John Cariani’s Cul-de-Sac on stage in Hyde Park

Considering that his Almost, Maine recently supplanted A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the most frequently performed play in US high schools, and that his Love/Sick is being produced by community theatrical companies all over the map as well, actor/playwright John Cariani could just sit on his laurels from here on in, living very well indeed off his residuals. But he’s at it again, tweaking a macabre comedy about consumerist suburbanites with something to hide that he has been working on since 2006.

The newly reworked play is called Cul-de-Sac, and Cariani’s personally bringing his latest version to our region, appearing on opening night at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion in Hyde Park this Saturday evening as Half Moon Theatre launches its new production as a tenth anniversary season-closer for 2016/17. Cul-de-Sac, in which the Smiths, Johnsons and Joneses try desperately to keep up with one another at the end of a nice street somewhere in America, is directed by Michael Schiralli, stars Michael Borrelli, Katie Hartke, Sean Hayden, Samantha Jones, Molly Renfroe Katz and Bruch Reed. “Working on a new piece with the author is a luxury. Hearing firsthand how he sees and hears it is both a gift and a challenge,” says Schiralli.

A preview performance will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, with the curtain going up on the official opening night show at 8 p.m. Subsequent evening performances will begin at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, May 5, 6, 12 and 13, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinées on April 30, May 7 and 14. This Sunday’s performance will be followed by a free talkback with the cast. Ticket prices range from $20 to $45; to order, visit


To make pre-theatre dining reservations at the Culinary Institute, call (845) 905-4533 or e-mail; special $39 family-style dining packages are offered at the Caterina de’ Medici Restaurant before Saturday-evening performances. The Marriott Pavilion is located at 1946 Campus Drive, just off Route 9 in Hyde Park.