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Shear Madness, The Hit Comedy Whodunit, Finally Comes To NYC

SHEAR MADNESS Logo

WHAT

– has been running for 36 years in Boston

– has been running for 28 years in Washington DC

– has been translated into 23 foreign languages for 105 productions worldwide

– was named “Best Play of the Year” by Chicago Sun-Times

– was voted “Best Play of the Year” by The Philadelphia Inquirer

– has been named “Best Comedy of the Year” for seven years by The Boston Globe

– is The Guinness Book of World Records’ longest running play in the US*

*only The Mousetrap in London has run longer!

–  won the 2014 Molière de la Comédie (the French Tony Award!)

 

BUT HAS NEVER PLAYED NEW YORK CITY?

 

UNTIL NOW!

 

SHEAR MADNESS,

THE INTERNATIONAL HIT COMEDY WHODUNIT

FINALLY COMES TO NYC:

OPENS NOVEMBER 11th AT NEW WORLD STAGES

PERFORMANCES BEGIN OCTOBER 22nd

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

 

Producers Manny Kladitis, Jeffrey Chrzczon, Terry Schnuck, Kathleen K. Johnson, Jack Lane, Radio Mouse Entertainment, Greg Schaffert, Driemeyer-Sills Productions, and The Shubert Organization, in association with Erach Screwvala and David Gersten, will present the New York Premiere of the hit comedy whodunit Shear Madness. This open-ended Off-Broadway engagement will begin performances October 22nd at New World Stages/Stage 4 (340 West 50th Street).  Cast and design team will be announced shortly.

Opening Night is set for November 11th.  Tickets from $49.50 are available online at Telecharge.com or by phone at 212-239-6200. Box Office at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) is open daily from 1pm.

Shear Madness is America’s hilarious whodunit where the audience gets to solve the crime. Set in a local hair salon that turns into a wacky murder scene, the play is filled with up-to-the-minute humor and is different every time you see it!

It all began in the summer of 1976 while Bruce Jordan was working at a theatre in upstate New York.  He came across a play entitled Scherenschnitt, which was written in 1963 by German writer and psychologist Paul Pörtner. The playwright had written the script to use as a study of how people perceive or misperceive reality.  The brief play was set in a unisex hair salon and revolved around an off-stage murder of a concert pianist.  Subjects were asked to solve the murder based on their individual perceptions of the events and the six stereotypical characters surrounding the murder. Bruce was intrigued by the concept and suggested that he and Marilyn Abrams stage the play in Lake George.  Marilyn read Portner’s original script, which she described as ‘primitive’ and says that if she hadn’t known and trusted Bruce, she ‘would have run for the hills’! She did trust him and they opened the newly titled Shear Madness in 1978 with nothing more than a basic outline of a script. Bruce and Marilyn performed the lead roles as well as helmed the production.  Being on stage each night, Marilyn experienced the “magical” chemistry between the actors and the audience and was acutely aware of the audience’s response to Shear Madness. Bruce and Marilyn immediately purchased the world stage, screen and television rights to the play.

Marilyn and Bruce always had New York City in mind: “Our initial plan was to open Shear Madness in New York after a Boston tryout, but the tryout was so successful that it didn’t make any sense to close.  We had received several New York offers but they just didn’t seem right to us.  With Boston and then Philadelphia running, we set our sights on Chicago, Washington, DC and San Francisco, and licensed successful productions across the United States and around the world.  New York has always remained on our radar, and when the Shubert Organization bought New World Stages, we thought ‘Let’s go!’  Now, after many offers, we’ve found the perfect team to bring Shear Madness to NYC.  So, after 36 years of ‘trying out’ in Boston, 28 years of ‘previews’ at the Kennedy Center, 5 years in Philadelphia, 18 years in Chicago, and 5 years in San Francisco, we are prepared for the big time.  New York has always been our destination, we just took a short detour.”

Performances, which begin October 22nd, will be Monday at 7pm, Wednesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm and 7:30pm.  Tickets from $49.50 are available online at Telecharge.com or by phone at 212-239-6200. For Group Sales (10 or more), call 888/517-0112 or 212/757-9117. The Box Office at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) is open daily from 1pm.

For more information, visit ShearMadness.com.

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Sneak Peek of the Off-Broadway Premiere of Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas)

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Lexi Rhoades and Jeremy Morse in a scene from SKIPPYJON JONES SNOW WHAT

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Lexi Rhoades, Jeremy Morse, and Junior Mendez

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Lexi Rhoades and Junior Mendez

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Lexi Rhoades and Junior Mendez

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Lexi Rhoades and Junior Mendez

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Lexi Rhoades and Junior Mendez

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Junior Mendez

Theatreworks USA, 

By Special Arrangement with The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation,

Presents Their 27th Anniversary of Free Summer Theatre:

Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas)

Adapted from the children’s book by Judy Schachner

 

Limited Off-Broadway Engagement at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Performances Begin Thursday July 2nd

Opening Night Set for Wednesday July 8th

This summer Theatreworks USA, the nation’s leading not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences, will present the Off-Broadway Premiere of Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas).

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the bravest Chihuahua of them all? Skippyjon Jones the Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Mexican Chihuahua of course! While his sisters listen to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Skippy heads off for the REAL adventure awaiting him in his closet. There, as his alter ego Skippito Friskito, and with the help of his friends the Seven Chimichangos, Skippyjon must rescue the beautiful princess Nieve Qué (Snow What), battle the evil dragon and defeat the Bruja. A brand new musical based on the book by Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones Snow What is a twist on the classic fairytale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

The cast features L.R. Davidson (Jezebel/Poquito Tito), Alexander Ferguson (as Jilly Boo/Don Diego), Junior Mendez (Skippyjon Jones), Jeremy Morse (Mama Junebug/The Wicked Bruja), and Lexi Rhoades (Ju Ju Bee/Nieve Que). Directed by Kevin Del Aguila with choreography by Connor Gallagher, Skippyjon Jones Snow What features book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila with music by Eli Bolin.  The production features scenic design by Rob Odorisio, costume design by Tracey Christensen, and lighting design by Greg Solomon. Orchestrations are by Matt Castle and Frank Galgano. Matt Castle will also serve as music director. The production stage manager is Byron F. Abens.

Launched in 1989, the mission of Theatreworks USA’s Free Summer Theatre Program is to provide New York City youth with their own theatre tradition that not only entertains, but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre. This summer 15,000 FREE tickets will be distributed to Skippyjon Jones Snow What.

Performances begin Thursday July 2nd at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).  Opening Night is set for Wednesday July 8th (6:30 PM). This limited engagement runs through August 7th.  Educational and not-for-profit group reservations can be made by calling 212/627-7373 beginning May 11th.  Thanks to the generosity of corporations, foundations, and donors, Theatreworks will be able to send over 10,000 underserved youth to Free Summer Theatre for FREE!

Skippyjon Jones Snow What is a 60-minute, one-act musical recommended for children ages 4 & up. Performances will be Monday through Friday at 10:30am and 1pm; Sundays at 2pm and 4:30pm; no performances on Saturdays. Sunday July 5 there is a special 10:30am preview performance. Additional performances are scheduled for Thursday July 16 and Thursday July 30 at 6pm.  Schedule Exceptions: There are no 1pm performances Thursday July 2 & Friday July 3 and no 10:30am performance on Wednesday July 8. There is no 4:30pm performance on Sunday July 19 and Sunday August 2.

Tickets for Skippyjon Jones Snow What are FREE and are available on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office (121 Christopher Street) on the day of the performance. Tickets for each day’s performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per adult per day. Individual tickets are extremely limited for the weekday daytime performances.

Please note: Reservations cannot be made by the general public. Only reservations from not-for-profit and educational organizations are accepted. Strollers are not allowed in the theater; no babies in arms.  Please be considerate of fellow audience members. No food or drink is allowed inside the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

WANT TO SEE THE SHOW BUT DON’T WANT TO WAIT IN LINE?  VIP Members can get reserved seats by becoming a Donor to Theatreworks USA. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to offset program costs.  For every $50 you donate, you are entitled to either one reserved Adult VIP s or one reserved Child VIP ticket for the performance of your choice. Limit 10 tickets per donor.  VIP reservations, including weekend performances, must be received no later than 12pm on Friday each week.  For more information on becoming a Donor and supporting free theatre for youth, call 212/647-1100, ext. 131 or e-mail development@twusa.org. All sales final.

Theatreworks USA is America’s foremost professional theatre for young and family audiences. Theatreworks USA’s mission is to create imaginative and sophisticated shows that are educational, entertaining, and thought provoking, and to ensure that these shows are accessible to audiences across America regardless of geography and socio-economic status. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has reached over 93 million people in 49 states and Canada, and the company now performs for about three million young people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately ten shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 133 plays and musicals. In addition, Theatreworks USA has an extensive guest artist roster of multi-cultural storytellers, musicians, puppeteers, magicians and more.

Theatreworks USA‘s honors include a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the William M. Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence given by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and the Medal of Honor from the Actors Fund of America. Past Free Summer Theatre productions at the Lucille Lortel Theatre include The Lightning Thief (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); Skippyjon Jones (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); The Yellow Brick Road (Callaway nominee: Best Choreography); We the People: America Rocks! (Lortel nominee: Best Musical); Click, Clack, Moo (Lortel nominee: Best Musical, Drama Desk nominee: Best Lyrics); and Seussical (Lortel and Drama League nominee: Best Revival of a Musical). Free Summer Theatre is entirely underwritten by charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public support.

Theatreworks USA‘s Free Summer Theatre Program is made possible with the generous support of BWF Foundation, Con Edison, Credit Suisse, The Friars Foundation, James T. Lee Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Nordstrom, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and other benefactors.

For more information on this show or the other programs offered by Theatreworks USA, visit www.TWUSA.org.

All photos, credit: Jeremy Daniel

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First look at The World Premiere of Amiri Baraka’s Last Play, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA (W. E. B. Du BOIS). Performances Begin Thursday

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Pictured: Petronia Paley, Art McFarland, Landon G. Woodson

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Pictured: Marie Guinier, Patronia Paley, Art McFarland

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Pictured: Petronia Paley, Art McFarland, Michael Basile,, Marie Guinier

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Pictured: Art McFarland, Sidiki Fofana

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Pictured: Michael Basile, Art McFarland

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Pictured: Art McFarland as W. E. B. Du Bois


Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre
Continues Its 46th Season, Dedicated to the Legendary Amiri Baraka:

New Federal Theatre, in association with Castillo Theater, Presents

The World Premiere of Baraka’s Last Play,

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA (W. E. B. Du BOIS),

Directed by Woodie King Jr.

Performances Begin May 28th at Castillo Theater 

Opening Night Set for June 11th

Art McFarland (WABC News) and Petronia Paley Star

Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre will continue its 46th season dedicated to Amira Baraka with the world premiere of his final play, The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois).  Performances will begin Thursday May 28th, with opening night set for June 11th at the Castillo Theater (543 West 42nd Street). This limited Off-Broadway engagement, directed by Woodie King Jr., will continue through June 28th only.

Starring Art McFarland as W. E. B. Du Bois and Petronia Paley as his wife, The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois) will also feature Arthur Bartow, Michael Basile, Marie Guinier, Ralph McCain, Zuhariah McGil, Nick Plakias, Stu Richel, Joyce Sylvester, and Landon G. Woodson, along with Lamar K. Cheston, Keldrick Crowder, Sidiki Fofana, Michael Green, Te’la Curtis Lee, Robert Siverls, and Akil N. Williams. The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois) will have scenic design by Chris Cumberbatch,  costume design by Gail Cooper-Hecht,  lighting design by Antionette Tynes,  sound design by Mark Brukner, and  projection design by Bill Toles.

The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois), Baraka’s final play, is a dramatic reflection of one of the most traumatic events in the terrible period of McCarthyism.  W.E.B. DuBois, co-founder of the NAACP and a scholar and political activist known and recognized throughout the world was indicted in 1951, by the US Federal Government at the age of 82 as “an agent of a foreign power.”  Throughout the play, the focus moves back and forth between the Harlem community and their opinions, and the witnesses’ testimony and the courtroom battles, giving more balanced view of the interior narrative. Video stock footage of significant historical events and speeches will be part of the production design.

After more than 30 years as a TV and radio news reporter in New York, Art McFarlandreturns to the acting career he set aside years before.  Art retired from WABC-TV News in May, 2014, devoting his time to family, writing and rekindling his experience as an actor. From the Little Theater Group at Tuskegee University to the Drama Department at the University of Michigan, Art planned a journey that would include roles in theater, TV and film.  During his first professional acting job as a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, he was offered the opportunity for advanced acting study at Juilliard.   The training was followed by roles in Art’s hometown of Atlanta, including that of Othello in a musical version of Shakespeare’s play, called Catch My Soul.  Shortly after returning to New York a few years later, he began what he considers a deeply rewarding career in broadcasting.

Petronia Paley is an award-winning actor who has worked in classical and contemporary theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre. She recently presented her one-person work On the Way to Timbuktu at Penumbra Theatre Company as part of the Claude Edison Purdy Festival in Saint Paul, MN. Her New York credits include, on Broadway: On Golden Pond, Ethel understudy;  Off-Broadway: Coriolanus (Audelco nomination); Electra,  Classical Theatre of Harlem (Audelco Award).  Regional acting credits include The House That Will Not Stand at Berkeley Rep and Yale Repertory;Raisin in the Sun, Crossroads Theatre; Death of a Salesman, Oberlin College;King Lear, Yale Repertory; Trojan Women, Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination); The Oedipus Plays, Shakespeare Theatre and The Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Greece); On Golden Pond, Kennedy Center; Nothing Sacred, Arena Stage;Midsummer Night’s Dream, Arena Stage.  She is the founder of  the Actor Acting Studio. Other teaching credits: Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s Raul Julia Training Unit, New Federal Theatre and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. She is a member of the Actors Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Woodie King Jr. explains the impact Amiri Baraka had on him: “Amiri Baraka and I shared a 50 year friendship. Shortly after I arrived in New York City, he came to see the play I was directing at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. It was my good fortune, beginning that night, to get to know him. We had in common a close friendship with Langston Hughes and we both loved shoes and hats. Baraka was already a nationally recognized poet and respected editor of  literary journals (where he published unknown writers alongside Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Rivers, Rexroth and Kerouac). After the success of Dutchman (produced by Edward Albee) marked him as a major playwright, Baraka moved uptown to Harlem to set up the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the ‘60s, American cities were in turmoil; Baraka’s poetry and essays defined that unrest. Baraka’s image blazed on front pages of newspapers across America and his poetry and plays fired up African Americans everywhere. In 1968, I began producing his plays: Great Goodness of Life (a Coon Show), Slaveship, The Toilet, A Recent Killing, Sidnee Poet Heroical, and Boy and Tarzan Meet Again in a Clearing (and produced It’s Nation Time – for the Motown label, Black Forum Records). He participated in my documentary Black Theater in America and co-edited anthologies with me. Baraka’s life and literary achievement as playwright should give us inspiration and courage, especially to African-American artists. He had incredible vigor and forcefulness. If one followed Baraka’s evolution from the Village in the mid -’50s, through jazz joints and cafes, to Harlem, where he denounced all the whites he had associated with up to that time (including his wife Hettie Jones), and embraced Black Nationalism, then back to Newark where he founded the nationalist organization Committee for a Unified Newark, and then into the 1970s, after absorbing W.E.B. Du Bois he announced he was adopting a Marxist philosophy — you might reel with confusion. But look at the incredible body of work that evolved out of this prolific, transformative writer.” 

Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, NJ.  After leaving Howard University and the Air Force, he moved to the Lower East Side in 1957 and co-edited the avant-garde literary magazine Yugen and founded Totem Press, which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others.  He published his first volume of poetry, Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note, in 1961 His Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963) is still regarded as the seminal work on Afro-American music and culture. His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of Dutchman at Cherry Lane Theatre in March 1964. The controversial play won an Obie Award for Best Play and subsequently was made into a film.  In 1965, Jones moved to Harlem where he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. BARTS lasted only one year and Baraka returned to Newark, his hometown, and set up with his wife, Amina Baraka The Spirit House and The Spirit House Movers, that brought drama, music and poetry from across the country.  In 1968, Baraka co-edited Black Fire: Anthology of Afro-American Writing.  Amiri and Amina Baraka edited The Music: Meditations of Jazz & Blues (Morrow) and Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women, which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka was published in 1984. His subsequent publications include Y’s/Why’s/Wise (3rd World 1992), Funk Lore (Littoral 1993), Eulogies (Marsilio, 1994), Transbluesency (Marsilio 1996), and Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems (Nehesi 2002). In the fall of 2002, Baraka, who had been named New Jersey Poet Laureate by then Governor James McGreevey, coming under fire from the Anti-Defamation League, the New Jersey Assembly and others after a reading of his controversial poem “Somebody Blew Up America” about the 9/11 attacks. After reading the poem at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s annual poetry festival in Stanhope, NJ, Baraka’s $10,000 stipend was rescinded and the Poet Laureate position eliminated in 2003 by Gov. McGreevey. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Baraka’s case in which he asserted that his First Amendment rights were violated. Baraka bounced back from the melee and remained a figure in demand at international festivals, book fairs and on university campuses. Baraka was the Poet Laureate of the Newark Public Schools appointed by former Superintendent Marion Bolden. Amiri Baraka’s numerous literary honors included fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, the Langston Hughes Award from City College of New York, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Letters in 1995. In 2002 he was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey and Newark Public Schools. His book of short stories, Tales of the Out and the Gone (Akashic Books) was published in late 2007. Home, his book of social essays, was re-released by Akashic Books in 2009. Digging: The Afro American Soul of American Classical Music (Univ. of California) was also released in 2009; the Before Columbus Foundation selected Digging as winner of their annual American Book Awards.  His last book RAZOR: Revolutionary Art for Cultural Revolution was published in 2012. He died January 9th 2014.

Woodie King Jr. is the Founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre has presented over 250 productions in its 42-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in universities across the United States. He is the original producer of the ground breaking “choreopoem” For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.  He also produced What the Wine Sellers BuyReggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award). Mr. King was recently inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the American Theater.

Performances will be Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets will be $25 and can be ordered through www.castillo.org or by phone at 212/941-5800.

For more information, please visit www.newfederaltheatre.com or call NFT at 212-353-1176.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gerry Goodstein

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Cast announced for The World Premiere of Amiri Baraka’s Last Play, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA (W. E. B. Du BOIS),

Art McFarland as WEB DuBois
Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre 
Continues Its 46th Season, Dedicated to the Legendary Amiri Baraka:

New Federal Theatre, in association with Castillo Theater, will Present

The World Premiere of Baraka’s Last Play,

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA (W. E. B. Du BOIS),

Directed by Woodie King Jr.

Begins May 28th at Castillo Theater 

Opening Night Set for June 11th

Art McFarland (WABC News) and Petronia Paley To Star

Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre will continue its 46th season dedicated to Amira Baraka with the world premiere of his final play, The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois).  Performances will begin May 28th, with opening night set for June 11th at the Castillo Theater (543 West 42nd Street). This limited Off-Broadway engagement, directed by Woodie King Jr., will continue through June 28th only.

Starring Art McFarland as W. E. B. Du Bois and Petronia Paley as his wife, The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois) will also feature Arthur Bartow, Michael Basile, Marie Guinier, Ralph McCain, Zuhariah McGil, Nick Plakias, Stu Richel, Joyce Sylvester, and Landon G. Woodson, along with Lamar K. Cheston, Keldrick Crowder, Sidiki Fofana, Michael Green, Te’la Curtis Lee, Robert Siverls, and Akil N. Williams. The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois) will have scenic design by Chris Cumberbatch,  costume design by Gail Cooper-Hecht,  lighting design by Antionette Tynes,  sound design by Mark Brukner, and  projection design by Bill Toles.

The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois), Baraka’s final play, is a dramatic reflection of one of the most traumatic events in the terrible period of McCarthyism.  W.E.B. DuBois, co-founder of the NAACP and a scholar and political activist known and recognized throughout the world was indicted in 1951, by the US Federal Government at the age of 82 as “an agent of a foreign power.”  Throughout the play, the focus moves back and forth between the Harlem community and their opinions, and the witnesses’ testimony and the courtroom battles, giving more balanced view of the interior narrative. Video stock footage of significant historical events and speeches will be part of the production design.

After more than 30 years as a TV and radio news reporter in New York, Art McFarland returns to the acting career he set aside years before.  Art retired from WABC-TV News in May, 2014, devoting his time to family, writing and rekindling his experience as an actor. From the Little Theater Group at Tuskegee University to the Drama Department at the University of Michigan, Art planned a journey that would include roles in theater, TV and film.  During his first professional acting job as a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, he was offered the opportunity for advanced acting study at Juilliard.   The training was followed by roles in Art’s hometown of Atlanta, including that of Othello in a musical version of Shakespeare’s play, called Catch My Soul.  Shortly after returning to New York a few years later, he began what he considers a deeply rewarding career in broadcasting.

Petronia Paley is an award-winning actor who has worked in classical and contemporary theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre. She recently presented her one-person work On the Way to Timbuktu at Penumbra Theatre Company as part of the Claude Edison Purdy Festival in Saint Paul, MN. Her New York credits include, on Broadway: On Golden Pond, Ethel understudy;  Off-Broadway: Coriolanus (Audelco nomination); Electra,  Classical Theatre of Harlem (Audelco Award).  Regional acting credits include The House That Will Not Stand at Berkeley Rep and Yale Repertory; Raisin in the Sun, Crossroads Theatre; Death of a Salesman, Oberlin College;King Lear, Yale Repertory; Trojan Women, Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination); The Oedipus Plays, Shakespeare Theatre and The Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Greece); On Golden Pond, Kennedy Center; Nothing Sacred, Arena Stage; Midsummer Night’s Dream, Arena Stage.  She is the founder of  the Actor Acting Studio. Other teaching credits: Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s Raul Julia Training Unit, New Federal Theatre and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. She is a member of the Actors Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Woodie King Jr. explains the impact Amiri Baraka had on him: “Amiri Baraka and I shared a 50 year friendship. Shortly after I arrived in New York City, he came to see the play I was directing at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. It was my good fortune, beginning that night, to get to know him. We had in common a close friendship with Langston Hughes and we both loved shoes and hats. Baraka was already a nationally recognized poet and respected editor of  literary journals (where he published unknown writers alongside Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Rivers, Rexroth and Kerouac). After the success of Dutchman (produced by Edward Albee) marked him as a major playwright, Baraka moved uptown to Harlem to set up the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the ‘60s, American cities were in turmoil; Baraka’s poetry and essays defined that unrest. Baraka’s image blazed on front pages of newspapers across America and his poetry and plays fired up African Americans everywhere. In 1968, I began producing his plays: Great Goodness of Life (a Coon Show), Slaveship, The Toilet, A Recent Killing, Sidnee Poet Heroical, and Boy and Tarzan Meet Again in a Clearing (and produced It’s Nation Time – for the Motown label, Black Forum Records). He participated in my documentary Black Theater in America and co-edited anthologies with me. Baraka’s life and literary achievement as playwright should give us inspiration and courage, especially to African-American artists. He had incredible vigor and forcefulness. If one followed Baraka’s evolution from the Village in the mid -’50s, through jazz joints and cafes, to Harlem, where he denounced all the whites he had associated with up to that time (including his wife Hettie Jones), and embraced Black Nationalism, then back to Newark where he founded the nationalist organization Committee for a Unified Newark, and then into the 1970s, after absorbing W.E.B. Du Bois he announced he was adopting a Marxist philosophy — you might reel with confusion. But look at the incredible body of work that evolved out of this prolific, transformative writer.” 

Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, NJ.  After leaving Howard University and the Air Force, he moved to the Lower East Side in 1957 and co-edited the avant-garde literary magazine Yugen and founded Totem Press, which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others.  He published his first volume of poetry, Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note, in 1961 His Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963) is still regarded as the seminal work on Afro-American music and culture. His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of Dutchman at Cherry Lane Theatre in March 1964. The controversial play won an Obie Award for Best Play and subsequently was made into a film.  In 1965, Jones moved to Harlem where he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. BARTS lasted only one year and Baraka returned to Newark, his hometown, and set up with his wife, Amina Baraka The Spirit House and The Spirit House Movers, that brought drama, music and poetry from across the country.  In 1968, Baraka co-edited Black Fire: Anthology of Afro-American Writing.  Amiri and Amina Baraka edited The Music: Meditations of Jazz & Blues (Morrow) and Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women, which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka was published in 1984. His subsequent publications include Y’s/Why’s/Wise (3rd World 1992), Funk Lore (Littoral 1993), Eulogies (Marsilio, 1994), Transbluesency (Marsilio 1996), and Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems (Nehesi 2002). In the fall of 2002, Baraka, who had been named New Jersey Poet Laureate by then Governor James McGreevey, coming under fire from the Anti-Defamation League, the New Jersey Assembly and others after a reading of his controversial poem “Somebody Blew Up America” about the 9/11 attacks. After reading the poem at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s annual poetry festival in Stanhope, NJ, Baraka’s $10,000 stipend was rescinded and the Poet Laureate position eliminated in 2003 by Gov. McGreevey. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Baraka’s case in which he asserted that his First Amendment rights were violated. Baraka bounced back from the melee and remained a figure in demand at international festivals, book fairs and on university campuses. Baraka was the Poet Laureate of the Newark Public Schools appointed by former Superintendent Marion Bolden. Amiri Baraka’s numerous literary honors included fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, the Langston Hughes Award from City College of New York, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Letters in 1995. In 2002 he was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey and Newark Public Schools. His book of short stories, Tales of the Out and the Gone (Akashic Books) was published in late 2007. Home, his book of social essays, was re-released by Akashic Books in 2009. Digging: The Afro American Soul of American Classical Music (Univ. of California) was also released in 2009; the Before Columbus Foundation selected Digging as winner of their annual American Book Awards.  His last book RAZOR: Revolutionary Art for Cultural Revolution was published in 2012. He died January 9th 2014.

Woodie King Jr. is the Founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre has presented over 250 productions in its 42-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, and in universities across the United States. He is the original producer of the ground breaking “choreopoem” For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.  He also produced What the Wine Sellers BuyReggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award). Mr. King was recently inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the American Theater.

Performances will be Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets will be $25 and can be ordered through www.castillo.org or by phone at 212/941-5800.

For more information, please visit www.newfederaltheatre.com or call NFT at 212-353-1176.

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Theatreworks USA to present the Off-Broadway Premiere of Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas)

Theatreworks USA, 

By Special Arrangement with The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation,

Presents Their 27th Anniversary of Free Summer Theatre:

Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas)

Adapted from the children’s book by Judy Schachner

 

Limited Off-Broadway Engagement at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Begins Thursday July 2nd

Opening Night Set for Wednesday July 8th

This summer Theatreworks USA, the nation’s leading not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences, will present the Off-Broadway Premiere of Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas).

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the bravest Chihuahua of them all? Skippyjon Jones the Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Mexican Chihuahua of course! While his sisters listen to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Skippy heads off for the REAL adventure awaiting him in his closet. There, as his alter ego Skippito Friskito, and with the help of his friends the Seven Chimichangos, Skippyjon must rescue the beautiful princess Nieve Qué (Snow What), battle the evil dragon and defeat the Bruja. A brand new musical based on the book by Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones Snow What is a twist on the classic fairytale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

The cast features L.R. Davidson (Jezebel/Poquito Tito), Alexander Ferguson (as Jilly Boo/Don Diego), Junior Mendez (Skippyjon Jones), Jeremy Morse (Mama Junebug/ The Wicked Bruja), and Lexi Rhoades (Ju Ju Bee/Nieve Que). Directed by Kevin Del Aguila with choreography by Connor GallagherSkippyjon Jones Snow What features book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila with music by Eli Bolin.  The production features scenic design by Rob Odorisio, costume design by Tracey Christensen, and lighting design by Greg Solomon. Orchestrations are by Matt Castle and Frank Galgano. Matt Castle will also serve as music director. The production stage manager is Byron F. Abens.

