A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City

September 5 - October 8, 2017
Gil Cates Theater

Written by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman
Featuring Halley Feiffer, Jason Butler Harner, Eileen T'Kaye & JoBeth Williams

"Halley Feiffer’s daring romantic comedy under the sparkling direction of Trip Cullman... is as defiantly unconventional as its title, but it is also satisfying in traditional ways."  – Los Angeles Times
"Imagine Neil Simon’s situational craftsmanship crossed with an indie sensibility that’s not so much feminist as female-centered."  – Los Angeles Times

"Halley Feiffer takes on the role herself at the Geffen, expertly navigating her way around Karla’s sharp edges."  – Los Angeles Times
"Jason Butler Harner grows more effective — and affecting — as his character reveals his bruises and scars."  – Los Angeles Times

"Outrageously funny! An off-the-wall comedic treat... directed with crowd-pleasing pizzazz."  – StageSceneLA.com
"Funny and moving! An audacious mix of crude humor and deep feeling."  – TheaterMania
"Under Trip Cullman's perceptive direction, Halley Feiffer's distinct voice is on fine display throughout, in all its uniquely unsettling glory."  – TheaterMania 
"Painfully irresistible! Makes a convincing case that hard laughter is an absolutely appropriate response to those moments when life seems like too bad a joke not to respond otherwise."  – The New York Times 

Accomplished playwright and actor Halley Feiffer brings her sardonic, hilarious and tender play about connection in a time of loss to the Geffen Playhouse with the West Coast Premiere of A Funny Thing Happened.... This New York Times Critics' Pick tells the story of a struggling young stand-up comic (Feiffer) and a wealthy middle-aged divorcée (Jason Butler Harner) cooped up in a Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital room shared by their cancer-stricken mothers (Eileeen T'Kaye and JoBeth Williams). Forced to confront their relationships with their respective mothers, Karla and Don cope with their new reality by making some of the world's most innappropriate jokes. Feiffer's unique and insightful comedy demonstrates how shared experiences create unexpected kinship, and how comedy and tragedy often operate in unsettling tandem.




Meet The Artists

HALLEY FEIFFER (Playwright, "Karla")
Halley Feiffer is a writer and actor. Plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, Outer Critics Circle Nomination), Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (Williamstown Theatre Festival), How To Make Friends and Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and this playoriginally produced at MCC Theater. Her plays have been produced around the country and in the U.K., and have been developed by Second Stage Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and three times by Manhattan Theatre Club. Television writing credits include The One Percent (Starz), Purity (Showtime), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) and original pilots for FX and TNT. Acting credits include the Broadway revivals of The Front Page and The House of Blue Leaves (Theater World Award), as well as numerous Off-Broadway productions including Tigers Be Still (Roundabout Theatre Company, Drama League Nomination). Television and film work includes recurring roles on HBO’s Mildred Pierce and Bored to Death and the films The Squid and the WhaleMargot at the Wedding, Gentlemen Broncos and He’s Way More Famous than You, which she co-wrote. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and teaches playwriting at NYU.

Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other. Select Off-Broadway: Punk Rock (Obie Award), Yen, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC Theater); The Layover, Lonely I’m Not, The Substance of Fire, Bachelorette, Swimming In The Shallows, Some Men (Second Stage Theater); A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), Assistance, The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company); Significant Other (Roundabout Theatre Company); Choir Boy (Manhattan Theatre Club); Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theatre Club and Union Square Theater); Roulette (Ensemble Studio Theatre); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Dog Sees God (Century Center); The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Tricycle Theatre). Select regional: Geffen Playhouse (Ovation nominations), Alliance Theatre (NAACP and Suzi Bass awards), The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Bay Street Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Upcoming: Lobby Hero (Broadway), This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theater Company).

Now At The Geffen

Upcoming Shows & Events

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Performance Info

Profanity; sexual language; simulated sex

80 minutes, no intermission.