter Parnell adaptation of John Irving's novel begins performances. Colm Meaney, Josh Hamilton and Jillian Armenante will star in the epic production, which will open May 6.

Conceived and directed by actor Tom Hulce (Amadeus) and Jane Jones, Cider House Rules ran at the Mark Taper Forum last summer and fall. Written in two parts, the Atlantic will present the first section, titled Here in St. Cloud's. The company is currently working on producing the second part, In Other Parts of the World, but has set no dates for the production. At the Taper, the two plays were presented on separate evenings during the week or together on weekends in marathons.

The drama concerns young Homer Wells (Hamilton), his life in and outside an orphanage, and his father figure, Dr. Larch (Meaney), who both saves babies and performs abortions.

Cider House was developed over several seasons at the Seattle Repertory and received positive notices. The L.A. cast featured Armenante and Hamilton, as well as Tom Beyer, Janni Brenn, Jane Carr, Rebecca Chace, Danyon Davis, Kevin Jackson, Edd Key, Casey Lluberes, Dougald Park, Liann Pattison, Myra Platt, Mike Regan, Mark E. Smith, Jayne Taini, Brenda Wehle, Shane West, Patrick Wilson and Michael Winters.

Hamilton was last seen in New York in Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown. Before that, he starred in the original production of Mark Lonergan's This Is Our Youth (Mark Rosenthal currently essays his role).

Meaney, a Dublin native, is best known in this country for his roles in such films as "The Snapper," "The Last of the Mohicans" and "The Commitments." He appeared on Broadway in Breaking the Code.