Launched in 1989, the mission of Theatreworks USA’s Free Summer Theatre Program is to provide New York City youth with their own theatre tradition that not only entertains, but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre. This summer 15,000 FREE tickets will be distributed to Skippyjon Jones Snow What.

Performances begin Thursday July 2nd at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).  Opening Night is set for Wednesday July 8th (6:30 PM). This limited engagement runs through August 7th.  Educational and not-for-profit group reservations can be made by calling 212/627-7373 beginning May 11th.  Thanks to the generosity of corporations, foundations, and donors, Theatreworks will be able to send over 10,000 underserved youth to Free Summer Theatre for FREE!

Skippyjon Jones Snow What is a 60-minute, one-act musical recommended for children ages 4 & up. Performances will be Monday through Friday at 10:30am and 1pm; Sundays at 2pm and 4:30pm; no performances on Saturdays. Sunday July 5 there is a special 10:30am preview performance. Additional performances are scheduled forThursday July 16 and Thursday July 30 at 6pm.  Schedule Exceptions: There are no 1pm performances Thursday July 2 & Friday July 3 and no 10:30am performance onWednesday July 8. There is no 4:30pm performance on Sunday July 19 and Sunday August 2.

Tickets for Skippyjon Jones Snow What are FREE and are available on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office (121 Christopher Street) on the day of the performance. Tickets for each day’s performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per adult per day. Individual tickets are extremely limited for the weekday daytime performances.

Please note: Reservations cannot be made by the general public. Only reservations from not-for-profit and educational organizations are accepted. Strollers are not allowed in the theater; no babies in arms.  Please be considerate of fellow audience members. No food or drink is allowed inside the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

WANT TO SEE THE SHOW BUT DON’T WANT TO WAIT IN LINE?  VIP Members can get reserved seats by becoming a Donor to Theatreworks USA. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to offset program costs.  For every $50 you donate, you are entitled to either one reserved Adult VIP s or one reserved Child VIP ticket for the performance of your choice. Limit 10 tickets per donor.  VIP reservations, including weekend performances, must be received no later than 12pm on Friday each week.  For more information on becoming a Donor and supporting free theatre for youth, call 212/647-1100, ext. 131 or e-mail development@twusa.org. All sales final.

Theatreworks USA is America’s foremost professional theatre for young and family audiences. Theatreworks USA’s mission is to create imaginative and sophisticated shows that are educational, entertaining, and thought provoking, and to ensure that these shows are accessible to audiences across America regardless of geography and socio-economic status. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has reached over 93 million people in 49 states and Canada, and the company now performs for about three million young people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately ten shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 133 plays and musicals. In addition, Theatreworks USA has an extensive guest artist roster of multi-cultural storytellers, musicians, puppeteers, magicians and more.

Theatreworks USA‘s honors include a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the William M. Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence given by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and the Medal of Honor from the Actors Fund of America. Past Free Summer Theatre productions at the Lucille Lortel Theatre include The Lightning Thief (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); Skippyjon Jones (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); The Yellow Brick Road (Callaway nominee: Best Choreography); We the People: America Rocks! (Lortel nominee: Best Musical); Click, Clack, Moo (Lortel nominee: Best Musical, Drama Desk nominee: Best Lyrics); and Seussical (Lortel and Drama League nominee: Best Revival of a Musical). Free Summer Theatre is entirely underwritten by charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public support.

Theatreworks USA‘s Free Summer Theatre Program is made possible with the generous support of BWF Foundation, Con Edison, Credit Suisse, The Friars Foundation, James T. Lee Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Nordstrom, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and other benefactors.

For more information on this show or the other programs offered by Theatreworks USA, visit www.TWUSA.org.

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The Public Theater Presents NAATCO’S Acclaimed Production of AWAKE AND SING!

you can download hi res production photos here:

https://plus.google.com/photos/102884444802045237362/albums/5913166026172125217

 

 

The Public Theater

Presents

NAATCO’s Acclaimed Production of

AWAKE AND SING!

By Clifford Odets

Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried

 

NAATCO Kicks Off Their 25th Season with this Production at

The Public

 

Limited Off-Broadway Engagement

Begins Monday, July 6

Opening Night Set for July 13th

 

“NAATCO’s production easily makes the point that ethnicity is transcended by the humanity of frightened, imperfect people facing unpleasant realities. Theatergoers deserve to hear great plays as they were originally performed, especially in productions like this.” New York Times

“Odets’ Depression-era drama may be old-fashioned, but it’s moving, and it still feels relevant.” The New Yorker 

Awake and Sing! is especially fresh in the new revival from National Asian American Theatre Company, directed with precise raucousness by Stephen Fried.” Village Voice

Awake and Sing! allows for some truly fine ensemble work. And Mia Katigbak is masterful, evoking Bessie as both a villain and tragic figure.” NY1 On Stage

 

The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) will present NAATCO’s acclaimed production of AWAKE AND SING! this summer for a limited engagement beginning Monday, July 6th. The National Asian American Theatre Company, under the leadership of Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and Associate Producer Peter Kim, will kick off their 25th Season in residency at The Public with this classic Odets drama. The limited engagement in The Public’s Shiva Theater (425 Lafayette Street) will run through Sunday, August 2nd. Opening Night is set for Monday, July 13.


Stephen Brown-Fried directs an all-Asian American cast that includes Mia Katigbak recreating her OBIE Award-winning role as the matriarch Bessie along with Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Teresa Avia Lim, James Saito, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari, and Henry Yuk. AWAKE AND SING! will have scenic design by Anshuman Bhatia, lighting design by Gina Scherr, costume design by Alexae Visel, and sound design by Toby Jaguar Algya. 

“NAATCO is a company that has pursued its beautiful mission with integrity, passion, and extraordinary talent,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “The Public is proud to host their luminous production of Awake and Sing.

”Mia Katigbak added, “Being at the Public to celebrate NAATCO’s 25th anniversary is such an important way to kick off our celebrations, and we are very thankful to Oskar for his generosity and for his support of Asian American representation on the American stage.”

Considered Odets’s finest play, AWAKE AND SING! premiered on Broadway in 1935, performed by the Group Theater. It is the story of the Bergers, a lower middle class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Depression. Odets described it as “a struggle for life amid petty conditions,” capturing the frenetic, pressured existence in this crowded dwelling with robust authenticity. The play recalls that this country was founded as the land of opportunity for immigrants who came with an enduring belief in the American dream. Odets’s characters are all the parents, grandparents, and children who sought refuge and forged new lives. Families like these from around the world continue to make their way here every day, making Awake & Sing! as timely today as it was when it was first written.

Performances will be Mondays through Saturdays at 7PM with matinees on Saturdays at 2PM. Tickets for all seats for all performances will be $45. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.publictheater.org or call 212/967-7555. You may also purchase tickets in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

ABOUT NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Co., Inc.)

Under the leadership of Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and co-founder Richard Eng, NAATCO was founded in 1989 to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture by offering European and American classics as written with all Asian American casts; adaptations of these classics by Asian American playwrights; and new plays – preferably world premieres – written by non-Asian Americans, not for or about Asian Americans, but realized by an all Asian American cast. NAATCO puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi- and inter-cultural dynamics of our society. By doing so, they demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. The enrichment accrues to each different culture as well as to America as a whole. NAATCO performs this chosen repertory as written, with no forced Asian cultural associations. The repertory’s importance comes not only through the valuable training it provides for theatrical craft, but also from its ability to reach across ethnic boundaries to illuminate abiding characteristics of human nature.  The superimposition of Asian faces on a non-Asian repertory, interpreted by artists using diverse and truly universal references to serve the text very faithfully, reflects and emphasizes the kinship among disparate cultures. “We do not say we are all the same, we say that we have quite large areas of understanding. We also say that affirmations of timeless values and new insights about old works can come from unexpected faces.” NAATCO was the recipient of the 2012-13 Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women for their work “highlighting the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society” and the 2006 Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity Association in recognition of its contribution toward increasing diversity and non-traditional casting in American theatre. For more information, visit www.naatco.org.

 

ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a new initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, including Public Lab; and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new restaurant lounge, The Library, designed by the Rockwell Group. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.

 

PRESS CONTACT FOR THE PUBLIC THEATER:
Candi Adams (212) 539-8680  cadams@publictheater.org

 

 

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS!

 

PRESS CONTACT:

David Gersten & Associates

214 West 50th Street / Suite 200

New York, NY 10019

212/575-0263

info@davidgersten.com

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RED BULL THEATER Will Honor Jack O’Brien, Martha Plimpton and the Off-Broadway Angels

RED BULL THEATER’S
RUNNING OF THE RED BULLS BENEFIT
Will Honor
Jack O’Brien, Martha Plimpton and the Off-Broadway Angels
with
The 2015 Matador Awards For Excellence In Classical Theater
 
Monday June 15th
At the Bowery Hotel
 
 

Jesse Berger, Artistic Director ~ Jim Bredeson Managing Director, and the Board of Trustees of Red Bull Theater are pleased to announce the Seventh Annual RUNNING OF THE RED BULLS BENEFIT on Monday June 15th, at 6pm, celebrating their 11th Anniversary and honoring Jack O’Brien, Martha Plimpton and the Off-Broadway Angels with the 2015 Matador Awards For Excellence In Classical Theater


Hosted by Marc Vietor with ​a​uctioneer Paige Davis and  Tony Award Nominee Brian D’Arcy James (Something Rotten) performing, along with Special Guests Billy Crudup, Kathleen Chalfant, Emily Bergl, Olympia Dukakis, John Guare, Jay O. Sanders, Stephen Spinella, Charlayne Woodard​ and more will offer an evening of live entertainment, fine dining, and great company at the chic Bowery Hotel  (335 Bowery at East 3rd Street) with catering by ​Gemma
.  
 
Jack O’Brien, Matador Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Classical Theater: Represented on Broadway this season with the hit It’s Only a Play, Jack O’Brien is a three-time Tony Award-winning director who consistently directs and supports the classical repertoire. He was Artistic Director of the Old Globe for over twenty-five years. Major New York productions have included Henry IV, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing and Il trittico at the Metropolitan Opera. O’Brien also helmed the original productions of the Broadway musicals Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty.
 

Martha Plimpton, Matador Award for Extraordinary Talent for Classical Theater: Martha Plimpton is a three-time Tony Award-nominated actress. Her leading role on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s trilogy The Coast of Utopia earned her a Drama Desk Award. She also played the leading role in Lincoln Center Theater’s Cymbeline and has appeared on Broadway in A Delicate Balance, Pal Joey, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare in the Park. Plimpton’s acclaimed screen work includes The Goonies, Mosquito Coast, Parenthood and her long-running sit-com, “Raising Hope.”

Off-Broadway Angels (Charlotte & David Ackert • Janet & Michael Slosberg • Jane Stanicki), George Mayer Matador Award for Extraordinary Service to Classical Theater: Off Broadway Angels was formed by passionate theatergoers who served on the boards of a variety of not-for-profit Off Broadway theaters. The group funds developmental work, whether done by smaller theater companies or groups organized around a creation of specific theatrical production, including Bedlam Theater and New Dramatists. Red Bull Theater has been honored with their support for the past six seasons.

 

Celebrate Red Bull Theater, honor super contributors to classical theater, and be the first to hear about the 2015-’16 Season plans.  To order tickets, visit www.redbulltheater.com or call (212) 343-7394.

HONORARY BENEFIT COMMITTEE
Billy Crudup, Jeffory Lawson, Marsha Mason, Honorary Chairs
F. Murray Abraham, Emily Bergl, Michael Cerveris, Katheeen Chalfant, Stockard Channing, Robert Cuccioli, Paige Davis, André De Shields, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Innvar, Jan Maxwell, Patrick Page, Lily Rabe, Roger Rees, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, Stephen Spinella, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Thomas, John Douglas Thompson, Charlayne Woodard 
 
BENEFIT PLANNING COMMITTEE
Craig Baldwin, R. Clay Ballard, Mary Collins, Clarissa Crabtree, Matilde Dratwa, Katherine Hood, Adam J. Natale, Jane Oppenheim, Michele Parsons, Betty Rauch, Paola Soto  
 
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Howard Owens, President; Katherine Hood, Chair; Bradley McCormick, Treasurer; Adam J. Natale, Secretary; Scott Ashby, Jesse Berger, Victoria Blankenship, Susan Doran, David Kalodner, James Killerlane, Noah Millman, Matthew Rauch, Mathew Rubin, Cathy Tempelsman, Barbara K. Toy, John Yavroyan  
 

 


PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS!
 
PRESS CONTACT:
David Gersten & Associates
214 West 50th Street / Suite 200
New York, NY 10019
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First Look at THE LAST SEDER, with Gaby Hoffmann and Greg Mullavey, opening Tuesday

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Pictured: Natalie Kuhn, Andy Lucien

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Kathryn Kates, Greg Mullavey

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John Michalski, Kathryn Kates, Greg Mullavey

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Eric T. Miller, Melisa Breiner- Sanders, Andy Lucien, Natalie Kuhn, Abigail Rose Solomon

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Greg Mullavey, Kathryn Kates, Gaby Hoffmann, Ryan Barry, Eric T. Miller, Melisa Breiner-Sanders, Andy Lucien, Natalie Kuhn, Abigail Rose Solomon, Sarah Winkler, John Michalski

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Abigail Rose Solomon, Gaby Hoffmann, Natalie Kuhn, Sarah Winkler, Kathryn Kates, Greg Mullavey

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Andy Lucien, Eric T. Miller, Greg Mullavey, Gaby Hoffmann, Sarah Winkler

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Gaby Hoffmann, Greg Mullavey

Rosalind Productions Inc. will present the Off-Broadway premiere of Jennifer Maisel’s The Last Seder. This Off-Broadway limited engagement at Theater Three (311 West 43rd Street) began December 1st and continues through December 20th only. Opening Night is set for Tuesday December 4th (7pm). The show runs 100 minutes without an intermission.

Jessica Bauman directs a cast that includes Ryan Barry (In the Summer Pavilion – 59E59), Kathryn Kates (Food and Fadwa – NYTW, “Seinfeld”), Natalie Kuhn (Poetic License – 59E59), Andy Lucien (Line), John Michalski (A Splintered Soul – Rosalind Productions), Eric T. Miller (Betrayed – The Culture Project), Greg Mullavey (Broadway: Rumors, Romantic Comedy; “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”), Abigail Rose Solomon (“Days Of Our Lives,” Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Melisa Breiner SandersSarah Winkler (Einstein’s Gift – Epic Theatre), and Gaby Hoffmann (Sleepless in Seattle, Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck, Everyone Says I Love You, Now and Then, and You Can Count on Me).

Faced with their father Marvin’s worsening Alzheimer’s, the four grown Price daughters return for the final Passover celebration in their childhood home. Lily, their overwhelmed mother who’s taken up cursing, is planning to put Marvin in a nursing home and sell the house. Each daughter arrives with her own baggage: Michelle picks up a total stranger to pose as her nice Jewish boyfriend; Angel seduces her ex on the roof; Claire fights with her fiancé about wedding plans; Julia, pregnant with her lesbian life partner, psychoanalyzes everyone except herself. Marvin does not recognize any of them. But when he takes the lead at their last Seder, a magical moment occurs which gives the women the strength and courage to finally move forward.

The Last Seder received a National Foundation for Jewish Culture New Plays for Production Grant, before receiving the Fund for New American Plays Award from the Kennedy Center, as well as the Charlotte Woolard Award for Promising New Voice in American Theatre. The play has been produced at The Organic Theatre, Chicago; Theatre J, DC; Ensemble Studio Theatre – LA Project; Teatro da Juventude, Brazil; Park Square Theatre, St Paul; and St. Louis Repertory. The screenplay adaptation of The Last Seder won Showtime’s Tony Cox Award.

The Last Seder will have scenic design by Gabriel Evansohn, lighting design by Graham Kindred, costume design by Sydney Gallas, and sound design by Sam Kusnetz.

Performances will be at Theater Three (311 West 43rd Street, between 8th  & 9th Avenues, on the 3rd Floor) and will play Thursdays through Saturdays evenings at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 3pm with Special Added Performances on Monday, December 3rd at 8pm, Wednesday, December 19th at 8pm and matinees Wednesday, December 12th  & 19th at 3pm.  Performances continue through Thursday, December 20th only. Opening Night is set for Monday, December 4th at 7pm.  Tickets are $18; to purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.RosalindProductions.com or call 212/868-4444.

Jennifer Maisel is an award-winning playwright, television and film writer. Her Goody Fucking Two Shoes was a Heideman Award finalist and was produced in the 29th Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Jennifer’s There or Here was a finalist for the Sundance Theatre Lab, the O’Neill Theatre Conference, the STAGE International Script Competition, Abingdon Theatre’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award and the PEN West Literary Award.  It was workshopped at PlayPenn in Philadelphia, prior to its critically acclaimed premiere at The Hypothetical Theatre in New York.  Jennifer’s other work has won South Coast Repertory’s California Playwrights Competition, the Center Theatre International Playwrights Competition and the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Fund for New American Plays and includes the plays birds, Mad Love, Mallbaby, Eden and …And the Two Romeos.  Her most recent play, Out of Orbit, was workshopped at the 2010 Sundance Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA. www.jennifermaisel.com

Jessica Bauman recently directed Taming of the Shrew at Juilliard. Making Up the Truth, the solo performance she developed and directed, by and with This American Life journalist Jack Hitt, premiered at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven in June 2011. Making Up the Truth will be included in the 2012 Spoleto Festival. She is the founder and Artistic Director of New Feet Productions, for which she directed and produced Into the Hazard (Henry 5), her own six actor adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V, All Day Suckers by Susan Dworkin and Milk by Emily DeVoti (co-produced with New Georges) and, most recently, the world premiere of Leave the Balcony Open by Maya Macdonald. For the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, she has directed the premieres of Terrence McNally’s Teachers Break with Cynthia Nixon and Maura Tierney, Harrison Rivers’ and it seems to me a very good sign… with Naomi Watts and John Krasinski, and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Dress the Orphans with Rachel Dratch and Rosie Perez. Her work has been seen at theatres such as New Georges, NY Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, the Public, Juilliard (including the world premiere of Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire), Rising Phoenix Rep and the 52nd Street Project. Regionally, she has worked at the Huntington Theater, Portland Stage Company, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Theatre Outlet (Allentown, PA), Vermont Stage Company and the O’Neill. She has collaborated with playwrights such as David Lindsay-Abaire, Kia Corthron, Tracey Scott Wilson, Emily DeVoti, Jenny Lyn Bader, Diana Son, Napoleon Ellsworth and Kirsten Greenidge. She has been an Artist-in- Residence at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, a Drama League Directors Project fellow, and is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a NYTW Usual Suspect and New Georges Affiliated Artist. Jessica was a finalist for the 2007-2009 TCG/NEA Career Development program for Directors. www,jessicabauman.net

Rosalind Productions Inc. produces stories in which the female characters are as vital, complex and influential as the male characters.  Last year, RP produced the sold-out Off-Broadway premiere of A Splintered Soul and the hit Off-Broadway revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo.   RP associate produced The Miracle Worker on Broadway. In Los Angeles, RP produced G.B. Shaw’s Misalliance and Proof at The Odyssey; the World Premiere of Stages by Abigail Rose Solomon, which ran at Hudson Mainstage Theatre, extended at The Matrix Theatre, and received a NAACP Theatre Award nomination.  RP co-produced a sold-out run of As You Like It with Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company at The Matrix. www.RosalindProductions.com

 
 
CAST BIOS

Ryan Barry’s Off-Broadway credits include In the Summer Pavilion (59E59 Theaters), Treasure Island (Irondale Center).  New York: As Wide As I Can See (HERE Arts Center), In the Summer Pavilion (NY International Fringe, (NYCFringe Outstanding Excellence in Performance Award Winner), The Temp (SoHo Playhouse), Reading Under The Influence (Bank of America Festival), Romeo and Juliet (QAS).  Regional: Travesties with Sam Waterston (Long Wharf Theatre), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Shakespeare and Company), Grease (Barrington Stage Company), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Hubbard Hall) and the Upcoming Red at Merrimack Repertory Theater. Film: In the Summer Pavilion. Ryan’s voiceover work can be heard on several national commercials.

Gaby Hoffmann is a NYC native who began acting at 5 years old. She has appeared in over 20 films including Sleepless in Seattle, Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck, Everyone Says I Love You, Now and Then, and You Can Count on Me. Her stage credits include Third (Lincoln Center), The Sugar Syndrome (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Suburbia (Second Stage).  She recently appeared on the season premiere of “Louie.”

Kathryn Kates has recently returned to New York after spending over 25 years in Los Angeles where, along with fellow actor John Larroquette, she was one of the Founding Members of The Colony Theatre. Kathryn is probably best known for her recurring role on “Seinfeld” as The Bakery Lady in the iconic “The Babka” and “The Marble Rye” episodes.  She was recently cast in the pilot episode of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” as Jason Biggs’ mother. She also worked on Andrew Gurland’s “Gurland on Gurland,” a pilot sitcom for Showtime; and in Reggie Rock Bythewood’s “Gun Hill,” a pilot for BET.  She has appeared in many films, most notably opposite Bette Midler in Jinxed and Carol Burnett in Beatrice, and on television in guest starring roles on “Judging Amy,” “Matlock,” “Caroline in the City” and a recurring role on “Lizzie McGuire” as the neighbor Mrs. Carrabino. Since relocating to New York, she has appeared in many Off-Broadway venues, including Cherry Lane, The Public, Soho Rep, Barrow Group, performing in over 30 plays and three musicals, including Waxing West at La Mama and European tours; Sa Ka La directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde and Ashlin Halfnight’s Balaton directed by Kristjan Thor at Urban Stages; in Jacques LaMarre’s Gray Matters (for which she received an MITF Best Actress Nomination). This year, Kathryn appeared Off-Broadway on Theatre Row in Herman Kline’s Midlife Crisis and then at New York Theatre Workshop in Food and Fadwa. She has just completed principal photography on Dovid Meyer, playing the Orthodox cook.  She is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep.

Natalie Kuhn’s theater credits include Poetic License (Off B’way: 59E59), Stop the Virgens (St. Ann’s Warehouse, Sydney Opera House), Everything That Happens (David Byrne World Concert Tour), Specific Ocean (NYLA), Three Guys and a Brenda, Current Things, Sound in the Throat, Sitstandwalkliedown (Williamstown Theater Festival), The Underpants (Penobscot Theater), Somewhere I Read (Arto Lindsay), Man Is Man (HERE Arts), Sine Wave Goodbye (Ontological), Johnny Applef?%r (The Ohio), One Million Forgotten Moments (NTUSA). Film/TV: Ride Rise Roar, “Law & Order: CI, Are We There Yet?, “The Colbert Report, Going Local, Amateurs, Change of Plans, Bestsellers, PowerHouse, Freaky Darlings.

Andy Lucien‘s previous NYC credits have included Line (Dolan) and participating in the Young Playwrights readings at Playwrights Horizons. His regional and international credits include Smash/Hit (Atlanta/D.C) Radio Golf (Penn State Centre Stage), Bombitty of Errors (Second Stage) and Revenge of a King as a part of the Grahamstown Theater Festival (South Africa).

John Michalski. This is his second production, in two years, with Rosalind Productions having appeared with them last fall as Rabbi Simon Kroeller in the NY premiere of A Splintered Soul by Alan Lester Brooks.  An associate artist of New York Classical Theatre, John spent this past summer playing Sir Toby Belch in their production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, both in Central Park and The Battery.  John has appeared on and off Broadway and in theatres from coast to coast.

Eric T. Miller’s theater credits include Ever So Humble (Hangar Theatre), Lieutenant of Inishmore (FST), Safe Home (Royal Family Productions), Sweet Storm (LAByrinth/Alchemy Theatre Co.) and Betrayed (The Culture Project) with countless workshops and readings at NYTW, New Georges, LARK, LAByrinth, the Public, EST/Youngbloods and Rattlestick.  Television and Film include “The Unusuals” (ABC), “Kings” (NBC), “Law & Order” (NBC), Shame (Dir:  Steve McQueen), Brewsie and Willy, Pieces, My Secret Friend and the upcoming Home (Dir: Jono Oliver).

Greg Mullavey has appeared on Broadway, starring in Romantic Comedy with Mia Farrow and Tony Perkins, as Lenny in Rumors, and in the National Tour of The Sisters Rosensweig as Merv the furrierHe has also appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions, the latest for this year’s National Jewish Theatre critically acclaimed production of The Roundabout Complex of the Soap Myth, playing an Auschwitz survivor railing about the discontinuance of the manufacturing of soap from Jewish flesh as a Nazi war crime in American Memorial Museums.  Some of his regional credits include I Do, I Do, Alaska Light Opera Company; The Dinner Party, Coconut Grove Theatre (directed by Tony Award winner, John Rando); Breaking Legs, Old Globe Theatre (directed by Tony Award winner, Jack O’Brien); The Price, The Guthrie; Conversations With My Father, Cleveland Playhouse; Near The End Of The Century, George Street Playhouse; Lay of The Land, Pittsburgh’s Public; and Proof at GEVA.in Rochester, NY. In Los Angeles he has received six Drama-Logue Awards and a L.A. Weekly Award. His roles range from his portrayal of Lee Strasberg (one of Greg’s teachers) in Names, to Shylock in Merchant of Venice, Gayev in The Cherry Orchard opposite Alfred Molina, Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, Serge in Art, Tiger Brown in Three Penny Opera, and as Victor Fleming in Moonlight and Magnolias, to name a few.  He is a voting member of the TV Academy and his extensive television credits range from “Gunsmoke” to his role as Grandad on the current tweener hit “iCarly,” with 100s in between, including his role as gunslinger ‘Mule’ Canby in James Michener’s mini-series “Centennial.” He has been a regular on four TV series, but is best known for his role as Tom Hartman on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Abigail Rose Solomon has acted with Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, Abingdon Theatre Company, Women’s Project, New Georges, Sacred Fools and several others. On camera, she has worked with Brad and Angie on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex & The City” and Jerry Orbach on “Law & Order.” She also had recurring roles on “NYPD Blue” and “Days of Our Lives,” playing a character named Nurse Solly written specifically for her. www.abigailrosesolomon.com

Sara Surrey’s credits include: New York – Rutherford & Son The Mint Theater, Where We’re Born & Five Flights Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Secret Agenda of Trees Cherry Lane Theater, Where’s My Money MTC; Regional: Elemeno Pea Human Festival-Actors Theater of Louisville, Lost in Yonkers Papermill Playhouse, The Dining Room Dorset Theater Festival, Antony & Cleopatra The Old Globe, Anna Christie Arena Stage, The Black Dahlia Yale Repertory Theatre, The Archbishop’s Ceiling Westport Country Playhouse, Hayfever Baltimore Center Stage, Three Days of Rain Studio Arena Theatre, Arcadia Portland Stage Company;  Film/TV: Staten Island, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Guiding Light,” The Job, “Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn.”

