Backstage stories of the private lives of actors often make for great theater. And that’s partly why A.R. Gurney’s The Grand Manner, a delicious homage to the wonders behind the curtain, is such a charming tale. At the center of the comedy is Katharine Cornell, a real-life grand dame of the mid-century American theater whom Gurney met briefly in 1948.
The story starts when Pete, a New England boarding school boy, manages to get backstage during a performance of Cleopatra and meet Cornell. Once there, he learns that his idol is actually a woman of many complications. Both her husband/director and her female lover are hovering backstage. And famous as she is, she’s full of self-doubt and needs constant reassurance.
Presented by the Edge Theatre, The Grand Manner is making its Houston premiere. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through December 11. Midtown Arts Center, 3414 LaBranch, For information, call 832‑894‑1843 or visit www.edgetheatrehouston.com. $10 to $20.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 2. Continues through Dec. 11, 2011