California Repertory Company Presents The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife

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In Busch’s cheeky satire of philosophy and art, a worldly old friend interrupts a culture-saturated Manhattan housewife’s nervous breakdown.  With this production set in 2000, the director, Gavin Cameron-Webb aims to look back at life during that time while still bringing out the laughs in the piece.

The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife first opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2000, followed by a Broadway premiere later that year.  The production was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Play and Outstanding Play, along with being nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Actress in a Play, Featured Actress in a Play, and Best Play.  The play centers on Marjorie Taub, a middle-aged Upper West Side doctor’s wife, who leads a seemingly satisfactory and regimented lifestyle.  Marjorie has a nervous breakdown in the Disney Store, followed by a mid-life crisis, and she is shaken out of her monotonous existence by the reappearance of a flamboyantly mysterious childhood friend.

Set in New York in a time between the Gulf War and 9/11, and before considerable advances in technology and the War On Terror, director Gavin Cameron-Webb is looking to “reclaim the innocence that was lost and how to cope with that.”  The era in which the play is set creates some interesting challenges for the creative team, but Cameron-Webb plans to remain true to the time in style and design, while exploring the layers underneath one of Charles Busch’s best-known plays.  With Cameron-Webb’s guidance, the creative team has explored, technology and people’s life at the end of the 21st century and how lifestyles have changed since then.

Gavin Cameron-Webb has had an extensive career as a theater director, actor, and teacher.  He was the Artistic Director for the Studio Arena Theater and has directed a wide variety of genres for the Pioneer Theatre Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, along with many others.  Cameron-Webb has taught at Julliard, the Film Academy of Vienna, SUNY Purchase, and Webster University.

Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. Tale of the Allergist’s Wife runs Tuesday through Saturday, November 7 – December 6.  All performances begin at 8pm. There are no performances November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day, along with November 26 – November 30 to observe Thanksgiving.  There will be a preview performance on November 6th at 8pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary. For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit

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