Sarah Winkler’s Off-Broadway credits include Dispatches from A(mended) America, A Hard Heart, Einstein’s Gift.  Regional and Independent:  The Last Seder (Organic Theatre), Inherit the Wind (Fulton Opera House), Radium Girls (Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey), House of Mirth (Charm School), The Tempest (Empty Space Theatre Company), Elmer Gantry (Peculiar Works Project).  Film/TV:  Trifling with Fate, Milk & Money, Je Suis Venu te Dire, Rencontre a New York, In the Weeds.  Sarah is a proud Ensemble Artist with Epic Theatre Ensemble, where has performed in Beauty on the Vine, Einstein’s Gift, Mallbaby, Macbeth, Othello, Antigone-in-Progress, An Enemy of the People, and The Oresteia Project.

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FALLING Resumes Performances Saturday

 

FALLING 

Resumes Performances Saturday at Minetta Lane Theatre

The Off-Broadway premiere of Falling will resume performances Saturday evening, November 3rd, following a shut down caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.   Falling, the new play by Deanna Jent, opened to critical acclaim on October 15th at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, one block south of West 3rd Street, just off Sixth Avenue):

“Packs a huge emotional punch! Graceful writing, great acting, exquisite
direction, suspense, profound subject matter – and IT ROCKS!” – Rex Reed, New York Observer
 
“FALLING SOARS! Superbly staged and wonderfully acted!” – New York Post
 
“An ace cast… Gutsy and touching. Sharp and observant! Sobering and affecting, Falling sinks deep under
your skin.” – NY Daily News
 
“A well-acted, affecting production! A thoughtful unsentimental play.”  – Associated Press
 
“Shocking! Expertly done.” – Newsday
 
“Audiences will be FALLING in love with this extraordinary piece of theater!” – TheaterMania.com
 
“One of the finest theatrical productions currently offered in New York.” – BroadwayWorld.com

Falling is a real life drama about how 18-year-old Josh, who has autism, affects the lives of everyone around him. When a relative comes to visit, the family is thrown off their equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family with what is best for each of them.

Lori Adams directs a cast that features Daniel Everidge (Grease, Fat Camp); Celia Howard (Fortinbras); Daniel Pearce (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Sarah Ruhl’s Passion PlayKing LearMeasure for Measure; Henry V; Henry VI (NYSF/Public Theater); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Irish Rep); A Mother, a Daughter, and a Gun (New World Stages); and Love’s Fire (Public Theater); Jacey Powers (The Shanghai Gesture, Our Town); and Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party [Drama Desk nom.], Vagina Monologues, Crimes of the Heart, Queen of the Mist, and Time and Again [Lucille Lortel nom.]).

Performances for Falling are Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with Matinees Wednesday & Saturday at 2 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets from $39.50 are available at TicketMaster.com, by calling toll-free 800-982-2787, or at the Box Office.

For more information, visit www.FallingPlay.com, join the family on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/FallingPlay), and follow us on Twitter (@FallingPlay).

 
 

 

 

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As power comes on, Off-Broadway Theaters in Lower Manhattan Re-Open

 

For Immediate Release, PLEASE

 

Off-Broadway Theaters  in Lower Manhattan to Re-Open

Special $20 Tickets Available Through November 11th Only

 

Checkers**, Don’t Go Gentle, Falling, Fuerza Bruta, Giant, The Golden Land, The Other Josh Cohen, Sorry, Stomp, A Summer Day, The Twenty-Seventh Man, and Wild with Happy will resume performances Off-Broadway after being shut down by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, pending resumption of services by Con Edison, which has begun downtown.
And to celebrate their return, they are offering theater-goers tickets through November 11th for only $20*. (The Off-Off-Brodway show Through the Yellow Hour will offer tickets for only $15).  Check with participating theaters for schedule and availability. 
“Off-Broadway theaters in Lower Manhattan have long demonstrated their survival skills, as evidenced after 9-11 and once again, they are bouncing back,” said George Forbes, Executive Director of the Lucille Lortel Foundation. “We hope everyone will take advantage of this generous offer, and support the theaters that continue to be dramatically impacted by circumstances far beyond their control.”

Participating shows include:

CheckersVineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street)  vineyardtheatre.org

Don’t Go Gentle, Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) www.mcctheater.org or call (212) 352-3101

Falling, Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane) fallingplay.com or call  (800) 982–2787

Fuerza Bruta, Daryl Roth (101 East 15th Street at Union Square)  www.fuerzabrutanyc.com or  212-239-6200

Giant, Public Theater: Newman (425 Lafayette Street)  www.publictheater.org

The Golden LandBaruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue)  www.folksbiene.org/goldenland.html

The Other Josh CohenSoho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street) www.theotherjoshcohen.com

Sorry, Public Theater: Anspacher (425 Lafayette Street)  www.publictheater.org

Stomp, Orpheum (126 2nd Avenue) www.stomponline.com or call  (800) 982–2787
A Summer DayCherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street)   www.wegothere.org/a-summer-day
Through the Yellow Hour, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (224 Waverly Place) www.wegothere.org/through-yellow-hour
The Twenty-Seventh Man, Public Theater: Martinson (425 Lafayette Street)  www.publictheater.org
 
Wild with Happy, Public Theater: LuEsther (425 Lafayette Street)  www.publictheater.org
 
For more information, visit www.offbroadway.com.

(*Use discount code SANDY.  Restrictions may apply: this offer does not affect prior sales; may not be combined with any other offers; all sales final and subject to availability; regular service charges and facility fees may apply. ** Tickets available through all usual channels, except Checkers available only at the Vineyard Box Office, two hours prior to performance).

 


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Olivier Award Nominee Potted Potter To Have US Premiere

2012 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Entertainment & Family Show

Potted Potter

West End Hit To Make US Premiere:

Limited Engagement Begins May 19th at Little Shubert Theater

With Opening Night Set for Sunday June 3rd

 

All Seven Harry Potter Books in 70 Hilarious Minutes!

Starvox Entertainment and Potted Productions will present the US premiere of the acclaimed UK production, Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff, which was just nominated for the prestigious Olivier Award.

Potted Potter has played to sold out houses in Toronto, London, Edinburgh, Australia and New Zealand, and will now make its US debut, beginning Saturday May 19th at the Little Shubert Theatre (422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues).  Opening Night is set for Sunday June 3rd. This limited engagement continues through August 12th only.

Written and performed by two-time Olivier Award-nominated actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the play takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing, or “potting”, all seven Harry Potter books into 70 madcap minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic. The show also invites audiences to engage with a real life game of Quidditch, but according to Clarkson and Turner’s unique set of rules.

Whether you camped outside a bookstore for three days awaiting the release of the Deathly Hallows or you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, the comedy, magic and mayhem of Potted Potter makes for an entertaining and hilarious visit to the theatre. The fast-paced show, which has made audiences aged six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed) roar with laughter all over the world, is suitable for the whole family, including grown-ups, Muggles and Squibs.

The London critics raved:

“A fabulously funny parody. Will tickle the funny bone of every age group” – Daily Telegraph

“Blissfully funny, a winner in every way. A little bit of magic… This show is a crowd-pleaser.” – The Guardian

“An absolute gift of a show… Funny and gloriously unpredictable.” – The Stage

“Cleverly appeals to both ardent fans and parents” – London Times

“Utterly delightful” – Sunday Express

“So affectionate that even the purest of Potter fans would find it hard to object.  My Potter experts loved it” – Financial Times

“Critic’s Choice” – Time Out

And Toronto critics agreed:

“The single funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. You’re gonna love this show” – Toronto Star

“You could do no better than to see Potted Potter” Globe & Mail

 “We are delighted to introduce this brilliant, hilarious show to American audiences,” said Corey Ross, president of Starvox Entertainment. “Potted Potter is a wonderfully entertaining time for both fans and neophytes of the Harry Potter phenomenon alike.”

Clarkson and Turner have earned widespread acclaim and a fan base that crosses generations. It played five sold-out Fringe seasons in Edinburgh, five sold-out London runs and extensive U.K. and international tours. This is the first time Potted Potter has been performed in United States.  The show has received rave reviews from The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Express, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and the Financial Times, as well as being a Time Out Critic’s Choice.

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner first performed Potted Potter in 2005 at a London bookshop, as a five-minute entertainment for fans awaiting the release of the sixth book in the series. The show grew from there into a full-length stage production, first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2006, which has since toured internationally. The pair were popular hosts on Children’s BBC during 2008 and 2009, during which time they also premiered their second stage show Potted Pirates. The 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe saw the premiere of the duo’s latest show Potted Panto, which played London’s West End over Christmas 2010 and 2011, as well as touring the UK. Potted Panto was nominated for a Best Entertainment Olivier Award in 2011, and Potted Potter matched this in 2012.

Potted Productions was established in 2006 to produce all of Clarkson and Turner’s live stage shows, and it has brought Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff, Potted Pirates and Potted Panto to stages around the world since then. London-based producer and founder James Seabright is the author of So You Want To Be A Theatre Producer?, a book on producing, which was recently published in North America.

Starvox Entertainment, founded by Corey Ross, produces, manages, represents and promotes crossover performing arts shows that tour the world. Starvox has toured shows across Canada and the United States, as well as México, China, the Middle East and Europe. Highlights of Starvox’s international projects include presentations for the Shanghai International Arts Festival (China), the Tamaulipas International Festival (México), the launch event for the 50th Anniversary of the Casino du Beirut in Lebanon, a production at France’s opulent theatre Le Casino du Paris, and most recently, Hope Rising!, a concert benefitting the Stephen Lewis Foundation, featuring Alicia Keys, Rufus Wainwright, K’naan, Harry Belafonte, and the Toronto run of the acclaimed Alberta Ballet production of Love Lies Bleeding, a modern ballet based on the life and music of Sir Elton John.

Tickets, from $39.75 (including $1.50 facility fee) will be available online at Telecharge.com or by calling 212/239-6200, beginning Monday April 9th.  American Express Exclusive Pre-Sale begins Wednesday April 4th.  Little Shubert Theater Box Office will open Monday May 7th for in-person purchases.

Performances will be Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday at 2pm & 7pm, Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm*, 5pm, & 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm & 5pm. (*Alternate cast members appear at certain performances, including Saturday matinees at 2pm).

Visit Potted Potter on the web www.PottedPotter.com, on Facebook (Potted Potter NYC), or follow on Twitter (@PottedPotter).

Potted Potter:

The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff

 

Written & Performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner

Additional Material by Richard Hurst 

Directed by Richard Hurst

Set Design by Simon Scullion

Lighting Design by Tim Mascall

Original Music Composed by Phil Innes

Hanna Berrigan, Associate Director

Gilda Frost, Production Stage Manager

 

David Ahmad and Richard Atwill appear at certain performances

 

Performances Begin May 19th at Little Shubert Theater (422 West 42nd Street)

Opening Night Sunday June 3rd

Box Office Opens May 7th

 

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BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE Celebrates Its Two-Year Anniversary

Off-Broadway’s Smash Hit

BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE

Celebrates Its Two-Year Anniversary

Saturday, February 18th At the Actors Temple Theater

New Block of Tickets Now on Sale!


BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE, Layon Gray’s acclaimed play, will celebrate its two-year anniversary Saturday, February 18th (Special 4pm Performance) at the Actors Temple Theater (339 West 47th Street), where the production transferred after its sold-out engagement at St. Luke’s Theatre.

“Uplifting! Inspirational! This show is also tough to resist. By the end, when the pilots overcame their obstacles and finally got up into the air to the swelling of music, tears welled up in my eyes.” – The New York Times

“Dynamite performances!” – Time Out

“The characters are so realistic that the audience can’t help but be thoroughly moved!” – Associated Press

“Excellent ensemble acting keeps Black Angels Over Tuskegee soaring. Some plays teach, others celebrate, and a few simply entertain. Black Angels Over Tuskegee manages to do all three and one thing more: It inspires.” – Back Stage

“Stunning!” – Curtain Up


Based on true events, six men explore their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood as they become the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Forces.  BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them.

In addition to being an official selection of the 2009 National Black Theater Festival, BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE recently won a 2009 NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and a 2009 Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play.  It was also presented at the 2009 National Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Las Vegas for over 30 chapters.  Original Tuskegee Airmen Ted Lumpkin, President of the Los Angeles Chapter, said, “I love this play.  It’s real and it reminded me of my times at Tuskegee.  [It’s] a great show.” BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE recently did a special performance for the entire NY Jets team.

BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE is produced Off-Broadway by The Black Gents, Edmund Gaynes, and The Layon Gray Experience.

The playing schedule for BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE is  Saturday at  8pm, and Sunday at 7pm beginning March 4th (Sunday at 5pm February 19th and 26th).  Tickets from $36.50 are available at Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

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Culture Project Presents Women Center Stage 2012 Festival

Culture Project Presents

Women Center Stage 2012 Festival

 

Over 40 Performances in 30 Days:

March 8th Through April 7th at The Living Theatre

 

The Culture Project (Allan Buchman, Artistic Director) will present Women Center Stage 2012 Festival beginning March 8 and continuing through April 7 at The Living Theatre (21 Clinton Street at East Houston Street). This year’s festival will feature over 40 performances in 30 days created by a diverse array of women artists across disciplines.

Launched before the formal incorporation of Culture Project in 1996, Women Center Stage is Culture Project’s longest-running initiative, committed to supporting and promoting the work of women artists and celebrating the unique contributions of women to social justice and human rights. The annual Women Center Stage Festival, presented each March for Women’s History Month, is a dynamic and diverse laboratory for works-in-progress from performing artists at all levels of their careers. Culture Project is committed to providing new artistic forums on wider social justice issues and galvanizing the performing arts community and its audience around supporting the voices and visions of women.

Culture Project Artistic Director Allan Buchman founded the festival in memory of his daughter, Chitra, who passed away 20 years ago. “After suffering the loss of my daughter, I wanted my life to counter the injustices she faced—many of which were gender based. I felt her life was a work in progress, and that this festival could begin to address the disparity of opportunity provided to women in various creative endeavors.”

Over the past 16 years, Women Center Stage has been an important launching pad for the projects of numerous artists, including early iterations of Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire (2003); Sarah Jones’ bridge and tunnel (2004), which went on to a sold-out Broadway run and garnered a special Tony Award; Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash (2005); Geraldine Hughes’ Belfast Blues (2005); Lynn Redgrave’s Nightingale (2005); Lenelle Moïse’s Expatriate (2008), and most recently Daphne Rubin-Vega’s memoir-musical FUQs: Frequently Unanswered Questions (2011), which will premiere at LAByrinth Theater Company this Summer.

This WCS 2012 Festival will be headlined by a theatrical adaptation of the graphic novel Swell by Juliacks, directed by Kathleen Amshoff. The Festival will also feature Charity Henson-Ballard’s Pete The Girl, about an inner-city softball prodigy turned baseball superstar; and Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky adapted by Soomi Kim (Lee/gendary) from the work of Theresa Hay Kyung Cha; and new works by Lenelle Moïse (Expatriate), Anna Khaja, Dominique Morisseau, Mariah MacCarthy, Eboni Hogan, Caroline Rothstein, and the women of the First Generation Nigerian-American Project, as well as musical performances by Heloise & the Savoir Faire, Xenia Rubinos, and Rebecca Hart.

The second annual Directors’ Weekend will showcase the work of 13 up-and-coming directors responding to the economic crisis and questions about the idea of “economy” itself: Chloë Bass, Krystal Banzon, Charlotte Brathwaite, Jessica Chayes, Rachel Dart, Morgan Gould, Alicia Dhyana House, Rachel Karp, Katie Naka, Ira Kip, Awoye Timpo, Calla Videt, and Monica L. Williams.

Last year’s Festival featured the work of luminaries like Judith Malina, Alice Walker, and Angela McCluskey alongside emerging artists like Calla Videt, Leila Buck, and Monica Hunken, and others. Playing to an audience of over 2000 over the course of the festival, WCS patrons and supporters included Salman Rushdie, Liev Schreiber, Heather Graham, Karen Elson, and Lotte Verbeek.

Individual tickets ($10-$18) and Festival Passes ($45 for a 3-show pass or $165 for an all-show pass) may be purchased at WomenCenterStage.org or by calling 866/811-4111. For more information, visit WomenCenterStage.org

 

DIRECTORS WEEKEND

13 directors tackle the ECONOMY in 15 minutes

Series A: March 10 at 3pm and March 11 at 7PM

Series B: March 10 at 7pm and March 11 at 3PM

Over one weekend, in a series of 15-minute pieces, 13 female directors will tackle the subject of the economy. With Krystal Banzon, Chloë Bass, Charlotte Brathwaite, Jess Chayes, Rachel Dart, Morgan Gould, Alicia Dhyana House, Rachel Karp, Ira Kip, Katie Naka, Awoye Timpo, Calla Videt and Monica L Williams. ($10)

 

ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATION WITH EMILY MANN

March 10 at 10AM

Co-presented with SDC Foundation

Please join us for a 90-minute conversation with multi award-winning Director and Playwright Emily Mann, produced with SDC Foundation as part of their One-on-One conversation series. Ms. Mann, now in her 22nd season as Artistic Director of New Jersey’s McCarter Theatre, has been at the center of national theatre for the past 35 years, having produced, directed, written, and adapted plays and productions around the country. Topics to be discussed include her vision of artistic leadership, her personal career influences and challenges, her thoughts on fostering both creativity and successful collaboration, and her approach to direction. ($10/$5 SDC Members)

ACHEWHATMAKE

A new solo show by Lenelle Moïse

March 13-14 at 7:30pm

Whether talking about post-earthquake Haiti, conjuring Michael Jackson, or recounting her run-in with a skinhead on a crowded city train, poet and performer Moïse shares intricate stories of creative resilience, stubborn compassion and death-defying love. ($18)  Written and Performed by Lenelle Moïse

 

SWELL

Based on the graphic novel by Juliacks

Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm

March 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, April 5-6

When Emmeline’s sister unexpectedly dies, her family enters a tailspin of despair. Adapted from the acclaimed graphic novel, Swell explores the kaleidoscopic journey of grief, immersing the audience in a lush visual landscape as Emmeline confronts her fears, dreams and imagination. ($18)  Based on the graphic novel by Juliacks, Adapted by Juliacks, Kathleen Amshoff, and The Company, Directed by Kathleen Amshoff

 

AFTERHOURS

Fridays after Swell

March 16 at 9:30pm  Xenia Rubinos

March 23 at 9:30pm Magic Trick by Mariah MacCarthy

March 30 at 9:30pm Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau

Join us each week for Friday night listening parties for new plays and new music. (Pay What You Can)

 

SHAHEED

TheDreamandDeathofBenazirBhutto

March 17-18 at 3pm and 7pm

In 2007, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned from exile to unite a nation bitterly divided.  Taking place minutes before her assassination, SHAHEED explores Pakistan’s complex relationship with the U.S., the depths of religious fundamentalism, and a people’s struggle to reclaim their nation, freedom, and faith. ($18).  2011 winner of the Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play. Written and Performed by Anna Khaja, Directed by Heather de Michele

 

DICTEE

bellsfallapealtosky

March 20-21 at 7:30pm

March 24 at 3pm and 7:30pm

March 25 at 3pm

Adapted from the work of the late Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, DICTEE intertwines the stories of ordinary, mythic, and martyred women—including Korean revolutionary Yu Guan Soon, Joan of Arc, Demeter and Persephone, and Cha herself—through movement, video, and original music. ($18) Conceived and performed by Soomi Kim, Directed by Suzi Takahashi, Music by Jen Shyu

 

THE 1STGENERATIONNIGERIANAMERICANPROJECT

A Collaborative Work in Progress

March 25 at 7pm

Created by 5 Nigerian-American writer/performers, this collaborative work-in-progress wrestles with their joint tugs of loyalty, identity, and culture as Africans and Americans, through storytelling, song, dance and multimedia. ($18)

Written and Performed by Jennifer Akabue, Ngozi Anyanwu, Joy Notoma, Yvonne Orji, and Mfoniso Udofia, Directed by John Gould Rubin

PETETHEGIRL

co-presented with Rising Circle Theater Collective’s Refinery

March 27-28 at 7:30pm

March 31 at 3pm and 7:30pm

April 1 at 7pm

Petrice Kincaide, an inner-city softball prodigy, finds a promising future in world domination when she teams up with Vera, a brilliant physicist living in her housing project. The only thing standing in the way of their guaranteed success and political power: Vera and Pete. ($18) Written by Charity Henson-Ballard, Directed by Donya Washington, Co-Presented with Rising Circle Theater Collective’s Refinery

 

VIBESOLOS

viBe Theater Experience

April 1 at 3pm

This brand-new collection of “one-girl-shows” expresses the real-life experiences and dreams of independent, courageous teenage girls from all over New York City in their own unique voices. (Pay What You Can)

 

FOREIGNBODIES

Co-Presented with Poetic Theater Productions

April 3 at 7pm

April 4 at 8:30pm

Through monologue and media, poet and performer Eboni Hogan tells the story of her mania-driven trek from NYC to Ghana, presenting an unflinchingly true testament to the complexities of the fragile mind, the breakable body and the resilient heart. ($18) Written and Performed by Eboni Hogan, Directed by Nicole A. Watson, Co-Presented with Poetic Theater Productions

FAITH

Co-Presented with Poetic Theater Productions

April 3 at 8:30pm

April 4 at 7pm

Seven years into full recovery from a decade-long eating disorder, writer/performer Caroline Rothstein reflects on having the deadliest mental illness while coming of age in the 1990s through monologue, poetry & performance art. ($18)

Written and Performed by Caroline Rothstein, Directed by Alex Mallory, Co-Presented with Poetic Theater Productions

 

REBECCA HART

New Songs and Stories

April 5 and 6 at 9:30pm           

Actress and musical powerhouse Rebecca Hart has been hailed as “a broadway voice and rock star soul” and “a potent dose of downtown heat”.  Returning to WCS after her mesmerizing 2004 solo show Jazz Desert, Hart shares new songs and stories from her next untitled project. ($18) Performed by Rebecca Hart

 

WCS 2012 WRAPPARTY

Featuring Heloise and the Savoir Faire

April 7

At Culture Project – 45 Bleecker Street at Lafayette

Time TBD

Join us to celebrate another great year of Women Center Stage and to welcome WCS back to Culture Project’s theaters at 45 Bleecker Street, future site of our 2013 Festival! We’re throwing a wrap party extravaganza with live music, dancing, and more!

 

 

 

 

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TNC Will Present the Off-Broadway Premiere of HEATHENS

Theater for the New City

Will Present the Off-Broadway Premiere of

HEATHENS

A new play by Heather Hill

Directed by Stefanie Sertich

With Lauren Fox, Lisa Roberts Gillan, Malcolm Madera, and Andy Powers

Limited Premiere Engagement March 1st — 17th Only

 

Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Executive Director) will present Heathens, a new play by Heather Hill, directed by Stefanie Sertich, having its Off-Broadway premiere beginning March 1st and continuing through March 17th only. Opening Night is set for Sunday March 4th (3pm). TNC is located at 155 1st Avenue, between East 9th and East 10th Streets

The cast features Lauren Fox, Lisa Roberts Gillan, Malcolm Madera, and Andy Powers. The design team includes Edward Ross (scenic), Dan Jobbins (lighting), and Joey Blaha (costume).

Set on an isolated farm in eastern Kentucky, Heathens is an unsettling comedy that makes the term “family values” take on new meaning. When a wandering laborer follows a woman home for the night, he finds a lot more than he bargains for in the home she shares with her sister and her Mamaw. The play explores mourning, faith, and the dangers of isolation as the characters do battle with themselves and each other.

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York’s most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC’s Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award-winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor’s Stop The Violence award

Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Sunday at 3pm through Sat March 17th. (Special Added Performance Saturday March 3rd at 2pm). Tickets are $10, and can be purchased by calling 212/254-1109 or online at www.theaterforthenewcity.net

 

Heather Hill (Playwright), a native of Kentucky, is a playwright, lyricist, and librettist.  Her plays have received readings and workshops at numerous theaters, including the Royal Court, the Orange Tree Playhouse in Richmond, England, the New Group, Primary Stages, the Vineyard Theater, the Kitchen Theater, the Belt, and the Horizon Theater in Atlanta.  Her play Notes from the Confederacy was developed under the mentorship of A.R. Gurney and the Cherry Lane Theater.  Her play Eulogy for Boris the Relic Hunter, commissioned by The Regional Theater Company, was included in RTC’s festival of shorts. Ms. Hill directed and co-adapted That Play: a solo Macbeth, which enjoyed a sold out run at the Midtown International Fringe Festival.  Ms. Hill is the recipient of two Hopwood Drama Awards, as well as a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.  In addition, she is a two-time finalist for the Princess Grace Award and a finalist for the Manhattan Theatre Club Fellowship.  She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University where she was a Presidential Scholar.  She is a member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. www.heatherhillplaywright.com

Stefanie Sertich (Director) recently directed Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Waterfront Playhouse, Key West FL).  In spring 2010, she directed the world premiere of Eduardo Machado’s Havana Journal, 2004 (INTAR Theatre/Theater for the New City). Other NY directing credits include The Dome (Prospect Theatre), Museum Pieces (Prospect Theatre), The Shape of Things (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center), Like You Like It (The Broadway Workshop), Animal Farm (The Neighborhood Playhouse), Do Gooder (The Public-NYU MFA workshop), The Useless Man (INTAR New Works Lab). Regional: Animal Farm (The New Rep in Boston), Electra, (Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon-Winner KC/ACTF Directing Award), Kimberly Akimbo (Salem Rep), the world premieres of Darkstep and Dawning and Weeping Woman (Stark Raving Theatre, Portland OR).  Summer Stock:  Cole Porter’s You Never Know and Annie (Millbrook Playhouse). Stefanie has directed pilot workshops for ITheatrics and Disney Theatricals which include Disney’s High School Musical Jr., Disney’s Aladdin Kids, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., and The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.  Stefanie was the director in residence at Stark Raving Theatre from 2003-2005.   She is an Assistant Professor at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, in the newly appointed theatre department.  Stefanie was a guest artist and faculty member at Western Oregon University in the Fall of 2010 and directed Picnicwww.stefaniesertich.com

Lauren Fox (Junebug) is a New York City, born and raised, actress, singer, writer and restaurateur. Her film credits include Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, Noon Blue Apples (Sundance 2002 premiere), Revolution Summer, Standing on Fishes, and the recent films, Hamill  and We Need To Talk About Kevin. Television credits include New Amsterdam and Fringe. In January of 2011, Lauren was in the show Hillbilly Women, at the ArcLight Theater, directed by Sondra Lee. Her performance as Appalachian factory worker Sharleen has won critical praise from The New York Times. Her screenplay, Atlas Of The Soul, is in development with Lauren set to play the lead role, under the direction of Raul Esparza. Her new show, Love, Lust, Fear & Freedom: The Songs Of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen opened in November 2011 with four shows at the Metropolitan Room, to rave reviews, and returns for two shows in February. In April Lauren will star in the short film, The Days God Slept, shooting in NYC. She, along with her sister, Haley Fox, wrote the Alice’s Tea Cup cookbook (named after the popular tea houses they founded), which was released for worldwide sales in the fall of 2010. Lauren is a member of The Indies Laba developmental film and theater lab in NYC.

Lisa Roberts Gillan (Lulu-Lilly) Theater credits include Heather Hillʼs Notes From The Confederacy, Sex In Advertising, Loose Ends, San Luis Obispo, And Animal Kingdom. Film audiences have seen her in Eat, Pray, Love; Valentine’s Day; Mona Lisa Smile; Raising Helen; Runaway Bride; Made In Manhattan; Journey of August King. Lisa’s numerous television credits include “Friends,” “Law & Order,” “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order SVU,” “Queens Supreme,” “100 Center Street.”

