"An Infinite Ache"
At Merrimack Rep

Merrimack Repertory Theatre will present the regional premiere of "An Infinite Ache" from January 8 through February 1. Greg Leaming will direct.

In the romance by David Schulner, Hope and Charles are on their first date. He's nervous and wishes they could just "skip all this and get to the part when we're old and sitting on a porch and watching our grandchildren playing on a swing."

She responds by telling him a Chinese legend: "When every child is born, the Gods tie an invisible red string around their ankles. On the other end of this string is the child they will wed later in life. As the years go by, the string becomes shorter and shorter until finally the couple is united. Nothing in the world can sever this string. Not distance. Not time. Not even love."

Charles knows a Yiddish equivalent: beshert, or meant to be. He wonders -- are they meant for each other? Suddenly, time becomes fluid and Hope and Charles go flying through their entire relationship, from courtship straight through old age. It's a romance in fast-forward, as Charles and Hope experience a lifetime together in a whirlwind 90 minutes.

Playing Hope is Eunice Wong in her MRT debut. A 1999 graduate of Juilliard, Ms. Wong's extensive credits include productions at the Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, La MaMa ETC, Pearl Theatre Company, Working Theater, National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), Blue Heron Arts Center, New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, Starfish Theatreworks, Inc., New Dramatists/Asia Society, Medicine Show, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where she also played Hope in "An Infinite Ache." In addition to her stage appearances, she has guest-starred on numerous television shows including "Sex & the City" (HBO), "Strangers with Candy" (Comedy Central), "The Job" (ABC), and "Deadline" (NBC).

David Josefsberg (Charles) is also making his MRT debut, having spent much of his career in musical theatre, including a long stint in "Les Miserables." Also in New York, he was seen in "Grease," "Winchell," "Night Blooming Jasmine" (Tribeca Playhouse), "Ostrovsky" (Manhattan Theatre Club), "Baby" (Forum Theatre), and the new musicals "The Altar Boyz" (also at MTC), "The Joys of Sex: A Naughty New Musical Revue" (New York International Fringe Festival) and the concert reading of "Monica! The Musical", about a famous intern. Mr. Josefsberg also sang his way through the National Tours of "Tommy,""Leader of the Pack," "Les Miserables" and "Grease."

Playwright David Schulner's "An Infinite Ache" has previously been presented at the Long Wharf Theatre, San Diego's Globe Theatres, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the Public Theatre in Auburn, ME. Off-Broadway, Schulner's "This Thing of Darkness" (written with Craig Lucas) was produced at Atlantic Theater, and his "Isaac" at A Traveling Jewish Theatre. Currently, "Isaac" is in development at South Coast Repertory, along with another new play, "Ishmael." Other new work includes a musical about the Wright Brothers based on his play "Disturbed by the Wind" (on which he is collaborating with Elizabeth Swados), and Schulner's newest play, "5." He is also currently writing for NBC's primetime hit series, "Miss Match."

For information and tickets, call 978-454-3926.

-- OnStage Boston



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