"2012. The Salon began it's 'journey that could' as a pipe dream in a basement in Queen's New York.

Not a penny in the budget but with a singular mission, I unapologetically decided New Yorkers needed a place to gather and enjoy the best of British theatre.

Acted by our very best actors, along with great music by our finest artists, I would offer a uniquely immersive experience.

Theatre with a twist. In essence a modern Baroque salon.

 

The pieces fell into place with the ease of filling a void the city didn't know it had. Within two weeks of coming up with name and mission, I discovered a period venue in The Gershwin Hotel and was granted rights to our first play. I quickly secured the superlative talents of Steve Ross and KT Sullivan to serenade us with Coward then discovered a wonderful violinist on a Manhattan subway platform who would majestically escort my audience from one playing space to another because, well, why not! And with the classic aesthetic of Christopher Stegmayer and the help of brilliant actress Mary Ellen Ashley, our premiere was overbooked with a returns queue. Proving Kevin Costner's old adage: if you build it they will come.

 

Upon that inaugural presentation of Noël Coward's 'Design For Living' we received the attention of The Noël Coward Estate and were asked to be a part of their  'Noël Coward in New York Festival' at Lincoln Center. I was commissioned to write a piece for the festival and 'Noël Coward: The Women of His World' was born: a musical play using only the actual letters, musings and music of The Master himself and the women he loved most - Gladys Calthrop, Joyce Carey, Esmé Wynne-Tyson, Marlene Dietrich and Gertrude Lawrence. I would then direct the festival's penultimate presentation: Coward's rarely done, 'Star Quality', starring the incomparable Bebe Neuwirth.

 

Our home base was upgraded to the infamous National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, a sumptuous double town house from yesteryear complete with Tiffany ceilings, where we became its first resident theatre company. In 2014, The Players Club invited us into their iconic wood panelled and stained glass theatre, where I staged Liliom and Ghosts. When the management changed hands, we played our final two performances at the Mint Theatre in Times Square, before we temporarily shut the doors on my series in 2015. Over the years we'd brought New Yorkers a varied diet of great plays, great actors and wonderful music in our salon-like atmosphere, making this less a reading series; more an experience to remember.

 

​I am thrilled to finally bring The Salon here to you."

- Keith Merrill, Artistic Director

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NOËL COWARD: THE WOMEN OF HIS WORLD
Created and directed by Keith Merrill 

Lincoln Center, NYC 
Commissioned by
The Noël Coward Estate 

Cast included:
Dee Hoty, Cady Huffman, Dana Ivey & Alan Cox

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STAR QUALITY
By Noël Coward
Directed by Keith Merrill


Lincoln Center, NYC

Cast included:
Bebe Neuwirth, Tug Rice, Max Gordon Moore, Sandra Shipley & Brian Murray  

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GHOSTS
By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Keith Merrill

The Players Club, NYC

Cast included:
Michael Urie, Richard Easton
& Rachel Pickup

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​WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS
By JM Barrie
Dir. 
David Glenn Armstrong

The Mint Theatre, NYC
Cast included:
Carole Shelley, Kevin Collins,
Aedin Moloney
& Tug Rice

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THE CHERRY ORCHARD
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Keith Merrill

The Mint Theatre, NYC
Cast included:
Suzanne Bertish,
James Waterston &
Paxton Whitehead

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THE MOUSETRAP
By Agatha Christie
Directed by Larry Fuller

The National Arts Club, NYC
Cast included:
Jill Paice &
Carole Shelley

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AFTER THE DANCE
By Terrence Rattigan
Directed by Keith Merrill

The National Arts Club, NYC
Cast included:
Tina Benko, Jessica Dickey, Tug Rice, Amy Rutberg

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LILIOM

by Ferenc Molnár

Directed by Keith Merrill

The The Players Club, NYC

Creatives included:

Andrea Marcovicci, Steve Ross,

Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf, Erin Davie,

Nili Bassman, Marc Vietor

& Jessica Bates

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THE VORTEX
By Noël Coward
Directed By Gabriel Barre

The Gershwin Hotel

Cast included:
Edward Hibbert,
Suzanne Bertish, KT Sullivan
& Bobby Steggert
 

DESIGN FOR LIVING
By Noël Coward
Directed by Keith Merrill

The Gershwin Hotel

Creatives included:
Steve Ross, Amy Rutberg,
Keith Merrill
& Kevin Collins