Malcolm Madera (Sisyphus) Some stage credits include Camisade Theatre Company’s Derby Day (The Clurman, Theatre Row), Harry Reems in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal (45 Bleeker), The Woodshed Collective’s The Tenant, Al’s Business Cards (The Lion, Theatre Row), The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side (PS 122), The Off Broadway 24 Hour Plays (The Acorn, Theatre Row), Dance Lessons (Samuel French Festival Winner at The Lion), Somewhere In The Pacific (The Atlantic Stage 2), I.E. In Other Words (The Flea), Buried Child (Fusion, ABQ, NM) and Mark Renton in Trainspotting (The Vortex, ABQ, NM.) Trained at the Drama Studio London where parts included the title role in Macbeth, Maj. Robbie Ross/Ketch in Our Country’s Good, and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Film and TV- My Brother Jack (UpCrown Studios), Romeo and Juliet vs. The Living Dead (Third Star Films), Circledrawers (Poppoli Pictures), “Guiding Light (CBS), and “All My Children (ABC). While in London he performed at the historic Old Vic theatre in the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays. Company member of At Play, The Amoralists and a founding member of The Camisade Theatre Company.

Andy Powers (Jebdiah) has appeared Off-Broadway in Buying Time by Michael Weller, Housebreaking, Slag Heap, Gun Club (Cherry Lane Theatre); If I Had (59E59); Vick’s Boy (The Barrow Group). TV & Film: “The Good Wife,” “OZ,” “ER,” “Taken,” “L&O: SVU,” “L&O: Criminal Intent,” “Crossing Jordan,” “CSI,” “NYPD Blue,” “Without A Trace,” “Third Watch,” Northeast, In Her Shoes, Untitled: A Love Story.

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Red Bull Theater Presents Genet’s THE MAIDS, Featuring Ana Reeder, Jeanine Serralles and J. Smith-Cameron


“Finest company not enough people know about”  – Charles Isherwood, New York Times, December 15th, 2011


Red Bull Theater Presents a Rare Revival of

The Maids

By Jean Genet,

Directed by Jesse Berger 

Featuring Ana Reeder,  Jeanine Serralles and J.  Smith-Cameron

Limited Engagement Begins March 6th at Theater at St. Clement’s 

Opening Night Set for March 15th

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director) will present Jean Genet’s The Maids for a strictly limited engagement beginning March 6th at Theater at St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues).   Mr. Berger directs a company that features Ana Reeder, Jeanine Serralles, and J Smith-Cameron. The Maids will run 90 minutes, with no intermission.  

Revenge tragedy meets film noir in this seductively playful and incendiary masterpiece.  House-maid sisters Solange and Claire spend their days dreaming of escape, while their bourgeois employer Madame floats through life on champagne bubbles – until fantasies turn deadly in this thrilling psychological kaleidoscope of a play. Set in a phantasmagoric world of masks and mirrors, ceremonies and sensuality, heightened language and beautiful gesture, The Maids is ritualistic exploration of class, the nature of identity, and the power of imagination. Red Bull Theater presents this rare revival, the first major New York revival of this modern classic in years, in a uniquely intimate and immersive setting with limited seating in the round.

J. Smith-Cameron (Madame). A lead in Margaret, Kenneth Lonergan’s new film; Melinda Mickens in HBO’s “True Blood;”  Doing the pilot of HBO’s “The Corrections” (currently); Obie Award and multiple nominations for As Bees In Honey Drown; Tony nominee for Our Country’s Good. Recent theatre credits include Sweet and Sad and That Hopey Changey Thing by Richard Nelson (The Public); The Starry Messenger by Kenneth Lonergan (New Group); A Midsummer Nights Dream (La Jolla Playhouse).

Ana Reeder (Solange).  New York credits include Hedda Gabler, Top Girls, Sight Unseen (Broadway); Happy Hour (Atlantic Theatre); Living Room in Africa (Edge Theatre Co); The Wooden Breeks (MCC); Small Tragedy (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award); Humble Boy, An Experiment with an Air Pump (MTC); The Time of the Cuckoo (Lincoln Center); Some Voices (New Group); Killers and Other Family (Rattlestick); Maid (Lincoln Center Festival); Vera LaughedFire Eater, Suicide Weather (NY Stage & Film); Macbeth (The Public); Henry VIII (Delacorte); Hedda Gabler (NY Theatre Workshop). London: The Distance from Here (Almeida Theatre).  Regional: Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, dir. by David Cromer (Williamstown), Nora in A Doll’s House (Long Wharf), The Lady in Question, Night Season (Bay Street) Unusual Acts of Devotion (Phila. Theatre Co.)  TV:  HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack, dir. by Barry Levinson, Carol Tobin in DamagesLaw & OrderLaw & Order: SVUThe Jury.  Film: Connie in One for the Money, Homewrecker  (NEXT Film Award at Sundance 2010), Diary of a City Priest, Acts of Worship (Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Actress, Best Actress Award Santa Barbara Film Festival), Marie and Bruce, and No Country for Old Men.  

Jeanine Serralles (Claire). Off Broadway credits include Maple and Vine (Playwrights Horizons); Stunning (LCT 3); The Glass Cage (Mint Theater); The Misanthrope (NYTW, Drama League Nom), The Black Eyed (NYTW, Drama League Nom); Hold Please (Working Theater, Drama Desk Nom-Featured Actress); Antigone Project (Women’s Project).  NYC Theatre include Busted (Cino Nights); Vendetta Chrome (Clubbed Thumb); Paris Commune (Public Lab.)  Selected regional credits include Maple and Vine (Humana Festival); The Liar, House of the Spirits, Dusty and the Big Bad World, 1001(Denver Center); Fallen Angels (Dorset); Aunt Dan and Lemon (Merrimack); Lucy and the Conquest (Williamstown). She has also worked at Woolly Mammoth, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater, Barrington Stage, O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Sundance Theatre Lab.  Film & TV credits:  “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Two Lovers,” “Across the Universe,” “The Good Wife,” “Sex and the City.”  NYTW Usual Suspect, Member of The Civilians

The Maids will have set design by Dane Laffrey (Boys in the Band), costume design by Sara Jean Tosetti (The Exonerated), lighting design by Peter West (Witch of Edmonton), and sound design by Brandon Wolcott (Titus Andronicus).
Red Bull Theater, hailed as “the city’s gutsiest classical theater” by Time Out New York, is the not-profit Off-Broadway theater company specializing in plays of heightened language, with a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  In the 2012 season, building on its history of Revelation Readings and In The Raw Workshops, the company expands its production repertoire to include world classics from all eras, starting with Jean Genet’s The Maids.  Red Bull Theater will continue to produce large-scale works from Shakespeare’s era and rarely produced classics from across the spectrum as it expands the number of full productions on offer per season.  Following The Maids, the company plans a full-scale revival of Ben Jonson’s classic Jacobean comedy, Volpone.  Red Bull Theater embraces the imagination of theatergoers through intimate, imaginative productions of great classic stories.

Acclaimed as “a troupe that lovers of classic theater should put on the must-watch list,” by Charles Isherwood in The New York Times, Red Bull Theater has previously staged productions of Shakespeare’s Pericles, the anonymous Revenger’s Tragedy, Marlowe’s Edward the Second, Middleton’s Women Beware Women, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and the Off Broadway premiere of Dekker, Ford & Rowley’s Witch of Edmonton.  The New York Times called Pericles “the stuff of dreams,” The Revenger’s Tragedy “Dynamite!,” Edward the Second “fired with excitement,” Women Beware Women “exuberant, vividly acted,” The Duchess of Malfi “boiling drama,” and The Witch of Edmonton was hailed by Ben Brantley as “a singular blend of psychological realism, naturalistic detail and lurid, black-magic-shadowed sensationalism.”   All six productions enjoyed extended sold-out Off-Broadway runs.  Now in its eighth year of operation, the company’s work has been recognized by five Callaway awards and nominations, two Lortel award nominations, and two OBIE awards.

Red Bull Theater has staged nearly 100 readings through its ongoing OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings, named by the Village Voice “Best Play Reading Series.”  Red Bull Theater reaches out to NYC students of all ages through its Direct Address education programs, teaching drama and literacy utilizing Shakespeare.  Red Bull Theater produces an annual In The Raw Workshop developing new plays of heightened language and classics of the future.  This year’s workshop is Olivier Kemeid’s Aeneid, music by Duncan Sheik, directed by Kay Matschullat, with public presentations on February 11th & 12th at Theater at St Clements.

Benefit Gala Night for The Maids will be March 11th with special guests Judd Hirsch, Estelle Parsons, Matthew Rauch, and more to be announced.

Performances of The Maids will be Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm. Thursday & Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.  Visit www.redbulltheater.com for complete calendar.  

Tickets from $20 may be purchased online at www.redbulltheater.com or by phone at (212) 352-3101.  



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INTAR Honoring Oscar Nominee Jose Rivera and US Senator Menendez; Guests to Include Jake T. Austin (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Dayana Mendoza (Miss Universe 2008 and “Celebrity Apprentice”), James Oseland (Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Godspell), among others.


INTAR

To Present Its First Annual Gala, Celebrating The Impact of Latino Theater

Honoring Oscar Nominee Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez

Featuring the Cuisine of Celebrity Chef Maricel Presilla

ALMA Award-Winner Maria Canals-Barerra (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) To Host

Guests Expected Include Jake T. Austin (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Dayana Mendoza (Miss Venezuela 2007 & Miss Universe 2008 and the 2012 season of “The Celebrity Apprentice”), James Oseland (Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Godspell, “Camp Rock”), among others.

 

INTAR, New York’s most acclaimed Latino theatre company, will celebrate its 46th anniversary with a special Gala at the Manhattan Penthouse (80 5th Avenue at 14th Street) on Tuesday evening, February 7th.   In addition to celebrating INTAR’s vital contribution to the arts internationally, the Gala will feature special awards to Academy Award-nominated screenwriter/playwright Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. This special event will be hosted by Maria Canals-Barerra, with cuisine from Chef Marisel Presilla.

In addition to honorees Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, guests expected to attend include Jake T. Austin (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Dayana Mendoza (Miss Venezuela 2007 & Miss Universe 2008 and set to appear on the 2012 season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” along with Cheryl Tiegs, George Takei, Clay Aiken, and Debbie Gibson), chef/author/editor James Oseland (Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”), Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Godspell, “Camp Rock”), as well as ALMA Award-Winner Maria Canals-Barerra (“Wizards of Waverly Place,”) who is hosting and Celebrity Chef Maricel Presilla who is providing the cuisine.

INTAR, one of the United States’ longest running Latino theaters producing in English, works to nurture the professional development of Latino theater artists; produce bold, innovative, artistically significant plays that reflect diverse perspectives; make accessible the diversity inherent in America’s cultural heritage. Through an integrated program of workshops, productions of works in progress, and mainstage productions, INTAR continues to raise standards of theater arts.  INTAR brings to the public vital and energetic voices of both promising and accomplished Latino theater professionals, replacing stereotypes while giving expression to the diversity and depth of today’s Latino-American community. Founded in 1966 to provide professional opportunities for Hispanic theatre artists, INTAR Theatre is the oldest Latino theatre company in the USA producing in English. Since its founding, INTAR has commissioned, developed and produced the works of award-winning playwrights, composers and choreographers such as María Irene Fornés, Gabriel García Marquez, Graciela Daniele, José Rivera, Eduardo Machado, Mario Vargas Llosa, Luis Santeiro, Tito Puente, Carmen Rivera, and Culture Clash, among others.  The company has produced more than 150 world premieres and 50 American premieres of new works in English by Latino playwrights, and INTAR has been the leading proponent of bringing American Latino playwrights’ work to the mainstream. INTAR productions and artists have garnered 6 Obie Awards, 3 AT&T On Stage Awards, 1 Tony Award nomination, 7 Princess Grace Awards, 5 A.C.E. (Association of Spanish Language Critics) Awards, and 2 HOLA Awards, among others.

Event Sponsors include Rothstein Kass, AT&T, Tito’s Vodka, The Manhattan Penthouse, Cucharamama, and Hotel Americano.

For more information, or to support INTAR, please visit their website, www.intartheatre.org

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Performances Begin Friday for Mint Theater’s Rutherford & Son

Performances Begin Friday for Drama Desk Award-Winning Mint Theater’s

Rutherford & Son

by Githa Sowerby, directed by Richard Corley

Featuring Robert Hogan (Blood & Gifts) as Rutherford

 

Performances for the Mint Theater’s production of Rutherford & Son by Githa Sowerby will begin Friday, February 4th (and continue through April 1st) at the Mint’s home in the heart of the theater district, 311 West 43rd Street. Opening Night is set for Monday February 27th.

The Mint first produced Rutherford & Son in 2001. “The Geiger counter that the Mint Theater Company waves over theater history in search of long un-performed treasures has identified a still-ticking nugget.  The play has emotional depth, narrative pull, and linguistic potency to retain an impact today,” wrote the New York Times. Performances began on September 7, 2001—and in spite of marvelous reviews, the play could not possibly get the attention it deserved at that tumultuous time

 “The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brought back many memories for me, one of which was of this great play, which was scheduled to open on September 12th, 2001.  We had a great production and a successful run, but the entire experience was, of course, overshadowed by the events of the time.  A new production will give us a chance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this remarkable play and to share it with the many theatergoers who have discovered the Mint in the last ten years,” said Artistic Director Jonathan Bank.

Richard Corley returns to direct a cast that features 2001 cast members Robert Hogan as Rutherford, Dale Soules and David Van Pelt, as well as Eli James (Temporal Powers), Allison Mclemore (The Madras House), James Patrick Nelson (Three Sisters at CSC), Sandra Shipley (Broadway: Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirit, Equus, more), and Sara Surrey (Lost In Yonkers at Papermill).

 Hogan is recently appearing in Blood and Gifts for Lincoln Center TheaterHis Broadway credits include A Few Good Men and Hamlet. Off-Broadway he has been seen in Mourning Becomes Electra, Accomplices, Never the Sinner, Waiting for Lefty, What Didn’t Happen, Hope is the Thing with Feathers, On the Bum, Further Than the Furthest Thing, Boy, Rainbow Kiss, Baby Dance, In the Western Garden, Major Crimes, and Lighting Up the Two-Year-Old. He is the recipient of a Drama League Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award as Best Featured Actor.

Rutherford & Son, set in the industrial north of England, tells the story of a father determined to do whatever it takes to ensure the success and succession of the family glassworks, started by his own father, but now in danger of shattering.  John Rutherford rules home and business with an iron fist, a tyrant who inspires fear in his workers and hatred in his grown children.  Now rebellion is brewing.  His eldest son, working in secret has discovered a process that could save the firm, cutting costs by one third—but he refuses to share it with his father unless he “gets his price.” 

Rutherford & Son will have set design by Vicki R. Davis, costume design by Charlotte Palmer-Lane, lighting design by Nicole Pearce, and sound design by Ellen Mandel and Jane Shaw.

“This acute play shows how by striking hard bargains and always winning a man may lose everything. The play is as skillful as blown glass.  It is a subtle meditation on ownership, justice, and loyalty,” wrote Kate Kellaway in The Observer, reviewing the National Theater’s 1994 production. Charles Spencer wrote in The Daily Telegraph, “it is far better than most of Shaw and easily stands comparison with another Edwardian masterpiece, Harley Granville Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance… A great play has been reclaimed.” “Sowerby knew what she was talking about,” wrote Lyn Gardner in The Guardian of a 2009 production.  “The amazing thing is that she did it so blatantly and with such flair almost 100 years ago, when women were seen but seldom heard on British stages.”

 

Rutherford & Son was scheduled for only four performances when it opened at London’s Royal Court Theatre on January 31, 1912.  Critical response was so enthusiastic it quickly transferred to the West End.  “One of the very best, strongest, deftest, and altogether most masterly family dramas that we have had for a long time from any one, however famous,” wrote one London critic. The New York premiere in 1912 equally impressed American critics: “A play that carries conviction in every line—that leaves no doubt that it was written out of a fullness of knowledge of the life and people with which it deals,” wrote The New York Times.

When Rutherford & Son premiered critics were astounded that a play of such depth and exquisite stagecraft could be penned by a first-time playwright.  The London Times predicted a future “full of promise” for this preternaturally talented writer—known at this point only as “K.G. Sowerby.” What did “K.G.” stand for?  No one knew for sure until the author—Katherine Githa Sowerby—came forward.  That a woman had written such a brilliant, brutal drama made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.  The Times of London referred to Githa as a “girl-dramatist” and observed: “She is the last person in the world one would expect to find as the author of so grim, powerful and closely-thought out drama of business.  Instead of looking as if she wrote this play, she is a young, pretty, fair-haired girl, refined of speech and dainty in dress, who seems far better suited to a drawing room than to the dramatist’s work room.”

The press painted her as an English rose who’d stumbled into playwriting—and Githa, a private person who dreaded interviews, did little to correct them.  Her diffident answers only added to the misconception. Indeed, Githa was neither as naïve, nor as young, as the press assumed. Githa kept her history private—and it nearly went with her to her grave.  Shortly before her death in 1970, Githa burned her personal papers.  By that time, both her and her work had been forgotten.  None of her plays after Rutherford & Son had achieved acclaim; even Rutherford disappeared from the repertory.  When the National Theatre revived Rutherford & Son in 1994, inspiring new interest in Githa, her biography remained a mystery. With the publication of Looking for Githa by Patricia Riley two years ago concrete details of Githa’s life and family history finally emerged.

 “The Mint does for forgotten drama what the Encores! series does for musicals, on far more modest means” (The New York Times).  The Mint was awarded an OBIE for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition,” and a special Drama Desk Award for “unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.” Ben Brantley, in The New York Times Arts & Leisure (August 21st, 2011) hailed the Mint as the “resurrectionist extraordinaire of forgotten plays.”

Performances for Rutherford & Son will be Tuesday through Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $55.  All performances will take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street.

Tickets are available by calling 866/811-4111 or at www.minttheater.org.  PLEASE NOTE NEW BOX OFFICE NUMBER!


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Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite On the NY Stage for the First Time in 40 Years: When Everything Was Possible

Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory,
Of the Original Casts of Follies and the Lincoln Center Revival of West Side Story,
Reunite On the NY Stage for the First Time in 40 Years:
When Everything Was Possible
A Concert (with comments)

Featuring New Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Introduction By Ted Chapin, Author of Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical “Follies”

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Sunday April 29th (7:30pm) at City Center


James William Productions and Stephenie Skyllas will present Kurt Peterson andVictoria Mallory in When Everything Was Possible, A Concert (with comments),for one night only, Sunday April 29th (7:30pm) at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues), as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. They will be joined by a thirteen-piece band (Michael Rafter, Music Director), playing new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Larry Moss directs, with musical staging by Joshua Bergasse (“Smash”). Carolyn Wong will provide lighting design, with sound design by Leon Rothenberg and projection design by Telegraphicmedia.

The show will also feature images of stage photography from the era’s greatest photographers including Van Williams, Kenn Duncan, and others – many never before on public display. The concert, featuring songs from the shows they were in – including The Frog Prince, Aladdin, West Side Story, Dear World, Carnival, Dames at Sea, Follies, On the Town, A Little Night Music and Sondheim – A Musical Tribute – will have an out-of-town workshop/preview at the Triad Stage, in Greensboro, NC, in March.

This is the story of Victoria Mallory and Kurt Peterson in the present but also the story of New York, 1966 -’74, the last gasp of the golden age of the American Musical, when everything was possible.  Following their inner music, two kids came to the biggest city in the world and went to work. They didn’t want to be famous – they wanted to be good. Along the way they sang for Noel Coward, with Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein; hung out with Liz and Dick; sat in the Oval Office and the Apollo capsule; flew the Lunar Lander and crashed on the faux surface of the Moon. And in the summer of ’68, as the world flew apart, these two unknowns held court at the State Theatre at Lincoln Center, captivating audiences as Tony and Maria in West Side Story. Together with the talented gangs of Jets and Sharks they made a statement about the world’s bigotry and violence in a way that only words, music and dance can. They worked, lived, grew close, grew up, made mistakes and finally… parted. 36 years would pass until they would meet again, and they found they still had a few things left to say – and sing.

“How lucky we all are to have Victoria Mallory and Kurt Peterson back together again, and sharing their musical lives with us!  The personal story told and sung by these two talented artists will take some of us back, and introduce others to a rich era in not-too-distant history. Two young kids arriving in New York, who find careers that touch some of the legendary people and legendary shows, is only the beginning.  What happened, both professionally and personally, is quite remarkable,” said Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, and Chair of the American Theater Wing.

Tickets from $60 may be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org, by calling CityTix at 212/581-1212, or at the Box Office (131 West 55th St.). Special VIP tickets are available for $150 and include a post-show reception with the cast & creative team. 




Victoria Mallory made her Broadway debut when Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein chose her to star as Maria in the first revival of West Side Story at Lincoln Center. She went on to play Lili in City Center’s revival of Carnival.  For Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim,Victoria originated the roles of Young Heidi in Follies and Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music. She also re-introduced and first recorded Stephen Sondheim songs in Sondheim – A Musical Tribute and in An Evening of Stephen Sondheim at The Whitney Museum. Victoria has starred in the nation’s major theatres including Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh CLO, St. Louis MUNY Opera, Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars, Kansas City Starlight, Dallas Summer Musicals, Utah’s Pioneer Theatre, and the Irish Rep in NYC, in roles as diverse as Christine/Carlotta in Phantom, Magnolia in Show Boat, Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Marian in The Music Man, Lily in The Secret Garden, Sarah in Guys and Dolls, Maria in The Sound of Musicand Abigail in 1776. Television audiences know Victoria as the concert pianist, Leslie Brooks from the CBS daytime drama, “The Young and The Restless” and Dr. Denise Foxworthy on NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Other TV credits include guest starring roles on “Everwood,” “Touched By An Angel,” “Promised Land,” the female lead in the made-for-television movie “The Unabomber,” and three CBS musical specials: “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Aladdin,” and “After Hours.” She received an Emmy nomination for “Singin’, Swingin, and All That Jazz.”Victoria has been a professional director/choreographer for productions including The Wizard of Oz, Joseph…, Side by Side by Sondheim, and Yours, Anne, and choreographer for Oliver, Nuncrackers, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and A Village Fable. Victoria is a founding member and teacher at The Voice Studio. Most recently, she was seen in A Child’s Christmas in Wales at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Victoria is slated to star in the new Broadway musical, In the Summer of ’68, in 2013.

Kurt Peterson began his career when Leonard Bernstein and Richard Rodgers chose him to play Tony in the revival of West Side Story at Lincoln Center. On Broadway he starred opposite Angela Lansbury in Dear World and created the role of Young Ben in Stephen Sondheim’sFollies. Off-Broadway Kurt starred in Dames at Sea and By Bernstein, and appeared in the Town Hall productions of Knickerbocker Holiday, Music in the Air and I Married an Angel. Kurt starred opposite Patti LuPone in the Broadway-bound The Baker’s Wife. He also starred in the highly acclaimed Canadian premiere of Company and Rob Marshall’s production of Side By Side By Sondheim. Kurt was featured in the 75th birthday celebrations Wall to Wall Sondheimand Children & Art honoring Stephen Sondheim and has performed as a leading man in many productions around the country and in Europe. Kurt and his company, James William Productions (JWP), produced the acclaimed Sondheim–A Musical Tribute, the first celebration of America’s foremost composer/lyricist, helped launch the NY and London productions of Angela Lansbury’s Gypsy, produced the live tours of WPIX-TV’s classic children’s show The Magic Garden, and the National Tour of Rob Marshall’s innovative Side By Side By Sondheim. Recent projects include co-producing the New York productions and National Tour of the Stephen Schwartz family musical Captain Louie, the Off-Broadway production of the play Capture Now, directed by Larry Moss, and the BC/EFA benefit Alone At Last featuring the music of Ian Herman. JWP is currently represented by the Helen Hayes and Drama Desk Award winning play, Zero Hour, about theatre legend Zero Mostel, now touring the US andCanada.  In 2013 look for the new musical In the Summer of ’68. Kurt is the owner of New York City’s The Voice Studio, home to more than 300 students and some of Broadway’s greatest teachers and performers. For more information, visit www.jameswilliamproductions.com

Larry Moss (Director) began his career on Broadway in Drat! The Cat!, Neil Simon’s God’s Favorite, directed by Michael Bennett, So Long 174th StreetThe Robber Bridgegroom, and I Love My Wife. After teaching at Julliard and Circle in the Square, he moved to Los Angelesand founded The Larry Moss Studio, where he directed and developed Pamela Gien’s The Syringa Tree, which won the Obie Award for Best Play, Drama Desk and Outer Circle Critics Awards, a Drama League Honor and a nomination for the John Gassner Playwriting Award.The Syringa Tree has played to sold-out houses worldwide. Moss also directed the TV adaptation. He developed and directed Bo Eason’s Runt of the Litter, voted one of the top ten plays of the year by NY Daily News and bought by Castle Rock to be made into a major motion picture. Moss directed Michael Raynor’s Who is Floyd Stearn; Richard Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon; Jack Holmes’s RFK (Drama League Award); April Daisy White‘s Sugar; Richard Vetere’s How to Go Out on a Date in Queens; Richard Hellersen’s Dos Corazones (play and film); and the World Premiere of Jam, starring Clint Holmes. He did a workshop of John Osborne’s Epitaph for George Dillon in New York for the first time in fifty years in 2008. He directed Capture NowI Love My Wife starring Jason Alexander, John Patrick Shanley’sBeggars in the House of Plenty, and Imagining Heschel.  He will be directing the films Relative Insanity, and Chiseled. Moss coached Sutton Foster in Broadway’s Anything Goes (Tony Award); Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets (Academy Award); Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cryand Million Dollar Baby (Academy Awards); Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile(Academy Award nomination); Hank Azaria in Tuesdays With Morrie (Emmy Award); Jim Carrey in The Majestic; Tobey Maguire in Seabiscuit; Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator(Golden Globe Award and Academy Award nomination); The Departed (Golden Globe nomination); Blood Diamond (Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination); Shutter Islandand Inception. Moss’s teaching career includes US, Canada and Europe; he is one of the master teachers on “Triple Sensation,” for CBC in Canada.  His book on acting, The Intent To Live, was released by Bantam Dell. 

Michael Rafter (Music Director) is involved in everything music. He wrote scoring and arrangements for Arthur (2011) starring Russell Brand, was the music supervisor for Broadway’s Everyday Rapture and worked on Sutton Foster’s National Tour. He was the Associate Music Supervisor for Jersey Boys Australian production and has traveled the globe with many Jersey Boys productions. Sutton Foster and Michael collaborated on her solo CD’sWish (2009) and Sutton Foster, Live at The Carlyle (2011). He also co-produced Norm Lewis’s solo CD, This Is The Life, and the recording of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s Broadway show, Caroline, Or Change. Michael conducted Gypsy on Broadway starring Tyne Daly and won an Emmy Award for his music direction of Bette Midler’s TV version. Movie music credits include Music and Lyrics and Did You Hear about the Morgans? On Broadway, Michael has served as music director/conductor of Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sound of Music, The King & I and Gypsy and did the arrangements for Swing and Sweet Charity. He was one of the 2 piano duos that played the Broadway revival of The Most Happy Fella. He has supervised Broadway and/or National tours of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music, and The Buddy Holly Story. Off-Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along andViolet. Michael was the music director/conductor for The American Songbook series at Alice Tully Hall, music director for “Broadway’s Best” on Bravo where he worked with such artists as Trisha Yearwood, Kevin Bacon, Joan Osborne, Mandy Moore, Cyndi Lauper, Darius Rucker, and Shawn Colvin. Michael is the co-founder of Destination Broadway, a summer theatre program for children 8-18 years old. Currently, he is working as music director/arranger for the upcoming revival of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Joshua Bergasse (Musical Staging) is a NYC based teacher and choreographer and has been a member of the Broadway Dance Center Faculty since 1998. His credits as a choreographer include American Songbooks; Fascinatin’ Rhythm (Allen Room, Jazz @ Lincoln Center); The Face Of Tisch, Gala 2010 (Rose Hall, Jazz @ Lincoln Center); Bomb-Itty Of Errors (Off-Broadway); Captain Louie (Little Shubert, York Theater); BC/EFA’s Gypsy Of The Year Opener for 2007 and 2008 (New Amsterdam Theatre); Fame The Musical (National & International Tours); Solo Pido – Bianca Marroquin In Concert (Mexico City); West Side Story(Stratford Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Fulton Theatre, North Carolina Theatre);Carousel, The World Goes ‘Round (Barrington Stage); La Cage…, Beehive, Cagney (Riverside Theatre); Smokey Joe’s Cafe (AMTSJ, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Riverside); Tommy, South Pacific, Crash Nation (Cherry County Playhouse); The Baker Dances (Indiana University.) Joshua has performed in the Broadway and/or National touring companies of Movin Out, Hairspray, The Life, and West Side Story. Besides being on faculty at BDC, Josh is the artistic director for the Musical Theater Performance Project at BDC, and has been a guest artist at NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, Indiana University, James Madison University,Shenendoah University, Kean University, Creighton University and the University of California Satellite program. He’s toured with Manhattan DanceProject, West Coast Dance Explosion, and Tremaine. Joshua is currently represented by Stephen Speilberg’s television show “Smash!” which premieres February 6th on NBC starring Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee and Anjelica Houston.

Jonathan Tunick is the first orchestrator to have won a Tony Award®; indeed he is one of very few persons to have won all four major American awards in entertainment: the Grammy® (“No One Is Alone,” 1988), Emmy® (“Night of 100 Stars,” 1982), Tony® (Titanic, 1997), and Oscar® (A Little Night Music, 1977). Additionally, he has received Drama Desk Awards forPassionTitanic, and Lovemusik, and has been showered with nominations: seven Tony® nominations for Best Orchestration (Marie ChristineFolliesNinePacific Overtures,Lovemusik110 in the ShadeA Catered Affair) and eight times for the Drama Desk (BabyInto the WoodsCaptains CourageousSaturday NightFolliesElaine Stritch At LibertyThe Apple TreeA Catered Affair). In 1982 he was given a Special Award by the Drama Desk. Although Tunick has been associated most closely with Stephen Sondheim (CompanyFolliesA Little Night MusicPacific OverturesSweeney ToddMerrily We Roll AlongInto the Woods,PassionPutting It TogetherThe Frogs), he has also worked with composers Charles Strouse (Dance a Little CloserNick & Nora), Maury Yeston (NineTitanic), Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Michael John LaChiusa (Marie Christine), and many others. Tunick has orchestrated, re-orchestrated, or composed for nearly sixty stage shows, from Take Five in 1957 to the revival of Promises, Promises in 2010; thirteen films, from The Twelve Chairs in 1970 to Sweeney Todd in 2007 (including Blazing SaddlesYoung FrankensteinA Little Night MusicFort Apache the BronxEndless Love, and Reds); and dozens scores for television.

Theodore S. Chapin is President and Executive Director of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Currently he is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Theater Wing. He has also been chairman of the Advisory Committee for New York City Center’s Encores! series since its inception, and serves on several boards including Goodspeed Musicals, Connecticut College, and City Center. He served as a Tony Awards nominator for two seasons, and is currently a member of the Tony Administration Committee. His career began as production or directorial assistant for the Broadway productions of FolliesThe Rothschilds and The Unknown Soldier and His Wife, as well as Bernstein’s Mass at theKennedy Center, and Candide in San Francisco. As Associate to Alan Arkin, he worked on the original Broadway production of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine BoysTwigs starring Carol Burnett (CBS); and Neil Cuthbert’s The Soft Touch. He was Musical Director for the National Theatre of the Deaf’s production of Four Saints in Three Acts, and Producer of the Musical Theatre Lab. His book, Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical “Follies,” was published by Alfred A. Knopf, and in paperback by Applause Books.

Stephenie Skyllas (Producer) is an independent theatrical producer and general manager.  Her recent credits include producing The Chalkboard Trilogy for Up Theater Company andTales From The Tunnel Off-Broadway at the Bleecker Street Theater.  Stephenie spent five seasons at New York City Center as General Manager that included fifteen Encores!, threeEncores! Summer Stars (Gypsy with Patti LuPone; Damn Yankees with Sean Hayes & Jane Krakowski; The Wiz with Ashanti), A Gala Evening with Kristin Chenoweth and the Sondheim 80th Birthday Gala. Other NY credits include work at Roundabout Theatre Company, Richard Frankel Productions and Manhattan Theatre Club. Stephenie is a member of Essential Voices USA with whom she’s had the joy of singing at the 2011 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting with Neil Diamond (broadcast on NBC), Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and recording “Mr. President” (featured on NPR). Stephenie and her company, Over~Sky Productions, also serve as general manager for When Everything Was Possible, A Concert (with comments).

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.  By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic. For more information, visit www.broadwaycares.org.


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Mint Theater Announces Jann E. Leeming As New Board Chair


Drama Desk Award-Winning Mint Theater

Announces The Appointment of

Jann E. Leeming

As Chair of the Board of Directors

 

Mint Theater (Jonathan Bank, Artistic Director) today announced the appointment of Jann E. Leeming as Board Chair. “I am delighted and honored to be part of a partnership with Jonathan and the Mint Board of Directors to further the Mint’s vital and exciting mission.  My experience with this respected and energetic organization has taught me how important it is to recognize great playwrights of the past whose words have continuing relevance to the important issues of today,” Ms Leeming said.

“Jann is a dynamic leader and I am honored that she has consented to be our Chair.  I look forward to a fruitful partnership that I hope will continue for many years,” added Jonathan Bank.

Ms. Leeming has been a Board member since 2009, and served as Treasurer for the last year.  She also serves as a Senior Trustee (since 1980) of The Little Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by Royal Little to support education, the performing arts, preservation of wildlife and the environment. Previously, she was Chair of the Board of Directors (2006-’11) of the Women’s Project, having served on their Board since 2003. Jann has served on the Board of Directors of Celebrity Series of Boston, since 2003.

She has also donated her time as Trustee of The Boston Ballet, Trustee of Dance Umbrella, Trustee of The Wang Center for the Performing Arts; Trustee of The Mirror Repertory Company, Trustee of The Pine Street Inn (homeless shelter), Trustee of The Stowe School, Trustee of The Lyford Cay Foundation, Corporation Member of Babson College, and Founding Member of Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board.

As a venture capitalist, Jann served on the Boards of eight high technology companies. As President of Leeming Investment Company, she spent 2 years investing in companies owned and operated by women. Prior to that, she spent eight year as CEO and owner of ABOUT WOMEN, INC., consulting with Fortune 1000 companies on how to market their products and services more effectively to women. Jann co-authored Segmenting the Women’s Market, a resource book for companies selling products and services to women.

Jann was graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Psychology/Business and was graduated from Babson College with an MBA.  Jann is married to Arthur D. Little, her consulting partner in the golf course industry.

“The Mint does for forgotten drama what the Encores! series does for musicals, on far more modest means” (The New York Times).  The Mint was awarded an OBIE for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition,” and a special Drama Desk Award for “unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.” Ben Brantley, in The New York Times Arts & Leisure (August, 2011) hailed the Mint as the “resurrectionist extraordinaire of forgotten plays.

For more information about the Mint Theater, visit www.minttheater.org

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Celebrate Black History Month Off-Broadway

Celebrate Black History Month Off-Broadway at Two of New York’s Biggest Hits:

The Devil’s Music – The Life and Times of Bessie Smith 

and 

Black Angels Over Tuskegee


February is Black History Month (also known as the African-American History Month). Two of Off-Broadway’s biggest hits serve to recognize the contribution of African-Americans in American culture and history: The Devil’s Music – The Life and Times of Bessie Smith and Black Angels Over Tuskegee.

The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, a musical by Angelo Parra, conceived and directed by Joe Brancato, stars Miche Braden as Bessie Smith, along with Aaron GravesJim Hankins, Keith Loftis, and Anthony E. Nelson, Jr.   The Devil’s Music opened June 22nd Off-Broadway at the St. Luke’s Theater (308 West 46th Street). 

Sexy and racy, blues singer Bessie Smith was the definition of a Red Hot Mamma and the most successful entertainer of her time. On the eve of her tragic death in 1937, Bessie takes center stage in The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith and tells the story of her amazing life and career, her loves and losses. Put your troubles aside and soak up the blues as Bessie Smith comes to life and sings the songs that made her so unforgettable, including “St. Louis Blues,” “Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl,” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” 

The Devil’s Music  has been hailed by critics and audience alike:

“A Big Voice Full of Blues, Bawdy and Unapologetic: When Miche Braden plants herself at the front of the stage, shimmies a little and sings the blues, THE DEVIL’S MUSIC: THE LIFE & BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH finds its reason for being. As Bessie, Ms. Braden has the requisite big voice — she knows when to let it soar and when to keep it at an insinuatingly low simmer — and her committed performance gives you glimmers of what the bawdy-talking, hooch-swilling (she hates the store-bought stuff), unapologetically bisexual Bessie must have been like. Ms. Braden keeps THE DEVIL’S MUSIC consistently entertaining. ”  – The New York Times

“Miche Braden delivers a powerhouse performance, doing a brassy, melodic turn as a lusty, hard-drinking, irrepressible Bessie Smith, who was known as the “Empress of the Blues”. Braden fully comands the stage, sassing the audience and sashaying around like the hard-living prima donna Smith was. Joe Brancato’s artful direction and Braden’s charisma and honesty of emotion keep the energy flowing.”–
 Associated Press

“When Miche Braden sings — especially her soulful “St. Louis Blues” and the most heartbreaking rendition of “I Ain’t Got Nobody” you’re ever likely to hear — THE DEVIL’S MUSIC delivers a little bit of heaven.” – 
Time Out New York

“If there’s a heaven for entertainers, the gateway must be St. Luke’s Theatre. Miche Braden thankfully delivers in powerhouse fashion. Her rendition of “I Ain’t Got Nobody” is haunting, while “St. Louis Blues,” featuring a lascivious duet with her sax player, perfectly captures Smith’s notoriously earthy side. You’ll be a ‘Devil’s’ advocate!” – 
New York Post

BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE, Layon Gray’s acclaimed play is now in its second year at the Actors Temple Theater (339 West 47th Street).  Based on true events, six men explore their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood as they become the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Forces.  BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them. In addition to being an official selection of the 2009 National Black Theater Festival, BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE recently won a 2009 NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and a 2009 Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play.  It was also presented at the 2009 National Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Las Vegas for over 30 chapters.  Original Tuskegee Airmen Ted Lumpkin, President of the Los Angeles Chapter, said, “I love this play.  It’s real and it reminded me of my times at Tuskegee.  [It’s] a great show.” BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE recently did a special performance for the entire NY Jets team. Critics have been unanimous in their praise for Black Angels Over Tuskegee

“Uplifting! Inspirational! This show is also tough to resist. By the end, when the pilots overcame their obstacles and finally got up into the air to the swelling of music, tears welled up in my eyes.” – The New York Times

 “Dynamite performances!” – Time Out New York

“The characters are so realistic that the audience can’t help but be thoroughly moved!” – Associated Press

“Excellent ensemble acting keeps Black Angels Over Tuskegee soaring. Some plays teach, others celebrate, and a few simply entertain. Black Angels Over Tuskegee manages to do all three and one thing more: It inspires.” – Back Stage

“Stunning!” – Curtain Up 

Tickets for both shows, from only  $36.50,  are available at Telecharge.com or by calling 212/239-6200. 

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INTAR To Honor Oscar Nominee Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez

INTAR

To Present Its First Annual Gala, Celebrating The Impact of Latino Theater

Honoring Oscar Nominee Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez

Featuring the Cuisine of Celebrity Chef Maricel Presilla

ALMA Award Winner Maria Canals-Barerra To Host

Tuesday February 7th at the Manhattan Penthouse

 

INTAR, New York’s most acclaimed Latino theatre company, will celebrate its 46th anniversary with a special Gala at the Manhattan Penthouse (80 5th Avenue at 14th Street) on Tuesday evening, February 7th.

In addition to celebrating INTAR’s vital contribution to the arts internationally, the Gala will feature special awards to Academy Award-nominated screenwriter/playwright Jose Rivera and US Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. This special event will be hosted by  ALMA award winner Maria Canals-Barerra, with cuisine from Chef Marisel Presilla.

The celebration will kick off at 7PM followed by the dinner and awards ceremony.

INTAR, one of the United States’ longest running Latino theaters producing in English, works to nurture the professional development of Latino theater artists; produce bold, innovative, artistically significant plays that reflect diverse perspectives; make accessible the diversity inherent in America’s cultural heritage. Through an integrated program of workshops, productions of works in progress, and mainstage productions, INTAR continues to raise standards of theater arts.  INTAR brings to the public vital and energetic voices of both promising and accomplished Latino theater professionals, replacing stereotypes while giving expression to the diversity and depth of today’s Latino-American community.

Founded in 1966 to provide professional opportunities for Hispanic theatre artists, INTAR Theatre is the oldest Latino theatre company in the USA producing in English. Since its founding, INTAR has commissioned, developed and produced the works of award-winning playwrights, composers and choreographers such as María Irene Fornés, Gabriel García Marquez, Graciela Daniele, José Rivera, Eduardo Machado, Mario Vargas Llosa, Luis Santeiro, Tito Puente, Carmen Rivera, and Culture Clash, among others.  The company has produced more than 150 world premieres and 50 American premieres of new works in English by Latino playwrights, and INTAR has been the leading proponent of bringing American Latino playwrights’ work to the mainstream. INTAR productions and artists have garnered 6 Obie Awards, 3 AT&T On Stage Awards, 1 Tony Award nomination, 7 Princess Grace Awards, 5 A.C.E. (Association of Spanish Language Critics) Awards, and 2 HOLA Awards, among others. For more information on INTAR please visit their website, http://www.intartheatre.org

Tickets from $225 may be purchased online at http://www.intar.org or by phone at 212/695-6135.

 


BIOS 

Robert Menendez’s story is a quintessential American story. He grew up the son of immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators. He has earned the reputation of a fighter for New Jersey families who puts their economic security and hometown security ahead of powerful special interests. A product of New Jersey’s public schools and a graduate of the state’s universities, Bob learned early on the importance of standing up for what’s right, no matter how powerful the opposition. He first entered public service as a 19-year-old college student when he witnessed shortcomings in the public education system and launched a successful petition drive to reform his local school board. He stood up to corruption in Union City as a witness against the political machine in a Federal trial.

He has served as a school board member, a mayor and a state legislator. Since 1993, he has been standing up for New Jersey families in Washington, where he rose to become the third-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After being elected to the U.S. Senate, Bob was soon appointed to be a member of the Senate leadership during his first term, serving as the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee where he successfully retained Democrats’ majority in the U.S. Senate. Bob was sworn in to the Senate on January 18, 2006, having been appointed by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to fill the remainder of his term. Later that year, New Jerseyans elected Bob to serve a full six-year term as United States Senator. He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Foreign Relations. Bob is also the Chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development; and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs. In Congress, Bob is working to make a real difference in the lives of New Jerseyans. That includes working to achieve economic security for families by creating jobs, promoting clean energy development, providing tax relief, investing in education, making health care more affordable, protecting consumers, and preserving Medicare and Social Security. Siding with hard-working New Jerseyans against powerful interests, Bob has helped author and enact legislation to make credit card contracts fairer and make the products we use every day safer. He has also championed legislation to support the production of clean energy and energy efficiency. He has helped secure federal funds for a new Mass Transit Tunnel across the Hudson River and created a program that has delivered $3.2 billion to cities, towns and counties nationwide for energy efficiency projects.

Bob has delivered tax relief, authoring the economic recovery package provision that protected 1.6 million middle-class New Jerseyans from an unfair tax hike under the Alternative Minimum Tax and enacting property tax relief legislation. With health care too often a strain on family budgets and the national economy, he used his Finance Committee seat to help craft reform legislation that makes quality health care more affordable for New Jersey families. Throughout his career, he has worked to improve schools so they prepare our children for a successful future and helped pass the law to make college more affordable for the next generation of leaders. Bob has been widely recognized for his leadership on promoting safe and healthy families. He has championed legislation to support mothers suffering from postpartum depression, help families overcome the challenges of autism, and educate kids about Internet safety. In the face of a national housing crisis, he sponsored legislation to help keep families in their homes, and make it easier for children whose families face foreclosure to stay in their schools. Bob believes we should honor our parents by making sure they can retire with dignity and has introduced legislation to make it easier for families to care for their aging loved ones. He has also been a leader in the fight to stop the privatization of Social Security and Medicare. After September 11, 2001, Bob earned national recognition for his leadership in reforming the country’s intelligence, security, and public health systems and for fighting to establish an independent commission to investigate the terrorist attacks on our country. He was a leader in the fight to successfully implement the 9/11 Commission’s national security recommendations, including the provision to ensure that high-risk states like New Jersey receive their fair share of security funding. He helped author legislative language that will ensure all cargo coming to U.S. ports is scanned. He led the successful drive to fully reopen the Statue of Liberty, and today, he is working to improve the security of our bus, rail and public transit systems. Bob voted against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq. He has an extensive record of supporting our troops by consistently voting to give them the equipment they need, along with the quality medical care and education benefits they deserve—and he has been a strong advocate of a responsible foreign policy that only sends our servicemen and women into harm’s way when absolutely necessary. He was proud to vote for the largest funding increase for veterans’ programs in history. 
His first book, Growing American Roots, examines the deep influence of the Latino population on American society. Bob offers his unique perspective as one of only two Latino members of the Senate, and lays out his vision for how the Latino community can help America prosper.

José Rivera is a playwright and the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar. Many of his plays have been produced across the nation and even translated into several languages, including The House of Ramon Iglesias, Cloud Tectonics, The Street of the Sun, Sonnets for an Old Century, Sueño, Giants Have Us in Their Books, References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot and Adoration of the Old Woman. In 2003, Cloud Tectonics was presented in the XLII Festival of Puerto Rican Theater, an event sponsored by the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, in San Juan.  Rivera helped found the Los Angeles-based theater company, The Wilton Project.  Rivera contributed as a writer to the television shows “The House of Ramon Iglesias” (1986), “Family Matters” (1989), “The Jungle Book, Mowgli’s Story” (1998), “Night Visions” (2001) and in the “Harmony” segment of “Shadow Realm” (2002). He also co-created and co-produced the NBC-TV series, “Eerie, Indiana.” In 2002, Rivera was hired to write the screenplay for the film Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries) by director Walter Salles. The movie, which was released in 2004, is based on Che Guevara’s diary about a motorcycle trip that he and Alberto Granado had, and how it changed their lives. In January 2005, Rivera became the first Puerto Rican to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film. His screenplay won awards from the Cinema Writers Circle (Spain) and from the Argentine Film Critics Association; it was also nominated for awards by the American Screenwriters Association, the Chlotrudis Awards, the Online Film Critics Society, and the Writers Guild of America. This work led Rivera to write and perform a play entitled School of the Americas which focuses on Che’s last few hours alive. The play starring John Ortiz as Che, imagines Che’s final conversations, mainly with a young and fairly naive female schoolteacher, in the one-room village schoolhouse where he is imprisoned before his execution. The play was featured in New York City 2006-‘07 and in San Francisco the following year.

Maria Canals-Barrera is a multi-talented actress who has showcased her talent across the board in entertainment. Maria is most commonly known for her starring role as the mortal mother of three teenage wizards, in the Emmy Award-winning series “Wizards of Waverly Place.”  The show aired its series finale on January 6th, 2012 to an audience of 9.8 million, the series’ number one telecast ever. In August of last year, Maria hosted the 26th annual Imagen Awards, illuminating the audience with her charismatic charm. Shortly after, she took home the 2011 NCLR Alma Award for Favorite TV Actress in a Supporting Role. Maria reprised her role in the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel Original Movie “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” for which she won an Imagen award for Best Supporting Actress – Television in 2010.  Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Canals-Barrera has also starred as Mitchie’s mom, Connie Torres, in the Disney Channel Original Movies “Camp Rock” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.”  A 2002 Alma Award-winner for her role in the television series “Brothers Garcia,” Canals-Barrera starred in the Telemundo series “Marielena” and “Corte Tropical” for Univision.  She was the Female Lead on “The Tony Danza Show,” and she’s had guest-starring roles on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “George Lopez,” “The Loop,” “Popular,” “Veronica’s Closet,” “Caroline in the City” and “Almost Perfect,” as well as recurring roles in “Beggars & Choosers” for Showtime and the critically acclaimed PBS series “American Family.”  Canals-Barrera is also the voice of “Hawkgirl” in the animated series “The Justice League” and was the voice of “Sunset Boulevardez” in Disney Channel’s acclaimed series “The Proud Family.” On the big screen, Maria most recently appeared in Universal Pictures’, “Larry Crowne,” directed by Tom Hanks and starring Hanks and Julia Roberts.  She can also be seen in “Master of Disguise” and “My Family / Mi Familia,” with Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits and Esai Morales. On stage, Canals-Barrera appeared at the Mark Taper Forum in “Changes of Heart” for which she received an Ovation Award nomination.  Her other stage work include roles in “Chilean Holiday,” “Hedda Gabler,” “A Touch of the Poet,” “Mixed Blessings,” “The House of Blue Leaves” and “The Glass Menagerie.”  When Maria isn’t acting you can find her in Los Angeles where she resides with her husband and two children, playing the part of a real mom.

Maricel Presilla is a culinary historian specializing in the foods of Latin America and Spain. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and has received formal training in cultural anthropology. She has been a two-time James Beard Foundation Award Nominee for Best Chef, North East and once for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic. Dr. Presilla has done considerable research on Latin American agriculture – with special emphasis on tropical crops, cacao and vanilla agriculture, and chocolate production. She is the president of Gran Cacao Company a Latin American food research and marketing company that specializes in the sale of premium cacao beans from Latin America. Her latest book is The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Chocolate with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 2001). She has completed a comprehensive Latin American cookbook for W.W. Norton and has contributed articles for Saveur, Food & Wine, Food Arts, and Gourmet. She writes a weekly food column for the Miami Herald and is as comfortable sailing down the Orinoco to collect recipes in the field as she is cooking at Zafra and Cucharamama, her pan-Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. Last year she opened Ultramarinos, a Latin American store and cooking atelier, also in Hoboken, NJ, where she sells Latin ingredients, prepared foods, premium chocolates and Blue Cacao, her own line of truffles with Latin flavors.

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One more chance to catch Jackie Hoffman’s CHANUKAH CHAROL

Image

Jackie Hoffman’s

A Chanukah Charol,

Inspired by Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol

Adds One More Performance to Accommodate the Overwhelming Demand

 Jackie Hoffman’s A Chanukah Charol, her new holiday-themed, pseudo-autobiographical, one-woman show inspired by Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol, co-written and directed by Michael Schiralli, will add one more performance on Sunday January 8th, in order to accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets.   Remaining performances are Monday, January 2nd and now Sunday, January 8th both at 7:30pm at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between Eighth & Ninth Avenues).

This all-new show has been met with an amazing response:

“You don’t need to wait that long to see a dynamic comic performer with a rubbery face and a gift for improvisation. Jackie Hoffman has carved out a fascinating career, with scene-stealing cameos on Broadway uptown in shows like The Addams Family and Xanadu; and hilarious solo shows downtown (and elsewhere) where her delightfully crabby personality roams free. Her new production, A Chanukah Charol represents something of a departure, since instead of a freewheeling cabaret it’s a scripted play, inspired by Patrick Stewart’s version of A Christmas Carol. It’s autobiographical and tells her story as a comedian forced to confront her past, present and future” – Jason Zinoman, New York Times

The hilariously grumpy Jackie Hoffman is a throwback to the golden age of character comedy, when performers overflowed with larger-than-life personality. On her night off from The Addams Family, she kvetches the Dickens out of A Christmas Carol” – Adam Feldman, Time Out NY

Jackie Hoffman Shakes Up Christmas!” – Marshall Heyman, Wall Street Journal

“HILARIOUS! The woman is a priceless storyteller, shtickmeister, and yenta… In toasting (and roasting) that eight-day holiday, she’s served up not only eight times the guilt, but that many times the laffs.” – Michael Musto, Village Voice

The funniest event of the holiday season. Her bracing brand of angry humor is the cure for the severest cases of the doldrums… the best idea imaginable for making this endlessly told story new again. the panorama of wonder she paints with herself at the center keeps you floating on a cloud of levity for a full, all-too-brief hour.” – Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway

Jackie Hoffman currently stars as Grandma in The Addams Family. Her other Broadway credits include Xanadu and Hairspray (for which she received the Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway she has been seen in Regrets Only, Pride & Joy, Book of Liz (Obie Award), Straightjacket, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, and One Woman Shoe. Regional credits include Second City (Jeff Award), Sisters Rosensweig. Film: Extra Man, Dirty Shame, Garden State, Legally Blonde II, Kissing Jessica Stein, Mo’ Money, Robots, Queer Duck. TV: “30 Rock,” “One Life to Live,” “Starved,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Strangers with Candy,” “TV Funhouse,” “Conan,” “Soulman,” “Cosby.” Her solo shows have garnered her MAC and Bistro Awards. She can be heard on the CD “Jackie Hoffman: Live at Joe’s Pub” (where she is a frequent sell-out), as well as on the original Broadway cast recordings of Hairspray, Xanadu, and The Addams Family.

Remaining tickets are $35 with premium seats available at $55 (including a free drink).  Tickets may be purchased by visiting Telecharge.com or calling (212) 239-6200. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the New World Stages Box Office.  For more information, visit www.newworldstages.com.

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Jackie Hoffman to Premiere A Chanukah Charol

Jackie Hoffman to Premiere

A Chanukah Charol,

Inspired by Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol

 

Three Performances Only at New World Stages

Time Out NY Lounge will present Jackie Hoffman’s A Chanukah Charol, her new holiday-themed, pseudo-autobiographical, one-woman show inspired by Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol. Michael Schiralli will direct.

Performances will be Sunday, December 11th, Sunday, December 18th, Monday, December 19th at New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street (between Eighth & Ninth Avenues).

Time Out New York called Jackie “the funniest woman in America,” and the Village Voice hailed her as a mix of “Carol Burnett’s rubber face, Sarah Silverman’s outrage, Ethel Merman’s vocal throttle, and Gladys Kravitz’s world view.”

In her all new holiday show, this feisty Jewish woman examines her life when she is visited by the Ghosts of Chanukah Past, Present and Future, as well as Molly Picon, in Jackie’s latest search for the meaning of life and the quest for fame and glory.  [This needs to be funnier and more Jewish.  Any ideas from Jackie?]

The New York Times called her last solo show “savagely funny” and said “Ms. Hoffman’s acid-dipped acts are always a gurney (journey?  Or is this intentionally misspelled in the quote) worth taking.”

Jackie Hoffman currently stars as Grandma in The Addams Family. Her other Broadway credits include Xanadu and Hairspray (for which she received the Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway she has been seen in Regrets Only, Pride & Joy, Book of Liz (Obie Award), Straightjacket, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, and One Woman Shoe. Regional credits include Second City (Jeff Award), Sisters Rosensweig. Film: Extra Man, Dirty Shame, Garden State, Legally Blonde II, Kissing Jessica Stein, Mo’ Money, Robots, Queer Duck. TV: “30 Rock,” “One Life to Live,” “Starved,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Strangers with Candy,” “TV Funhouse,” “Conan,” “Soulman,” “Cosby.” Solo shows have garnered her MAC and Bistro awards. She can be heard on the CD Jackie Hoffman: Live at Joe’s Pub (where she is a frequent sell-out), as well as on the original Broadway cast recordings of Hairspray, Xanadu, and The Addams Family.

Tickets will be $35 and premium seats available at $55 (including a free drink).  Tickets may be purchased by visiting Telecharge.com or calling (212) 239-6200.  Tickets may be purchased in person at the New World Stages Box Office.  For more information, visit www.newworldstages.com

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Mint Theater Receives NEA Grant to Support the First Ever Revival of Love Goes To Press

Drama Desk Award-Winning Mint Theater Receives NEA Grant to Support the First Ever Revival of

Love Goes To Press

by Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowle

 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman today announced that the agency would award 863 grants to organizations and individual writers across the country. Mint Theater (Jonathan Bank, Artistic Director) is one of the recipients and will receive $30,000 to support the first-ever revival of Love Goes To Press by Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles. The Mint production, directed by Jerry Ruiz, will run from May 26 to July 22, 2012 at their home (311 West 43rd Street).

Love Goes To Press is a sharp-tongued comedy about women war correspondents that debuted on Broadway in 1947.  The play paints a delicious portrait of two smart, funny, brave, ambitious and complex women—working just miles from the front lines (as Cowles and Gellhorn did), surrounded by less competent, less adventurous men. 

Martha Gellhorn was a trailblazing journalist, filing dispatches over the course of five decades from some of the most dramatic hot spots across the globe.  Her career as a war correspondent began in 1937 when she reported on the Spanish Civil War for Colliers magazine.  She was a resident of the famed Hotel Florida in Madrid, along with many other foreign correspondents, including Virginia Cowles—and Ernest Hemingway with whom she was having an affair.  They married in 1940-and divorced in 1945.  Hemingway’s play The Fifth Column, produced at the Mint in 2008, fictionalizes their romance.

Gellhorn could not have been flattered by Hemingway’s portrayal of Dorothy Bridges, the long-legged blond in his play, described as “lazy and spoiled and rather stupid….”  In 1946, Gellhorn had her revenge when she and Virginia Cowles decided on a lark to write a comedy about two female war correspondents covering WWII.  Their delicious comedy, Love Goes to Press, is a frothy concoction, a romantic comedy set in a press camp in Italy in 1944.  The cast of characters includes a tough American newspaperman, recently divorced from one of the heroines: “You can’t tell from the outside that he’s got the character of a cobra.  From the outside he’s a beautiful, funny, fascinating man.”  The HBO film Hemingway and Gellhorn starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman is due to premiere in May 2012.

Love Goes To Press premiered to great success in June 1946 at the Embassy Theatre in London, where Cowles and Gellhorn, though American, were then based. “At times the humor rises to brilliance,” observed The Stage. “The kind of comedy which lavishly mingles public relations, private lives, lines of communication, tough dames, and tender passages,” opined The Observer.  The play quickly transferred from the “fringe” to a healthy run in the West End.

Just months before they sat down to write this play, Gellhorn was reporting from Dachau. She was one of the first journalists to enter the camp—an experience that changed her life forever.  The play was written as an antidote to “the heart-sickening cost of war… Everyone longed to laugh in the first cold winter of peace… Laughter was lifesaving escape,” Gellhorn wrote in 1995, when introducing the play for publication.

Given its glowing reception in London, success in America seemed assured.  Try-outs in Washington and Pittsburgh in December 1946 were greeted positively, but on the Great White Way, everything changed. Love Goes To Press lasted just four days.  Its very strengths — particularly its comedy — were the very reasons it was dismissed. New Yorkers were not yet ready to laugh about the war. Recalling the hostility of the New York critics, Gellhorn wrote “Since they had not lived through real war, they found it tasteless, grotesque, practically wicked to make cheap jokes about any aspect of war. That was the end of the play.”

A distinct current of sexism pervaded some of the reviews. Wolcott Gibbs sneered in The New Yorker: “It is quite possible that Miss Gellhorn and Miss Cowles were indeed able to commandeer ambulances and even airplanes to take them behind enemy lines practically at will, I can only say it seemed a little silly to me.”  Ironically, Gellhorn and Cowles had done precisely that—driven ambulances, flown in combat missions, and in Gellhorn’s case, stowed away in a hospital ship on D-Day—all in a day’s work.

Love Goes To Press faded from memory until 1995 when Professor Sandra Spanier of Penn State University rescued the play from the ash-heap and arranged for its long overdue publication with Gellhorn’s blessing.

“The Mint does for forgotten drama what the Encores! series does for musicals, on far more modest means” (The New York Times).  The Mint was awarded an OBIE for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition,” and a special Drama Desk Award for “unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.” Ben Brantley, in The New York Times Arts & Leisure (August 21st, 2011) hailed the Mint as the “resurrectionist extraordinaire of forgotten plays

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Complete Cast Announced for Keen’s PAINTING CHURCHES

Drama Desk and Obie Award-Winning Keen Company

Announces that 

Kate Turnbull 

Would Complete the Cast of 

Tina Howe’s Painting Churches

Directed by Carl Forsman

Kathleen Chalfant and Richard Easton To Star

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Keen Company (Carl Forsman, Artistic Director/Damon Chua, Executive Director) today announced that Kate Turnbull would join Kathleen Chalfant and Richard Easton for Tina Howe’s Painting Churches, the 1983 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Keen Artistic Director Carl Forsman directs.

Performances will begin February 14th, with Opening Night set for March 6th. (Additional credits and design team will be announced shortly).

Kate Turnbull  made her Humana Fest debut with the premiere of Maple and Vine.  Other regional credits include The Matchmaker (Censterstage); Doubt (Portland Stage Company); and Measure for Measure, Two Gentlemen of Verona,Restoration Comedy,Titus Andronicus and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe). Off-Broadway she has been seen in Passion Play with Epic Theatre Ensemble.  Television: Guiding Light. M.F.A. from The Old Globe/University of San Diego.

Painting Churches premiered Off-Broadway on February 8, 1983 at the McGinn-Cazale Theatre, produced by Second Stage. It transferred to the Lamb’s Theatre where it ran for 206 performances. The play was filmed for PBS “American Playhouse” starring Sada Thompson, Donald Moffat, and Roxanne Hart.

In Painting Churcheswe meet the Church family: Fanny (Chalfant) and Gardner (Easton). They are packing, about to move to a beach home on Cape Cod. Gardner is a poet and Fanny is from a “fine old family.” Their daughter Margaret, an artist who lives in New York, has arrived to help them pack and paint their portrait.

This will be the first New York revival of Painting Churches, the smash hit comedy from the author of Coastal Disturbances and Pride’s Crossing.  In his review in the New York Times, Frank Rich wrote, “In Painting Churches, her beautifully written play, Tina Howe has dramatized an illuminating connection between life and art. And like the best paintings, Painting Churches rewards repeated viewings.”

Keen Company continues their tradition of presenting plays that illuminate the challenge to live generously, and these two stories about children and parents will bring these themes to thrilling life. Keen believes that theater is at its most powerful when texts and productions are generous in spirit and provoke identification. Inspired by the works of early 20th Century American playwrights, Keen Company demonstrates that an earnest intent can still be sophisticated. We are unafraid of emotional candor, vulnerability, and optimism. Keen Company seeks to create a culture of artists, technicians, administrators and audiences who share a desire to invigorate the theater with productions that connect us through humor, heart and hope. “Keen Company’s first tremendous leap of faith was producing Tina Howe’s 42-character play Museum in our second season in 2002. I am honored to be able to bring Tina’s unique and hilarious voice back to our stage. Painting Churches is such a touching portrait of our effort to understand our parents, and Keen Company is thrilled to be presenting its first New York revival. We’ll endeavor to whip up enough chaos to delight Tina and her many fans,” said Forsman.

Kathleen Chalfant was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Featured Role for her role in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Chalfant earned great acclaim for her performance as Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson’s play Wit, receiving Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards. For her performance in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, Chalfant won a second Obie Award. Most recently, Chalfant starred in the independent feature film, Isn’t It Delicious?

Tony Award winner Richard Easton’s Broadway credits include Elling, The Coast of Utopia, The Rivals, Henry IV, The Invention of Love (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League Awards), Noises Off, Exit the King, The Misanthrope, The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Cock-a-Doodle-Dandy, Back to Methuselah, The Country Wife, School for Scandal. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in Entertaining Mr. Sloane; Bach at Leipzig; Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme; Waste; Hotel Universe; Give Me Your Answer, Do!; Salad Days. His London credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (with Uta Hagen), Death of Bessie Smith, Fagin in Oliver, Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Co. and four years at RSC. Film credits: Revolutionary Road, Henry V, Dead Again, and  Finding Forester. TV: Six years of BBC’s “The Brothers”; PBS’s Emmy-winning “Benjamin Franklin” (title role); and most recently, the HBO mini-series “Mildred Pierce.”

This limited Off-Broadway engagement at The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) will begin February 14th and continue through April 22nd only, with opening night set for March 6th. Performances will be Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; and Sunday matinees at 3pm.  Tickets are $59.75.  To purchase tickets, visit Telecharge.com or call 212/239-6200.

For more information visit www.keencompany.org.

 

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TREATMENT ACTION GROUP To Present 2011 Research In Action Awards Honoring AIDS Activism

TREATMENT ACTION GROUP

To Present

2011 Research In Action Awards Honoring AIDS Activism

Sunday December 11th At The Midtown Loft

Presenters Will Include Bravo’s Andy Cohen

Awards to Honor John Benjamin Hickey, Dr. Robert F. Siliciano & Dr. Polly Harrison “Weekend Today Show” Co-Anchor Jenna Wolfe Will Serve as Host

Treatment Action Group (TAG), one of the leading AIDS research advocacy organizations, will host its 15th annual Research in Action Awards (RIAA), honoring individuals who have made a significant contribution in AIDS research and activism.  .

The 2011 Research in Action Awards will take place at the 11th floor Aerie of the MidTown Loft (267 Fifth Avenue at 29th Street) on Sunday, December 11th (6:30 PM). Jenna Wolfe of NBC’s “Weekend Today” will serve as host.

TAG is proud to present its 2011 RIAA Awards to: Dr. Polly Harrison, Founder of the Alliance for Microbicide Development; John Benjamin Hickey, winner of the 2011 Tony Award for his role in “The Normal Heart, and co-star of the Showtime hit “The Big C;” and Dr. Robert F. Siliciano, Medical Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Professor of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Presenters will include Andy Cohen, Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development, responsible for overseeing the network’s current development and production slate of over two dozen shows, including hits such as the Emmy and James Beard award-winning “Top Chef;” “Top Chef Masters;” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” as well as New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, and DC; “Kathy Griffin My Life On the D-List;” “The Millionaire Matchmaker;” “Million Dollar Listing;” “The Rachel Zoe Project;” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover;” and “Flipping Out,” among others.  
 
In addition, Cohen is the host and Executive Producer of “Watch What Happens: Live,”

Founded in 1992, Treatment Action Group fights to ensure that all people living with HIV receive the necessary treatment, care, and information they need. Today, 25 years into this global pandemic, TAG remains the only organization in the world dedicated to AIDS research advocacy for better treatments, a vaccine, and cure for AIDS. TAG is the leading community activist science-based AIDS policy, research, and treatment advocacy think tank; TAG’s activism speeds up research on HIV basic science, treatment, prevention, and vaccines; hepatitis and tuberculosis (TB) coinfection; U.S. and global treatment access; and community empowerment. TAG leads and participates in activist coalitions in the United States and around the world to expand access to effective treatment for HIV and its most common co-infections. TAG catalyzes efforts to strengthen and expand research on HIV and related diseases so that people with HIV can live long and healthy lives. TAG’s ultimate goal is to accelerate research for a cure and a vaccine for HIV.

Tickets are available from $150 by calling 212-253-7922 or  online at www.treatmentactiongroup.org/riaa

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Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre Kicks Off Its 40th Anniversary Season with COOL BLUES

Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre Kicks Off Its 40th Anniversary Season with the Off-Broadway Premiere of Bill Harris’ COOL BLUES

Ed Smith Directs a Cast that Features Ezra Barnes, Stephanie Berry, Terria Joseph, Marcus Naylor, Maria Silverman &  Jay Ward

Off-Broadway Limited Engagement Begins March 10

Woodie King Jr’s New Federal Theatre will kick off its 40th season by presenting the Off-Broadway premiere of Cool Blues by Bill Harris at their home at Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center/Recital Hall (466 Grand Street). Performances begin March 10th with Opening Night set for Sunday, March 20th Performances for this limited engagement  continue through April 3rd only. Ed Smith directs a cast that features Ezra Barnes, Stephanie Berry, Terria Joseph, Marcus Naylor, Maria Silverman and Jay Ward. Cool Blues will have set design by Anthony Davidson, costume design by Ali Turns, lighting design by Shirley Prendergast, and sound design by Bill Toles. Casting was by Lawrence Evans.

It is 1955. B is a black jazz musician so renowned and innovative that he only needs a single initial to identify him. We join him as he shows up unannounced to spend a fateful weekend in the apartment of, Baroness Alexandra Isabella von Templeton (Xan), one of the world’s richest women. His manner and his mood shifts are as mercurial as his music. His talent at deception and self defense as agile as his ability to charm. Questions of loyalty, love, privilege, and friendship are probed as the ghosts of B’s past and present demand answers. Xan vows to protect him at all costs, even if it means ignoring the advice of the doctor summoned to attend to him. Does B want to be saved? Can he be? Has he come to recuperate from recent disastrous events in order to soar into the world again, or has the burden of being a cutting edge spirt in the war against conformity and racial prejudice taken its ultimate toll?

Playwright Bill Harris is a professor of English at Wayne State University.  He formerly served as Curator of Living History, then Chief Curator at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.  While living in New York City during the 1980s, Harris was the Production Coordinator at both New Federal Theatre and JazzMobile. As a playwright, Harris has had innumerable successful productions of his plays nationwide. Acclaimed actors S. Epatha Merkerson, Abbey Lincoln, Guy Davis, and Denzel Washington have starred in various productions of his. His plays have been published in The National Black Drama Anthology (Robert Johnson:  Trick the Devil-which, in an adaptation for radio, won the 1997 Silver Medal for Drama awarded by the International Radio Programming organization); New Plays for the Black Theatre; Voices of Color; and African American Literature (He Who Endures). Plays published under his own name include Riffs & Coda published by Broadside Press, and Stories About the Old Days, published by Samuel French, Inc. His books of poetry are Yardbird Suite:  Side One, which won the Lotus Press poetry prize, and The Ringmaster’s Array, published by Past Tents Press. Most recently Harris researched and wrote Birth of A Notion; Or The Half Ain’t Never Been Told. .. , a poetic critique of 18th century American history and popular cultural images of African Americans. The follow up volume of Booker T. & Them: A Blues will be published in 2012.  He also has two novels in the works.

Director Ed Smith is an award-winning director and educator who has directed at theatres around the country, and in Canada and the West Indies. His directorial credits are extensive with stellar reviews for many of his productions. Some of his major productions include, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Bluest Eye, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Piano Lesson, I’m Not Rappaport, and From the Mississippi Delta, for which he was the original director and nominated by AUDELCO as Best Director in 1989.  He was also awarded Best Director in 1991 by the St Louis Dispatch Awards for Soldier’s Play, and in 1993 for Fences, by the Buffalo Evening News. In 2000, he was awarded by Detroit’s Focus Awards for his direction of Our Town; it also won for Best Play. That same year, he was nominated Best Director by the Oakland Press Detroit for Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. Ed directed Ossie Davis’ last play, A Last Dance for Sybil, which featured Ruby Dee and Earle Hyman and was produced by Woodie King, Jr. Ed has directed over a 100 plays and a few have been produced.  In 2009, Ed received the prestigious Lloyd Richard’s Director’s Award from the National Black Theatre Festival. He was the Artistic Director for the Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth (2006-2010), the Associate Artistic Director for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theatre (1993-1996), and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Buffalo Black Drama Workshop (1970-1974). He was a full professor at SUNY/Buffalo from 1969-1994, and has taught at University of California, Florida State University, Mount Holyoke, and Wayne State University. He is presently adjunct at Texas Christian University, and was recently awarded by Jubilee Theatre, the “Edward Smith Scholarship” in Theatre. Additionally, Ed hosted a jazz radio program at WBFO-FM and WBER-AM in Buffalo, New York for over fifteen years and he grew up in Philadelphia as a BeBop Child.

Woodie King Jr. is the Founder and Producing Director of New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre has presented over 200 productions in its 40-year history. Mr. King has produced and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in Regional Theatres, and in universities across the United States. He co-produced For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (first produced by NFT and Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre), What the Wine Sellers Buy, Reggae and The Taking of Miss Janie (Drama Critics Circle Award). His directional credits are extensive and include work in film as well as theater.

Performances of Cool Blues will be Wednesday through Friday evenings at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm and Sunday matinees at 3pm.

Tickets will be $25 and can be ordered through http://www.theatremania.com or by phone at 212/352-3101. For more information, please visit http://www.newfederaltheatre.org or call NFT at 212-353-1176.

Performances will be at Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center/Recital Hall, 466 Grand Street (between Pitt & Willett Streets). By subway: “F” train to Delancey Street; “M” and “J” train to Essex Street; or by “M14A” bus to Pitt Street.

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LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY To Have Its Off-Broadway Premiere at The Midtown Theater

LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY
To Have Its Off-Broadway Premiere at The Midtown Theater
Performances Begin March 14 With Opening Night Set For March 24

SAVING DEMOCRACY ONE LAUGH AT A TIME!

LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY, a new evening of comedy with music and multi-media presentations, will make its Off-Broadway debut beginning March 14th at the Midtown Theatre, 163 West 46th Street (just east of Broadway). Opening night is set for Thursday, March 24th at 7 p.m. This strictly limited engagement is set to run through May 22nd only.

LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY is a comedy extravaganza, which mixes humor, musical numbers, video, and political satire, to spread understanding of liberal ideas and advance progressive values. Showcasing the brightest progressive comedians from The Onion, Comedy Central, Showtime, MTV, Huffington Post, and C-SPAN, LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY will save democracy one laugh at a time. Original songs for LAUGHING LIBERALLY: THIS AIN’T NO TEA PARTY are written and composed by Jamie Jackson.

Under the direction of Justin Krebs (author of 538 Ways to Live, Work & Play as a Liberal), the show will feature a rotating roster of today’s hottest comedians including John Fugelsang, Jim David, Dean Obeidallah, Baratunde Thurston, Negin Farsad, Lee Camp, Katie Halper, and Elon James White.

LAUGHING LIBERALLY is presented by Living Liberally, which builds progressive communities through social networks and events. Living Liberally also runs Drinking Liberally, the national network of over 200 progressive social clubs; Screening Liberally, a series of socially-conscious films; Eating Liberally, environmentally conscious food events with good gab and great grub; and Reading Liberally, book tours for progressive authors. Living Liberally is led by a New York-based team and fueled by the energy of hundreds of volunteers and partners around the country.

Low-priced preview performances ($10-$20) will be Monday through Thursday at 7PM, and Saturday at 7PM (through March 23rd). Post-opening (tickets will be $20 – $40), the schedule will be Monday, Friday and Saturday at 7PM, and Sunday at 5PM.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.laughingliberallynyc.com or by calling 212/967-8278. Group rates also available.

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look what Jim and Jen & Diana at NASDAQ did for my birthday

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Casting Announced for THE IRISH CURSE

Dan Butler, Roderick Hill, Scott Jaeck, Brian Leahy, and Austin Peck To Star

Sarahbeth Grossman and Craig Zehms today announced that Dan Butler (best known as Bulldog on “Frasier”), Roderick Hill (Butley on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane), Scott Jaeck (“Charmed”), Brian Leahy (“The Junior League of Superheroes”), and Austin Peck (“Days of Our Lives”) would star in the Off-Broadway premiere of Martin Casella’s acclaimed comedy THE IRISH CURSE at the Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street (between Avenue of the Americas & Varick Street). Performances begin on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.  Opening Night is set for Sunday, March 28th.  Matt Lenz will direct.

THE IRISH CURSE had its world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival with a sold-out run in 2005, garnering rave reviews and winning the Overall Excellence Award for Playwrighting.  The play was also acclaimed in its European premiere at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  This production subsequently transferred to The Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival.

Size matters to the Irish-American guys who meet every Wednesday night in a support group…for men with very small penises.  This raucously new comedy tackles the male obsession with body image, masculinity, and sex as it examines the fundamental question on the minds of men since the beginning of time…”How do I measure up to the next guy?”

Lauren Helpern will serve as Set Designer, Michael McDonald as Costume Designer and Traci Klainer as Lighting Designer. Additional members of the design team will be announced shortly.

Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Sunday evenings at 7 pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $59 for all seats/all performances.  For tickets and more information visit www.TheIrishCurse.com.

Dan Butler is probably best known as Bulldog from the TV series, “Frasier.”  His one-man show The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me… garnered critical acclaim across the country, as well as Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations. In 2006, Dan produced, co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the faux documentary Karl Rove, I Love You which The Huffington Post called “hilarious and unsettling – a political Blair Witch Project.” Dan has also been extremely active with suicide prevention, and in 1995 was the National Coming Out Day spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.

Roderick Hill has appeared as Mr. Gardner in the Broadway production of Butley starring Nathan Lane, Dorian Gray in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s new adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray at The Round House Theater, Eustace Jackson in The Mint Theater’s critically acclaimed production of The Return of The Prodigal, and Nicolas in the Broadway production of Elton John’s musical Lestat.

Scott Jaeck appeared on Broadway in “August: Osage County” and “The Night of the Iguana.”  His numerous TV credits include “Charmed,” “ER,” “Seinfeld,” “Santa Barbara,” “Prison Break,” “NYPD Blue,” “Party of Five,” “Mad About You,” and “An Early Frost.”

Brian Leahy originated the role of Rick in the 2005 NY Int’l Fringe Festival production of The Irish Curse. He can currently be seen in the comedic web series The Junior League of Superheroes, which he also wrote and co-produced. FILM: Earthship, 4:41, Mrs. Lovejoy, The Layabouts. Theatre: the East Coast premiere of Mat Smart’s The Hopper Collection, Iatrophobia, A Night of Dialogue. As a writer, his political satire Sketch premiered in LA as part of Acorn Pictures’ LIVEworks2008; his one-woman play, Cranberry, was produced by the Intentional Theatre Group in NY. Brian is a graduate of NYU and the Atlantic Theater Acting School and is the author of The Groom Says blog.

Austin Peck is best known for his starring roles on the popular daytime dramas “Days of Our Lives” and “As the World Turns.”   Other TV credits include “The District,” “Charmed,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” and “Strong Medicine.”   As a member of Theater 40 in Beverly Hills, Austin recently appeared in Plastic, Blue Silence and Japanese Death Poem, as well as Forever September, Burn This, Henry V, and Mythomania.

Martin Casella’s other plays include Scituate (Best New Play, SCFTA); Mates (LA Weekly Award, Best New Play), Paydirt, Desert Fire, Beautiful Dreamer, Grand Junction, The Big Enchilada and George Bush Goes to Hell. He wrote the book for the musicals Paper Moon, Happy Holidays, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, Saint Heaven, Doo-Dah! and co-wrote the book for the new jazz musical Play It Cool (GLAAD nomination).  His plays have been seen at, among others, the Pasadena Playhouse, Coast Playhouse, Coronet (LA); TBG, Linhart and Access Theatres (NYC); Village Theatre, Group Theatre (Seattle); Bailiwick, Theatre Building (Chicago); Stage One (Wichita); Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ); Goodspeed Opera House, Stanford Center for the Arts (Connecticut); Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia); Ford’s Theatre (Washington); and in Tokyo, Dublin and Edinburgh.  His current theatrical project is the musical Free Money, a musical about the invention of credit cards, with composer/lyricist Keith Gordon and documentary filmmaker Barbara Wellin-Multer. In film and TV, Casella has written for Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Dan Petrie Jr., John Milius, John Badham, Francis Ford Coppola, Herbert Ross, Bruce Cohen, Anthony Edwards, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Pictures, Ladd Company, HBO, Roger Corman, Kerry Washington and Paulist Productions.  TV projects include the film “Behind the Lens” for CBS, and “Daddy’s Girl,” an HBO pilot, and a stint as a writer on the ABC daytime drama “One Life To Live.” His feature screenplay One Night Stand was directed by Talia Shire and starred Ally Sheedy and Frederic Forrest.  Casella is currently adapting David Johnson’s play Busted Jesus Comix for the big screen; and is writing the feature film Tom’s Dad for Emmy Award-winning producers Joni Levin and Keith Clarke. In addition to having taught playwriting at the California Institute of the Arts, Casella’s happiest – and proudest –recent adventure is teaching playwriting at the Harvey Milk High School. Casella is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild, Writer’s Guild of America, Actors’ Equity and Screen Actors Guild.

Matt Lenz’s Broadway credits include Hairspray (associate director; also for national tours, South Africa, Las Vegas, Toronto, Germany), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (resident director), The Yellow Brick Road Not Traveled: Wicked’s 5th Anniversary (director). Off-Broadway: Idaho! (NYMF – Winner of “2008 Best of Fest” and Best Director Awards), Alan Ball’s The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy. Regional: Saint Heaven (a new musical by Martin Casella and Keith Gordon), Scituate by Martin Casella (Stamford Center), Aida (MUNY, Gateway), The Full Monty, Beauty and the Beast (MUNY, North Carolina Theatre, Michigan Opera Theatre), South Pacific (Casa Manana, NCT) Confidentially, Cole (LA), Dirty Blonde, Love! Valor! Compassion! (Austin). Member SDC.

Lauren Helpern’s NY credits include Bug (Obie Award), None of the Above (Hewes nomination), The Amish Project (also tour), Mother Load (also tour), Underneath the Lintel, Dragapella, Slipping, MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, Atlantic, Naked Angels, Second Stage, Cherry Lane, and the Broadway production Voices In The Dark. Regional (selected): Blue Man Group/Live at Luxor (Eddy Award), Always… Patsy Cline starring Sally Struthers, Gypsy starring Andrea McArdle, Prince Music Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, ATF, Laguna Playhouse, Stamford Center for the Arts, TheatreworksUSA, and Anchorage Opera.  Lauren is part of New Georges’ Kitchen Cabinet and a partner in the design firm Luce Group.

Michael Mc Donald received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Hewes Design Award nominations for his costumes for the 2009 Tony Award winning Best Musical Revival of Hair. The Public: Hair (Delacorte Theater). Off-Broadway: Tartuffe (Tribeca Playhouse), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Lincoln Center), Measure for Measure (Expanded Arts). Regional: Take Me Out (The Repertory Theater of St. Louis); Dirty Blond (Matt Lenz, dir.), Omnium Gatherum and Crowns (Zachary Scott Theatre); Amadeus, Sweeney Todd, The Laramie Project, Angels in America (Chatham Playhouse).  Broadway: Assistant Costume Designer for two Tony Award winning Best Plays: The Goat and Take Me Out, as well as Arthur Miller’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. And he’s Irish.

Traci Klainer’s NY credits include The Asphalt Kiss (59E59, Drama Desk nomination); Broadway production of Prune Danish (Royale Theatre); Four (MTC, Lucille Lortel nomination); Dov and Ali (Cherry Lane); Sand (Julia Miles Theatre); 2 Girls For 5 Bucks (Ars Nova); Echoes Of The War (Mint Theater); Dragapella (Upstairs Studio 54) and How to Be a Good Italian Daughter (Cherry Lane).  Regional credits include:  Hartford Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Prince Music Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Capital Repertory, and City Theatre.   Traci is also a partner in the design firm Luce Group, which specializes in architectural, exhibit and event lighting design.

Sarahbeth Grossman is President of Sobelle Productions and a Managing Member of Brooklyn Basement Theatricals, LLC.  Ms. Grossman served as Associate Managing Director of the Yale Rep, where she produced the annual WinterFest of new plays, and was Producing Director of the Los Angeles Stage & Film Company, where she produced the LA Premiere of Time On Fire: A Comedy Of Terrors by Evan Handler.  Film and TV work includes stints at Showtime Networks and Viacom Pictures, production work on “Me and Veronica” dir. by Don Scardino, “Bopha!” dir. by Morgan Freeman, “Strapped” dir. by Forest Whitaker, Three Wishes and Out To Sea (Associate Producer) dir. by Martha Coolidge.  Sarahbeth also served as VP of Development & Production for Ms. Coolidge’s Ozma Productions under a television development deal with Pearson Entertainment.   Ms. Grossman was Executive Director of Global Brand Strategy & Business Development at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and spent a short time as VP of Marketing at Variety.

Craig Zehms produced The Irish Curse for the 2005 NY International Fringe Festival.  He began his career as an actor and appeared at regional theatres including the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson, Ford’s Theatre, Goodspeed, and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.  His TV credits include “Newhart,” “Hooperman,” and “V-The Series.”  He currently serves as the National Spokesperson for Lalique North America and has produced and appeared at events for luxury retailers for twenty years.

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David Esbjornson to Direct First Broadway Revival of Aaron Sorkin’s A FEW GOOD MEN

David Esbjornson to Direct First Broadway Revival of

Aaron Sorkin’s A FEW GOOD MEN

Slated for 2010/11 Season,

Produced by Ken Davenport

David Esbjornson will stage the first Broadway revival of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men, slated for the 2010-11 Broadway season, at a theater to be announced. Production details will be announced as soon as casting is confirmed.

  • Why A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men launched the career of Aaron Sorkin, who went on to great success in Hollywood (his films A Few Good Men, Malice, The American President and Charlie Wilson’s War grossed about $600 million worldwide) and TV (the cult favorite “Sports Night,” the Emmy Award-winning “The West Wing,” and most recently, the acclaimed “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”). He has not been seen on Broadway since the premiere of The Farnsworth Invention, which MTVcalled “the most exciting new play on Broadway” and “a rousing theatrical experience.” A Few Good Men ran almost 500 performances (November, 1989-January, 1991), making it one of the longest running Broadway plays in the last twenty years. In addition to Sorkin, it also made stars of Tom Hulce, Timothy Busfield, and Bradley Whitford, as well as launching the directing career of Don Scardino.  The film rights were purchased before the first performance!

  • Why A Few Good Men now?

Playwright Aaron Sorkin explains: “I’m thrilled that A Few Good Men could be headed back to Broadway. While I’m very proud of the play and the success the original production enjoyed, I wrote it when I was much younger and it’s always felt a little to me like looking at my high school yearbook picture so I’m particularly excited about the idea of being able to go back into rehearsal, do some re-writing and help make this the best production of the play that’s ever been seen. Sadly, nothing can be done about my yearbook picture.”

Producer Ken Davenport adds: “It has been twenty years since Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men played Broadway, and I couldn’t think of a better time to bring it back.  For me, there has to be a reason to do a revival.  The piece has to resonate differently now than it did when it premiered.  A Few Good Men asks the difficult question of how far we’re willing to let our military go to protect our freedom.  That’s never been more relevant than today, especially for a play that deals with Guantanamo Bay.  Add to that the fact that Aaron wants to roll up his sleeves and get his pen dirty, and you’ve got the recipe for a thrilling revival.”

  • Why David Esbjornson?

Mr. Esbjornson has staged Much Ado About Nothing (starring Jimmy Smits, Kristen Johnston, and Sam Waterston) in Central Park and Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, both for the Public Theater. Other credits include the world premieres of Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on Broadway, Neil Simon’s Rose and Walsh at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles, Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues at the Guthrie, Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher’s Tuesdays With Morrie Off-Broadway, Suzan-Lori Parks’s In the Blood for the Public Theatre, and Part 1 of Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul for the Chelsea Center in London. Among his New York premieres are Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby, Israel Horowitz’s My Old Lady, and the Tony Award-nominated The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller at the Public Theater and on Broadway. Other world premieres include the first production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, and the first staged presentation of Perestroika, both at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. He will direct the American premiere of Moira Buffini’s World War II-set drama Gabriel for Atlantic Theater Company this spring. Currently, he is in rehearsal for the premiere of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, starring Tony Award nominee Kathleen Turner.

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Red Bull Theater To Present Rare Revival Of THE DUCHESS OF MALFI

Red Bull Theater Presents a Rare Revival

Of John Webster’s THE DUCHESS OF MALFI

Limited Engagement Begins February 23 at Theater at St. Clement’s

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director) will present John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Mr. Berger, for a limited engagement beginning February 23rd and continuing through March 14th, at Theater at St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues).

A great romance turns to horror as the Duchess of Malfi seeks true love in a world of forbidden passions.  A play for our time as much as its own, John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi examines sexual repression, honor, class, and the true value of the human spirit, in this explosive drama of Italian intrigue.  Red Bull Theater’s production is the first New York revival of this Jacobean masterpiece in over 50 years.

Jesse Berger directs a company that includes Heidi Armbruster (Drama League nomination for Tea & Sympaty), Jason C. Brown, Clark Carmichael (seen on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers directed by David Leveaux), Keith Hamilton Cobb, Matthew Greer (Broadway: Cabaret, The Real Thing, The Judas Kiss), Carol Halstead (Broadway – Gore Vidal’s The Best Man), Eric Hoffmann, Patrick Page (seen on Broadway in  A Man For All Seasons, The Lion King, Julius Caesar, and as The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Matthew Rauch (Prelude to a Kiss at Roundabout), Christina Rouner (Coram Boy on Broadwy), Gareth Saxe (The Homecoming on Broadway), and Haynes Thigpen.

The Duchess of Malfi will have set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jared B. Leese, lighting design by Jason Lyons, sound design by Nathan Leigh, puppetry & masks by Emily DeCola, hair & make-up design by Erin Kennedy Lunsford, choreography by Tracy Bersley and stage violence by J. David Brimmer, with original music by Scott Killian. Casting was by Stuart Howard.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as “the most exciting classical theater in New York” by Time Out New York, is the not-profit Off-Broadway theater company specializing in plays of heightened language, with a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  Red Bull embraces the imagination of theatergoers through intimate, evocative productions of great classic stories.

Red Bull Theater, acclaimed asa troupe that lovers of classic theater should put on the must-watch list,” by Charles Isherwood in The New York Times, has staged acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s seldom-seen Pericles, a bold new adaptation of The Revenger’s Tragedy, and a striking revival of Edward the SecondThe New York Times called Pericles “the stuff of dreams,” The Revenger’s Tragedy “Dynamite!” and Edward the Second “fired with excitement.”  All three productions enjoyed extended sold-out Off-Broadway runs.  Red Bull Theater has staged over 30 readings through its ongoing Obie Award-winning Revelation Readings, named by the Village Voice “Best Play Reading Series.” Red Bull Theater reaches out annually to middle school students in the Bronx through its Direct Address education program, teaching dramatic and literacy skills using the plays of Shakespeare. Red Bull Theater inaugurated a new play workshop called In The Raw, dedicated to developing new plays of heightened language and the classics of the future.

Performances of The Duchess of Malfi will be Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. Thursday & Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, Sundays at 3pm & 7pm (schedule varies – visit redbulltheater.com for complete calendar). Opening Night, Saturday February 27, 8pm, will be a benefit performance & reception with special guests Lee Blessing, Brian Murray, Roberta Maxwell, John Douglas Thompson, and others TBA.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.redbulltheater.com or by phone at 212/352-3101. Tickets are $60 Regular / $80 Premium Seating / $30 Age 30 & under (w/ID) / $30 Industry (w/ID) / $20 Student (w/ID)/ 20% discount for seniors (all discounts must be purchased at the Box Office with proper ID one hour before curtain time).

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TUSKEGEE AIRMEN TO SOAR OFF-BROADWAY

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN TO SOAR OFF-BROADWAY

IN BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE,

A NEW PLAY BY LAYON GRAY

Featuring Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?

Performances Begin January 29 at St. Luke’s Theatre With Opening Night Set for February 15th

Layon Gray’s historical drama Black Angels Over Tuskegee will make its Off-Broadway premiere at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (between Eighth & Ninth Ave.), beginning performances Friday, January 29th, with Opening Night set for February 15th.

Based on true events, six men explore their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood as they become the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Forces.  Black Angels Over Tuskegee goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them.

Writer and director Layon Gray continues to make his mark in traditional African-American theatre with Black Angels Over Tuskegee. His natural flow for dialogue has been compared to August Wilson’s work by many critics and audiences on both the east and west coast.  Featured in the cast of Black Angels Over Tuskegee are film star Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, Demetrius Gross, Thom Scott II, Antonio Charity, Layon Gray, David Wendell Boykins, Derek Shaun, Jay Jones, and Rich Skidmore.

In addition to being an official selection of the 2009 National Black Theater Festival, the play recently won a 2009 NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and a 2009 Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play.  Black Angels Over Tuskegee was presented at the 2009 National Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Las Vegas for over 30 chapters.  Original Tuskegee Airmen Ted Lumpkin, President of the Los Angeles Chapter, said, “I love this play.  It’s real and it reminded me of my times at Tuskegee. [It’s] a great show.”

Black Angels Over Tuskegee is being produced Off-Broadway by The Black Gents, Edmund Gaynes, and The Layon Gray Experience.

Performances will be Monday, Friday and Saturday evening at 8 PM, and Sundays at 5 PM.  Tickets will be $31.50 and $56.50 and are available through Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

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ZERO HOUR Will Move to The DR2 Theatre for An Open-Ended Run



ZERO HOUR,

The Hit New Play Written by and Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel,

Directed by Piper Laurie,

Moves to The DR2 Theatre for An Open-Ended Run

Performances Set to Begin One Day Earlier – February 23rd

Gala Re-Opening Night Set for March 7th

 

ZERO HOUR, Jim Brochu’s acclaimed play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel, will begin an open-ended Off-Broadway run at the DR2 Theatre (103 East 15th Street) beginning February 23rd, one day earlier than originally planned, with opening night set for March 7th.


“In this solo bioplay directed by Hollywood veteran Piper Laurie, writer and performer Brochu is freakishly convincing as the blustery, brilliant Mostel. It’s more than just the ridiculous comb-over, the bug eyes and the Tevye beard. Brochu seems to have captured the soul of the bombastic clown who could wring laughs out of an audience with a bit of mime or a booming punch line…a funny tribute to a funny man.” – NY1

“Singularly captivating. Zero Hour is a success. Brochu is the spitting image of the bearish Mostel, down to the strands of hair barely covering his head. His wildly expressive gestures are particularly spot on. It brings Mostel back to life, just the way his fans want him.” – The New York Times

“Very funny. Brochu’s living restoration has brought Mostel’s larger-than-life personality back into the spotlight for a laugh-filled, much-welcomed presentation. – Associated Press

“It all flows and provides plenty of big laughs as well as hushed drama. After a while, you stop caring whether a particular line is Brochu’s or Mostel’s; all you know is that you’ve been privy to the work of a great comedian.” – The New Yorker

****(FOUR STARS/Critic’s Pick) “We owe Jim Brochu a debt of gratitude for Zero Hour, an extraordinary act of reincarnation that restores the outsize actor to us in all of his daunting dimensions. From the moment that Brochu spins around to face the audience, he is a Hirschfeld drawing come to pulsing life. You can’t help being swept up in the tornado of energy as Brochu’s star turn conjures forth a Zero larger than life and death.” – Time Out New York

“The rumors of Zero Mostel’s death have apparently been greatly exaggerated. Jim Brochu recalls his subject so uncannily in looks, voice and anarchic spirit that one immediately wants to see him in revivals of Forum and Fiddler. Thirty-two years after Mostel’s untimely death, it’s a pleasure to have him back on the boards.” – New York Post


Three-time Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie directs the production. Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, ZERO HOUR is set at Mostel’s West 28th Street painting studio where a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore.  It is July 1977 and the actor is giving his final interview before leaving for the pre-Broadway tryout of The Merchant in Philadelphia.  Mostel only played one performance as Shylock before his sudden death at the age of 62. ZERO HOUR traces Mostel’s early days growing up on the Lower East Side as the son of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, through his rise as a stand-up comedian, from the Borscht Belt to Manhattan’s most exclusive supper clubs, and from the devastation of the blacklist to his greatest Broadway triumphs, most notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and working through his love-hate relationship with Jerome Robbins.

The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15 Street (just east of Union Square). Performances will be Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday matinees at 2 PM, Thursday & Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 PM  & 8 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3 PM. Tickets for all performances are $59.50 and $35.50 (including a 50-cent facility fee) and are available through Telecharge.com 212-239-6200. For more information, visit www.ZeroHourShow.com

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Mint Theater Featured in NY TIMES

December 2, 2009

Waiting 80 Years, Diva Takes a Bow

By ALISON LEIGH COWAN

 

Dramatists have long understood the visceral appeal, and box office draw, of stories about powerful people behaving badly.

As the lead in “So Help Me God!,” a long-forgotten 80-year-old play that opens on Monday at the Lucille Lortel Theater, Kristen Johnston tries not to disappoint. She plays Lily Darnley, a towering figure of the Broadway stage, who chews out her director, shoos her supporting actors into the rain so she can make a private phone call, refuses to read lines that she deems unworthy and bullies her playwright into changing her character from a professor’s wife into a British aristocrat who has her own butler — all because she can.

“I’m going to be a lady, goddamn it, or the whole show can go straight to hell,” she practically growls at the cast.

Producers are banking on the star appeal and comedic talents of Ms. Johnston, a regular on the hit television show “Third Rock From the Sun,” and Anna Chlumsky, the film actress who plays Ms. Darnley’s ambitious understudy, to help sell the play, written in 1929.

But the two Teacup Yorkies who take turns appearing onstage as Ms. Darnley’s prize pooch, Frou-Frou, are named Velma and Roxie — cast in a nod to the actual playwright, Maurine Dallas Watkins, who, roughly three years earlier, had written the much better-known “Chicago.” That 1926 play went on to become a Broadway musical in the 1970s, the current long-running revival and an Oscar-winning movie, built around the fictional foibles of two publicity-hungry murderesses, characters Ms. Watkins named Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart.

“So Help Me God!” faced a far lonelier path to the New York stage. It was originally scheduled to open on Broadway in October 1929. Its backers withdrew the play for revisions and never regrouped once the stock market crashed. Eighty years passed before the play got a second chance through the collaboration of two theatrical veterans. One was Murray Weiss, a businessman who sifted through Ms. Watkins’s papers looking for forgotten gems.

“I figured anyone who wrote the dialogue for ‘Chicago’ must have written other things of note,” said Mr. Weiss, installed last year as the president of Literal Media, a New York company that manages literary rights for authors and their successors.

The other was Jonathan Bank, artistic director of the Mint Theater Company, whom Mr. Weiss sought out because of the Mint’s expertise in reviving lost, neglected and forgotten plays. “This is as forgotten as it comes,” Mr. Bank said of “So Help Me God!” “We’re talking about a play that was never produced successfully and never published. It was just put into a drawer.”

According to Ms. Watkins’s relatives and heirs, the play was one of many scripts, short stories and papers they inherited after her death in 1969, none of which enjoyed the cachet of “Chicago.”

The only child of a Protestant minister, Ms. Watkins grew up in Crawfordsville, Ind., and attended several colleges before landing at Radcliffe, where she pursued, but did not complete, a doctoral degree in the classics.

She made a brief living as a crime reporter for The Chicago Tribune, in which her colorful coverage of two local women accused of murdering loved ones turned the women into media darlings, and both won acquittals. That experience is thought to have shaped the play that Ms. Watkins then turned in as a student of the theater professor George Pierce Baker, a founder of the Yale School of Drama. Her submission earned his highest praise and his help in taking the play to Broadway as “Chicago.”

Now it was Ms. Watkins’s turn in the spotlight. Magazine profiles contrasted the play’s lurid content and cynicism with her staid upbringing, marked by her refusal to type mild curse words into her scripts, her avoidance of alcohol and cigarettes, and her disciplined work habits.

She followed “Chicago” with a play called “Revelry,” which had a brief run on Broadway. Adapted from a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams, it was an irreverent, thinly veiled take on Warren Harding’s administration that raised hackles among some who considered the material unpatriotic. “So Help Me God!” had tryout performances in the fall of 1929 on what was called the subway circuit in Brooklyn and Queens. There it was fine-tuned in anticipation of the Broadway opening that never was.

The play is full of knowing wisecracks about the Broadway stage and its high-strung denizens. Consider, for instance, the stage manager’s comment during one brouhaha that he never takes sides till he knows who’s won. “Saves me a lot trouble,” he explains.

It also contains elements of Ms. Watkins’s improbable odyssey from the Midwest to New York. In pitting Lily Darnley, the globe-trotting sophisticate, against that character’s wide-eyed, Cincinnati-born understudy, Ms. Watkins appears to be projecting aspects of the person she became and the person she had been.

“So Help Me God!” may also have been something of a farewell to Broadway, according to Mr. Bank, who directs the current production. Notations made on old scripts of the play show Ms. Watkins’s address as the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. Mr. Bank theorizes that by the time the show was in tryouts, its creator may already have arranged her affairs to embark on a moderately successful screenwriting career that would occupy her for another decade or so.

Once the Hollywood experience wound down, Ms. Watkins essentially retreated from public life. She spent her last years in Jacksonville, Fla., wearing a veil to conceal a disfiguring disease, her relatives said.

Of the half-dozen finds that Mr. Weiss shared with Mr. Bank, they both agreed that “So Help Me God!” had the most potential because of its themes: society’s obsession with celebrities, the gulf between their public images and private selves, and New York as the ultimate battleground for those seeking fame and fortune.

In addition, Mr. Bank said, he thought Ms. Watkins had “created a character we love to hate”: the diva who is impossible but not mistaken in thinking that her public will continue to follow her every move, no matter how outrageous.

There was a lot that Mr. Weiss and Mr. Bank acknowledge they did not know and are still learning about the play they rescued. For instance, they realized only belatedly that its title had been changed to “An Old Fashioned Girl” in September 1929, which they learned when Peter L. Brown, one of Ms. Watkins’s heirs, attended a preliminary reading of the play in June and brought them marked-up scripts from his own cache.

In adapting the work for modern tastes, Mr. Bank said, he trimmed heavily but never altered the writer’s words. Laugh lines about Mussolini and Calvin Coolidge stayed put. Mr. Bank also left in a reference to George Jean Nathan, a leading drama critic of the early 20th century. Mr. Bank said the name would probably sail over the heads of most theatergoers, but he figured critics might enjoy hearing that one of their own also had some staying power.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

 

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Just in Time for the Holidays!


SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM:The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold”


Created By and Starring Maripat Donovan,
Is Coming to NYC 

Entertainment Events Productions will present the long-awaited Off-Broadway premiere of SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM by the creator of the long-running smash hit Late Nite Catechism and starring everyone’s favorite “Sister” Maripat Donovan.  Performances begin Saturday November 28th at The Downstairs Theatre at Sofia’s (227 West 46th Street, next to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre).  Opening Night is December 3rd.

This is the comedy sensation that has been playing to sellout holiday crowds all over the country since 2005.  Written by Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris, the limited Off-Broadway engagement of SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM is set to run through January 3rd.
 
It’s “CSI Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza
 as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold?  Retelling the story of the nativity, as only Sister can, she poses the burning question, “We know what happened to the myrrh and the frankincense – Mary used them as a sort of potpourri. They were in a barn after all. But who was the culprit who made off with the gold coins and left Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus in that lousy stable without any chance to upgrade to a suite?”  Employing her own scientific tools, assisted by a local choir as well as audience members, Sister creates a living nativity unlike any seen before.  With gifts galore and bundles of laughs, SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM is sure to become a must-see holiday tradition.
 
Maripat Donovan was born in Chicago, attended Catholic grammar school and high school on the South Side of Chicago, and Loyola University on the city’s North Side. After working in both her high school and college theater departments, often building and designing sets, she developed her own construction company and renovated houses for a number of years.  In 1985, she returned to theater as an understudy in 
Portrait of a Shiksa, a role for which she earned a Jeff Citation for Best Supporting Actress. She earned another Jeff Citation for her work in the ensemble of The Good Times Are Killing Me.  In 1993, Maripat created Late Nite Catechism. She also originated the role of Sister in Late Nite Catechism, subsequently starring in the show in London, Dublin, Toronto, and major cities throughout the United States.
 
Performances of 
SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM will be Tuesdays at 7:30 PM, Wednesday at 2pm and 8 pm, Thursday at 8 PM, Saturday at 5 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3 PM. Tickets will be $55 and may be purchased online at www.entertainmentevents.com or by phone at 212/947-9300.
  

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ZERO HOUR TO HOST “SURVIVORS OF THE BLACKLIST: A PANEL DISCUSSION”

ZERO HOUR 

TO HOST FREE SPECIAL EVENT:

SURVIVORS OF THE BLACKLIST: A PANEL DISCUSSION”

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24th AT THEATRE AT ST. CLEMENT’S

Congressman Jerrold Nadler to Introduce a Panel that Includes Lee Grant, Jules Feiffer, Victor Navasky, Christopher Trumbo, Joe Gilford, Jean Rouverol, and Cliff Carpenter; Robert Osborne (TCM Host) to Moderate

 

ZERO HOURJim Brochu’s award-winning play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel, will host “Survivors of the Blacklist: A Panel Discussion” on Tuesday evening, November 24th at 7 p.m. at Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street).  This very special event is free to the public (reservations strongly suggested).

Following a sneak peek of Zero Hour, performed by Jim Brochu, film historian and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne will moderate a discussion of the notorious Blacklist among a group of distinguished guests, many of whom were actually blacklisted in the 1950s. Scheduled to appear on the panel are Lee Grant (actor, director), Jules Feiffer (playwright, cartoonist), Victor Navasky (former editor of The Nation, author of Naming Names), Christopher Trumbo (playwright, son of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo), Joe Gilford (playwright, son of Madeline Lee and Jack Gilford), Jean Rouverol (actor, author), and Cliff Carpenter (actor).

The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, US Congressman and senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, will introduce the panel. This historic gathering of those targeted by the blacklist, either directly or by relation, will address many of the issues taken up in Zero Hour, such as who was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and why. The discussion will also focus on the numerous parallels between the communist “witch hunts” of the 1950’s and today’s “war on terror.”


ZERO HOUR will make its Off-Broadway premiere at Theatre at St. Clement’s beginning Saturday, November 14th.  Produced by Kurt Peterson and Edmund Gaynes in association with The Peccadillo Theater Company, the show will have its Opening Night on Sunday, November 22nd.  The limited engagement is set to run through January 31st. Three-time Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie directs ZERO HOUR, which was originally produced in Los Angeles, where it received the Ovation Award for Best New Play.


Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, ZERO HOUR is set at Mostel’s West 28th Street painting studio where a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore.  It is July 1977 and the actor is giving his final interview before leaving for the pre-Broadway tryout of The Merchant in Philadelphia.  Mostel only played one performance as Shylock before his sudden death at the age of 62.


ZERO HOUR traces Mostel’s early days growing up on the Lower East Side as the son of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, through his rise as a stand-up comedian, from the Borscht Belt to Manhattan’s most exclusive supper clubs, and from the devastation of the blacklist to his greatest Broadway triumphs, most notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and working through his love-hate relationship with Jerome Robbins.  For more information about Zero Hour, visit www.zerohourshow.com


For reservations to Survivors of the Blacklist: A Panel Discussion, please call 212/633-6533 or e-mail: thepeccadillo@aol.com

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ZERO HOUR, Written by and Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, Directed by Piper Laurie,To Have Its Off-Broadway Premiere

Zero Hour 5

ZERO HOUR,

Written by and Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel,

Directed by Piper Laurie,

To Have Its Off-Broadway Premiere

To Have Its Off-Broadway Premiere At The Theatre at St. Clement’s

Performances Begin November 14th With Opening Night Set For November 22nd

 

ZERO HOUR, Jim Brochu’s award-winning play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel will make its Off-Broadway premiere at Theatre at Saint Clement’s (423 West 46th Street) beginning Saturday. November 14th.  Produced by Kurt Peterson and Edmund Gaynes in association with The Peccadillo Theater Company, the show will have its Opening Night on Sunday, November 22nd at 7 p.m.  The limited engagement of ZERO HOUR will continue through January 31st.

Three-time Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie directs the production which has played enormously successful engagements in Washington DC, San Francisco, Houston, and a 16-week sold-out run in South Florida which garnered Brochu the 2009 Carbonell Award as Best Actor in a Play.  ZERO HOUR, originally produced in Los Angeles, received the LA Stage Ovation Award for Best New Play.

Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, ZERO HOUR is set at Mostel’s West 28th Street painting studio where a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore.  It is July 1977 and the actor is giving his final interview before leaving for the pre-Broadway tryout of The Merchant in Philadelphia.  Mostel only played one performance as Shylock before his sudden death at the age of 62.

ZERO HOUR traces Mostel’s early days growing up on the Lower East Side as the son of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, through his rise as a stand-up comedian, from the Borscht Belt to Manhattan’s most exclusive supper clubs, and from the devastation of the blacklist to his greatest Broadway triumphs, most notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and working through his love-hate relationship with Jerome Robbins.

Brochu has said, “Zero had a great influence on my life and I was fortunate to get to know him when I was first starting out.  His life was filled with great laughter, great drama and great life lessons for all of us. Few people in show business had more obstacles to overcome than Zero Mostel.  He was disowned by his own parents, by his profession and even by his own country.”

With partner, composer Steve Schalchlin, Jim Brochu penned the award-winning Off-Broadway musicals The Last Session and The Big Voice: God or Merman?  In addition to his theatrical work, Brochu’s acting credits also include appearances on “All My Children,” “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Cheers,” “Wings,” and “Bram and Alice.”

Piper Laurie has appeared on stage in Mornings at Seven (Lincoln Center Theatre), as Laura in The Glass Menagerie with Maureen Stapleton; Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me; Molly Kazan’s Rosemary and the Alligators; William Luce’s one-person play, The Last Flapper about as Zelda Fitzgerald; Twelfth Night, Macbeth and The Cherry Orchard, among many others. She received Oscar nominations for The Hustler opposite Paul Newman as well as the fanatical mother in Carrie, and Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God. She was nominated for an Emmy for the original live TV broadcast of Days of Wine & Roses, directed by John Frankenheimer and won the Emmy for “Promise” and the Golden Globe for her work on  “Twin Peaks.”  She has starred in over 60 films, including Tim opposite Mel Gibson and Truman Capote’s The Grass Harp. Piper wrote and directed her first film, Property and recently filmed Hesher with Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Zero Mostel was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in Ulysses in Nighttown and won Tonys for his performances in Fiddler on the Roof, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Rhinoceros.  His film credits include The Front, Rhinoceros, The Hot Rock, The Great Bank Robbery, The Producers, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Performances of ZERO HOUR will be Monday at 7 pm, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Theatre at Saint Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street (between Ninth & Tenth Ave.)  Tickets are $35 and $55 and are available through Telecharge.com 212-239-6200. For more information, visit www.ZeroHourShow.com.

 

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Kristen Johnston & Anna Chlumsky Star in SO HELP ME GOD!

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chlumsky

 

Drama Desk Award-Winning Mint Theater

Presents

So Help Me God!

by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Directed by Martin Platt

At the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Featuring Kristen Johnston & Anna Chlumsky

 

Mint Theater Company will present its second offering of the season, So Help Me God! by Maurine Dallas Watkins, (the author of Chicago, the play upon which the musical is based), at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street), beginning November 18th, with opening night set for December 3rd.  Kristen Johnston, two-time Emmy Award winner for her performance in “3rd Rock from the Sun,” will perform the role of Lily, a fabulous dramatic diva who must fend off a challenge from her ambitious but naïve understudy, played by Anna Chlumsky (My Girl films).  Watkins’s play was written 20 years before All About Eve.

Martin Platt directs a cast that includes, in addition to Ms. Johnston and Ms. Chlumsky, Brad Bellamy, Catherine Curtin, Amy Fitts, Jeremy Lawrence, Ned Noyes, Kevin O’Donnell, John G. Preston, Allen Lewis Rickman, Kraig Swartz, Peter Van Wagner, Matthew Waterson, Margot White, and John Windsor-Cunningham. Scenic design will be by Bill Clarke, with costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Robert Wierzel, and sound design by Jane Shaw.

This past June, the Mint presented a one-night reading of So Help Me God! starring two-time Emmy Award-winner Kristen Johnston, which demonstrated that this lost work deserved a full production.  Ms. Johnston will reprise her role as Lily Darnley, “the star to whom all wagons are hitched,” as the author describes her.

For this one production Mint will venture out of the W. 43rd St. space that has been its home for more than 15 years, to the Lucille Lortel Theater in the Village, which has a larger stage and twice the seating capacity.  Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank says, “With its rich history and wonderful theatrical atmosphere the Lucille Lortel Theater is the perfect setting for this play about a classic (not classy) Broadway diva.” 

Maurine Dallas Watkins (1896-1969) remains a mysterious figure.  She was a successful journalist, a Broadway playwright, and the screenwriter of Oscar-nominated films, but much of her story is unknown.  There is no critical biography of her life, no definitive collection of her work.  Part of this neglect is Watkins’ own doing.  She avoided publicity. Watkins faded into obscurity in the 1940s.  In her later years, She developed a disfiguring facial cancer and by 1968 was reclusive, leaving her apartment only when heavily veiled. She became a born-again Christian and left her fortune of over $2.3 million to found contests and chairs in classical and biblical Greek at a number of universities. Watkins died a recluse in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969.

Early in her career, when promoting her plays, Watkins did give interviews, but they were perfunctory, not revelatory. In them, she recalled her origins in details as angelically vague as the fake past cooked up for Chicago’s murderous heroine, Roxie Hart. In Watkins’ play, tough-talking Roxie gains sympathy by posing as a poor, convent-educated orphan girl.  Similarly, Watkins, a ruthless crime reporter and writer of shocking plays, was portrayed as a bewildered innocent who accidentally wound up famous.  Watkins stressed her strict upbringing as a minster’s daughter in genteel Louisville, Kentucky.  She dressed modestly, refused to bob her hair, never drank, and never swore.

To all outward appearances, she was the antithesis of the hard-boiled heroines she created.  One reporter observed, “To see Miss Watkins, whose beauty is fresh and sweet as a primrose, one wonders how she ever accumulated the mass of profanity less loose in her play.”  (In fact, Watkins did not provide the profanity in Chicago—or in So Help Me God! Her original manuscript is peppered with “blankety-blanks” which were filled in by the director.)

Watkins aspired to be a playwright since her early 20’s, when she moved to Chicago in hopes of writing plays for celebrated touring actor, Leo Dietrichstein.  When Dietrichstein and his wife went on tour to Europe, she was out of a job prospect.  She applied to work at the Tribune, and wound up covering murders. Her big break came covering the Leopold and Loeb murder case.  She was first reporter granted an interview with the accused, and the only reporter to cover the funeral of the murder victim, Bobby Franks.

After eight months covering murders, Watkins wanted a change of scene. She moved to New York as a drama/motion picture critic.  She also enrolled in George Pierce Baker’s prestigious 47 Workshop at Yale University. Baker’s workshop trained playwrights who would transform the landscape of twentieth century American drama.  Alumni included Eugene O’Neill, Elmer Rice, and George Abbott (who would later director Watkins’ Chicago on Broadway).

For her first year assignment at the workshop, Watkins began writing a play about the murder trials she had covered.  She called it Play Ball, but the title was later changed to Chicago.  Baker gave it a grade of 98%—the highest ever given at the workshop up to that time—and produced it at New Haven’s Shubert Theater.  Its gritty, profanity-laden seriocomic expose of American justice stirred a succes de scandale, and the play transferred to Broadway in 1926.

In early 1929, she wrote a backstage comedy, So Help Me God! which was promptly optioned for production.  At some point in rehearsals, the title was changed to An Old-Fashioned Girl.  It was headed for Broadway in late October 1929, starring Helen MacKellar as Lily Darnley and Sylvia Sydney as Kerry.  Prior to Broadway, it played the “Subway Circuit” in Brooklyn and Queens, then a popular option for “out-of-town” try-outs. An Old-Fashioned Girl played out its week-long Brooklyn run, closing on October 14.  It then moved on to Jackson Heights, and it was slated to open on Broadway on October 28.

Mysteriously, on October 16, a notice appeared in The New York Times that the comedy was being “withdrawn for revision on Saturday night.”  Days later, on October 24, the stock market crash began, escalating to the “Black Tuesday” disaster of October 29.  The Great Depression had begun, and any Broadway hopes for An Old-Fashioned Girl were dashed. Watkins never made the intended revisions.  She was already working as a screenwriter, and after the stock market crash she wrote almost exclusively for films.

In the 1930s and ‘40s, Watkins wrote at least 19 Hollywood screenplays including Libeled Lady (nominated for Best Picture in 1936), Up The River (directed by John Ford and starring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their debuts), No Man Of Her Own (starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard), Professional Sweetheart, and Roxie Hart (her own film adaptation of Chicago) starring Ginger Rogers.

Kristen Johnston has appeared on and off-Broadway in The Women, Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Skin of Our Teeth. Anna Chlumsky’s NY stage credits include Unconditional (LAByrinth Theater Company), and The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (DR2), among others. Her films include In The Loop, Blood Car, My Girl 1 & 2, as well as the upcoming My Sweet Misery and Eavesdrop.

Mint Theater Company, “that truffle hound of half-buried treasures from the past” (Village Voice), has a celebrated reputation for re-discovering worthy but neglected gems and has brought new vitality to timeless but timely plays since 1992. The Mint was awarded an Obie for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition.”  Mint was awarded a special Drama Desk Award for “Unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.”  

The Lucille Lortel Theater is located at 121 Christopher Street. Performances for So Help Me God! will be Tuesday through Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $55. To purchase tickets, visit TicketCentral.com or call 212/279-4200.

 

Visit www.minttheater.org         

 

 

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GIRLS NIGHT Extended!

Girls Night: The Musical

EXTENDS AGAIN! NOW TO OCTOBER 4th!

NEW BATCH OF TICKETS NOW ON SALE

 

So ladies, get on a train, bus and if you drive, make sure you have a designated driver to see the hit show Girls Night The Musical!”  

– Stewart Lewis, WCBS 880

 

“Well if you’re a female and are looking to have an irreverent good time, this off the wall show, about five gals waiting to celebrate the engagement of one of their daughters, is loads of fun. The night I went every seat was taken – mostly by women by the way – and everyone was having a fantastic time dancing, swaying and drinking (yes there’s a bar in the back which gets a lot of traffic) to the performers singing to all the music you ever loved including “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “I Am What I Am,” “It’s Raining Men” and “We Are Family.” The cast is super and everyone I talked to, including two or three men who ventured in, had the time of their lives. Girls Night is great fun.” 

– David Richardson, WOR Radio

 

Entertainment Event Productions today announced that the Off-Broadway premiere of the smash UK hit GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL, written by Louise Roche and directed by Jack Randle, will continue through October 4th. Performances began June 2nd, and was scheduled for a limited engagement runs through July 26th at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre at Sofia’s (227 West 46th Street, next to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre).

Girls Night: The Musical has earned rave reviews playing packed houses throughout the United Kingdom since 2003.  It premiered in the US in May 2007 and has toured across the country since then. It has been described as “’Desperate Housewives’ meets Mamma Mia!” (Applause Magazine), “a boisterous, bust-out, bawdy musical revue” (Wisconsin State Journal),  “An infectious, exhilarating sense of intoxication!” (Hollywood Reporter) and “As funny and outrageous as ‘Sex and the City’!” (The Advocate).

Hilarious and touching, Girls Night: The Musical follows five friends in their 30s and 40s during a wild and outrageous girls night out at a karaoke bar. Friends since their teens, they have all had their fair share of heartache and tragedy, joy and success. Among the characters are Carol the party girl, blunt Anita who tells it like it is, Liza with her marital (and eating) issues, boring Kate the designated driver, and Sharon, the not-so-angelic angel who just couldn’t resist tagging along.  Together, they reminisce about their younger days, celebrate their current lives and look to the future, all the while belting out an array of classic anthems such as “I Will Survive,” “Lady Marmalade,” “It’s Raining Men,” “Man I Feel Like a Woman,” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

The Off-Broadway premiere marks the latest chapter in Girls Night’s meteoric rise from an idea in a Milton Keynes’ mom’s kitchen, through a community production, medium scale tour and culminating in 2006 in an extensive National Tour starring Lucy Speed (“EastEnders”) and Gwyneth Strong (“Only Fools and Horses”). The story behind Girls Night is an inspiration to any writer still waiting for their big break.  One night, four years ago, Louise Roche, a mother of three children under five, went out with a group of friends to see a musical.  She looked around the theatre, saw that the audience was mostly women and thought “I could do this…I could write a show that lots of women will enjoy watching.” So she did.  She went home and wrote her first play, Girls Night, a musical comedy about a group of friends who relive the past on a wild night out at a karaoke club! She put it on with some of her friends at the local community theatre.  Five old friends from school did the acting. She got a woman that she met at her daughter’s playgroup to design the posters and the set.  Her mom did the costumes and she dressed the auditorium up like a nightclub herself.  It sold out its entire run and gained legendary status in the area.  One audience member claimed that it made her laugh so hard that her Tampax fell out! Bolstered by this success, she hired the much bigger Milton Keynes Theatre to mount a spectacular performance of Girls Night.  Not one to do things by halves, our heroic housewife put her money where her mouth was and ploughed her life savings of £10,000.00 into the show.  Every one of the fourteen hundred seats in the building sold and she made back just over £10,000.00. Since then, Girls Night has gone from success to success.

Performances are Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Friday evenings at 8PM, Saturday at 5 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM.  Tickets for all performances will be $55 and may be purchased online at www.girlsnightthemusical.com or by phone at 212/947-9300.

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NYMF 2009

 

 

The New York Musical Theatre Festival  Announces Complete Schedule For 2009 Festival

 

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) today announced the complete schedule for the 2009 Festival, which will begin September 28th and continue through October 18th. A full breakdown of this year’s performances and venues follows.

Since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has premiered more than 175 new musicals  – many of which have gone on to award-winning productions on and off-Broadway, in nearly every state, and in over a dozen countries.  NYMF alumni include the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal, currently playing at the Booth Theater on Broadway; NYMF 2004 hit [title of show], which enjoyed a Tony Award-nominated run last season; and Altar Boyz, now in its fifth year Off-Broadway at New World Stages.  

Hailed as “the Sundance of Musical Theatre,” the three-week annual festival works to revitalize one of America’s greatest art forms by discovering, supporting and promoting new musical theater artists, producers, and projects, and by introducing a diverse audience to the vibrancy of contemporary musical theater.  Widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery, NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.  

NYMF 2009 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by Back Stage, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Broadway.TV, Clear Channel Spectacolor, DFD-TV, Frank & Camille’s Fine Pianos, HX Magazine, King Displays, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, NASDAQ OMX, New World Stages , Next Magazine, Queerty.com, Reuters, Sweet Caroline’s, Tekserve, TheMENEvent, The Tank, and Times Square Squared.  Major supporters include ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jaimie Mayer, The Charlie & Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League.  NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Tickets to individual festival events are on sale to NYMF Members now and to the general public on September 1.  NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org.

 

A complete list of the 2009 Festival follows…


 

Full Productions

Academy

Book, Music and Lyrics by John Mercurio

Conceived and Developed by Andrew Kato

At St. Edward’s Academy, two seniors make a harmless bet on whether they can influence an unsuspecting freshman to break a few rules to succeed. But when the transaction goes recklessly out of control, the boys become entangled in a fight for their own academic and personal survival.  Inspired by Goethe’s Faust, Academy is a pop chamber musical about boys learning to become men—and remaining true to themselves.

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 6, 8pm; Oct. 7, 1pm; Oct. 10, 8pm; Oct. 13, 8pm; Oct. 15, 4:30pm; Oct. 17, 4:30pm

 

 

All Fall Down

Book by Greg Turner; Music and Lyrics by Selda Sahin

Golden boy Ben Little is embarking on his next great adventure: college. Everything comes crashing down, however, when he inexplicably jumps from the window of his sixth story dorm room. Astonishingly surviving the fall, Ben returns home—where nobody will talk about what happened or ask questions that might tear apart their picture-perfect world.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 9, 8pm; Oct. 10, 1pm; Oct. 14, 4:30pm; Oct. 15, 8pm; Oct. 17, 1pm; Oct. 18, 4:30pm

 

Anjou: A Tale of Horror

Book, Music and Lyrics by Guillermo Mendez and Lupita Sandoval

Catalina d’Medici, queen of France, engages in bloody crimes and inexpressible cruelties against her own people in her quest to enthrone her son, Henry d’Anjou. Politics and passion are interwoven throughout one of history’s most sordid events in this electrifying and magnificent musical tale of horror. Sixteenth-century France comes to life in a modern-day Mexican Pop Opera!

Performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

Presented by the TJMTC Mexican Youth Theatre Company. For more info about TJMTC, please visit http://www.tjmtc.org

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 8, 8pm; Oct. 9, 1pm; Oct. 11, 8pm; Oct. 12, 1pm

 

Cross That River

Music, Lyrics and Story by Allan Harris; Book by Andrew Carl Wilk 

The unsettled West of the 1860’s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave, who escapes to Texas to become one of America’s first Black Cowboys. This compelling tale of freedom blends old-fashioned storytelling with an infectious score that ranges from country and bluegrass to soul, blues and rock gospel in a sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous chronicle of hardship and enduring perseverance.

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 12, 8pm; Oct. 13, 1pm; Oct. 14, 4:30pm; Oct. 16, 8pm; Oct. 17, 1pm; Oct. 18, 4:30pm

 

The Cure

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Mark Weiser 

In this rock and roll fable, two friends set out for a night of revelry and stumble across the world’s last surviving vampires. Offered the chance to live forever, one man is seduced while the other barely escapes with his life, setting in motion an even greater fight for survival.  At the crossroads of humanity and immortality, lies…The Cure.

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Sept. 29, 8pm; Oct. 2, 10:30pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 6, 8pm; Oct. 10, 9pm; Oct. 11, 1pm

 

 

 

Fantasy Football: The Musical?

Book, Music and Lyrics by David Ingber

September 1991, New York City. An unemployed stats geek and a small-time bookie realize that their passion for sports is keeping them from maintaining a job or a girlfriend. Combining forces, they set out to create the ultimate sports fan experience—and, in the process, pull their lives together—in this “bromantic comedy” of a musical.

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 1, 8pm; Oct. 2, 1pm; Oct. 3, 5pm; Oct. 4, 4:30pm; Oct. 4, 8pm; Oct. 8, 8pm

 

Fat Camp

Book by Randy Blair and Timothy Michael Drucker; Music by Matthew roi Berger; Lyrics by Randy Blair 

Nothing is going to make rock-and-roll rebel Robert Grisetti stay at fat camp this summer. That is, except for one ex-Navy Seal father, two suspiciously cheery camp counselors, and a 12-foot barbed wire fence. Visit Camp Overton, a weight loss retreat for hefty teenagers, as secrets, sex, S’mores, and self-image collide in this new musical comedy exploring the trials and tribulations of being “the fat kid.”

Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 2, 9pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 4, 1pm; Oct. 7, 9pm; Oct. 8, 5pm

 

F#@KING UP EVERYTHING

Book by Sam Forman and David Eric Davis; Music and Lyrics by David Eric Davis

Can Christian Mohammed Schwartzelberg stay true to himself and still get the girl? Or will he lose her to the guy in leather pants? Set against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s indie music scene with a gallery of hipsters, stoners, artists, cougars, songwriters and puppeteers, F#@KING UP EVERYTHING is a rock musical comedy with heart. And ironic t-shirts.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 6, 8pm; Oct. 7, 1pm; Oct. 11, 4:30pm; Oct. 11, 8pm; Oct. 13, 4:30pm; Oct. 16, 8pm

 

Gay Bride of Frankenstein

Book by Dane E. Leeman and Billy Butler; Music and Lyrics by Billy Butler 

A graphic novel comes alive on stage when Edna, Chloe, Harry and Thad stumble in to a night of rock music that can raise the dead! Will the girl get the girl? Never has there been a Halloween love story like this with mystery, magic and a cartoon caper that will scare you silly.

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Sept. 28, 8pm; Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 3, 8pm; Oct. 4, 1pm; Oct. 8, 1pm; Oct. 11, 4:30pm

 

The Happy Embalmer

Book, Music and Lyrics by Mark Noonan and Nick Oddy

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, count to three… Now picture a no-holds-barred steel cage match between Mel Brooks, Bruce Lee, Monty Python & Axl Rose.Wait…What? Edward Nando is a lonely embalmer. Emily is his lost love (unfortunately, she’s dead). But Ed has a special purpose… Enter a pistol-shootin’ Texan madman, a groovy Russian scientist, and one bad-ass Dalai Lama. Oh, yes – all hell is about to break loose.

Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 6, 8pm; Oct. 7, 5pm; Oct. 8, 9pm; Oct. 9, 1pm; Oct. 10, 5pm; Oct. 10, 9pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane

Book by Michael Holland and Eric Bernat; Music and Lyrics by Michael Holland

Napatree, Rhode Island, 1938: As the tourist season comes to a close, a young meteorologist’s unconventional prediction of impending disaster goes unheeded by his superiors, resulting in one of New England’s greatest natural catastrophes. With a vibrant score by award-winning songwriter Michael Holland which incorporates elements of Depression-era pop, folk opera, and contemporary song, this epic musical portrait captures an all-but-forgotten moment in American history, one that ultimately emerges as a testament to hope, endurance, rebirth, and survival.

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Sept. 28, 8pm; Oct. 1, 9pm; Oct. 3, 5pm; Oct. 3, 9pm; Oct. 6, 5pm; Oct. 10, 9pm

 

Judas and Me

Book and Lyrics by Chad Beguelin; Music by Matthew Sklar 

It’s tough keeping up with the Joneses when your neighbor’s kid is the Messiah. Consumed by jealousy, Rheba Iscariot pushes her son Judas to be better than Jesus… and we all know how well that turns out. A new musical comedy by the Tony-nominated writing team of Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, Judas and Me is a hilarious look at life with the ultimate biblical stage mom.

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Sept. 28, 8pm; Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 2, 7pm; Oct. 4, 5pm; Oct. 4, 9pm; Oct. 9, 7pm

 

The Last Smoker in America 

Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell; Music by Peter Melnick

In a world where smoking has recently been outlawed, Pam is having an impossible time trying to quit. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he’s convinced he’s black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 12, 8pm; Oct. 13, 1pm; Oct. 14, 8pm; Oct. 16, 4:30pm; Oct. 17, 8pm; Oct. 18, 1pm

 

Lighter 

Book, Music and Lyrics by Monica Bauer

What would YOU sacrifice to get a killer body? Two diet-crossed lovers, Connie and Stevie, break up when Connie is humiliated searching for a wedding dress.  Leaving her chubby would-be-hubby, she becomes a national singing weight-loss sensation on satanic Doctor Dan’s show, American Weight Loss Idol. With the help of his nutty friends, can Stevie save Connie before she becomes the ultimate Skinny Bitch?  A love story with a plus-size heart.

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 5, 8pm; Oct. 7, 4:30pm; Oct. 11, 1pm; Oct. 14, 8pm; Oct. 16, 4:30pm; Oct. 17, 8pm

 

Lorenzo

Book by Judd Woldin and Richard Engquist; Music by Judd Woldin; Lyrics by Richard Engquist

Lorenzo DaPonte, libertine and librettist, was driven out of Venice by furious husbands, fled Vienna to escape a furious emperor, and snuck out of London to avoid furious creditors. His spirited rise to fame and subsequent freefall from grace is the stuff of operatic legend. An epic tale befitting Mozart’s most famous collaborator and the true love that saved him in the end.

Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 5, 8pm; Oct. 7, 1pm; Oct. 9, 5pm; Oct. 9, 9pm; Oct. 10, 1pm; Oct. 11, 1pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrying Meg

Book, Music and Lyrics by Mark Robertson

Based on the play The Lass wi the Muckle Mou by Alexander Reid

It’s 1603 and renowned minstrel Thomas the Rhymer has set out to write his masterpiece—a heroic ballad of mortal derring-do. But when he is cursed by the Queen of Elfland with a tongue (and a quill) that cannot lie, and confronted with a world that refuses to play by storybook rules, Thomas’s heroic masterpiece seems determined to remain unwritten in this rollicking Scottish musical comedy.

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Sept. 29, 8pm; Oct. 1, 5pm; Oct. 2, 9pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 4, 4pm; Oct. 6, 9pm

 

Max Understood

Book by Nancy Carlin; Music by Michael Rasbury; Lyrics by Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury

After Max escapes the apartment that he shares with his loving but overwhelmed parents, his world will never be the same again. This innovative “sound-scaped” musical is the transformative odyssey of a 7-year old autistic boy, exploring how the need to communicate can bridge an unintelligible chasm. Paving the way is a leaf-blowing philosopher, a string theorist, Pegasus, a mermaid, and all the presidents of the United States.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Sept. 28, 8pm; Oct. 1, 1pm; Oct. 3, 4:30pm; Oct. 3, 8pm; Oct. 4, 1pm; Oct. 7, 8pm

 

Mo Faya

Book and Music by Eric Wainaina

Additional music by Joshua Mwai, Morris Otis Omollo and Helen Akoth Mtawali 

DJ Lwanda’s voice rings out daily on local radio, leading and inspiring the Nairobi community of Kwa Maji. But Anna Mali, an avaricious real estate diva, craves the land beneath their slum. She seduces the fiery young DJ away with a job at a top nationwide station, and organizes a violent campaign to terrorize the people of Kwa Maji. When the government and media turn a blind eye to the decapitated bodies in the streets, DJ Lwanda must return home to expose the truth. But at what cost?

Performed in English with Swahili

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Sept. 29, 8pm; Sept. 30, 4:30pm; Oct. 2, 8pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 7, 8pm; Oct. 11, 8pm

 

My Illustrious Wasteland

Book, Music and Lyrics by Tod Kimbro

Based on a concept by Jason Bowles

Movie stars are sainted, anti-depressants are mandatory, and a tiny computer resides in every good citizen’s brain. Equal parts sci-fi epic, social satire, and high-energy rock show, My Illustrious Wasteland is an exhilarating ride through a wildly imagined future America. Watch as virtual lovers Mogs and Sunny encounter ghoulish tabloid reporters, pushy pop-up windows, terrorist hippies, drug-pushing clergy, and a ruthless Hollywood bad-boy President who presides over his perpetually distracted public.

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Oct. 1, 8pm; Oct. 3, 5pm; Oct. 3, 9pm; Oct. 4, 1pm; Oct. 7, 8pm; Oct. 10, 5pm

 

My Scary Girl

Book and Lyrics by Kyoung-Ae Kang; Music by Will Aronson

Dae-woo’s been saving his first kiss for someone like Mi-Na but is she as perfect as she seems? Things get weird for a naïve professor when he realizes his new girlfriend may be a seductive serial killer. Based on the hit Korean film and featuring the cast of the award-winning Seoul production, this darkly unpredictable romantic comedy knows that love and trust should go hand in hand… even when there’s a severed limb hiding in the kimchi fridge.

Performed in Korean with English supertitles

My Scary Girl is an official selection of the NYMF-DIMF International Production Exchange. For more information about DIMF, please visit http://www.dimf.or.kr/english

Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 1, 8pm; Oct. 2, 1pm; Oct. 3, 5pm; Oct. 3, 9pm; Oct. 4, 5pm; Oct. 4, 9pm

 

Open the Dark Door

Book, Music and Lyrics by David Lefort Nugent 

When the local executioner’s son, Skip, falls in love with the rebellious Luna, he and the other upstanding residents of Mortland, USA are shattered by a crisis of faith. Dangerous family secrets and festive beheadings are the norm in this haunting and darkly comic indie-rock musical examining a town crippled by fear and troubled by its past.

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Oct. 8, 8pm; Oct. 10, 1pm; Oct. 12, 5pm; Oct. 12, 9pm; Oct. 15, 8pm; Oct. 17, 9pm

 

Plagued

Book and Lyrics by Vynnie Meli; Music by Casey L. Filiaci

Cinderella’s daughter Dusty just wants to study science and cure the Plague with the help of Scoop, a flirtatious chronicler, but her grandmother the Queen wants to marry her off to a rich old prince instead. Odds are against Dusty and Scoop, while Cinderella and Prince Charming fight the odds to stay in love. Will a fairy godmother come out of retirement to show them the way out of the Dark Ages?

TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 9, 8pm; Oct. 10, 1pm; Oct. 13, 4:30pm; Oct. 14, 1pm; Oct. 15, 8pm; Oct. 18, 1pm

 

Rainbow Around the Sun

Music and lyrics by Matthew Alvin Brown; Book and additional lyrics by Tom Stuart

Local rock hero Zachary Blasto struggles with personal demons as he relives both painful and joyous memories during a radio retrospective of his career. Based on the album and film of the same name, prog-rock concert meets musical theatre in this fast-paced dissection of broken hearts, life through a liquor bottle, and rebirth through loss.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 5, 8pm; Oct. 7, 4:30pm; Oct. 10, 8pm; Oct. 11, 1pm; Oct. 13, 8pm; Oct. 17, 4:30pm

 

Seeing Stars

Book by Shelley McPherson; Music by Don Breithaupt; Lyrics by Jeff Breithaupt

Eddie “Bare Knuckles” McSorley and “Gentleman” Joe Sullivan are two rival boxers in love with Jean, a feisty reporter, in this tough and tender original musical set in Hell’s Kitchen in the ’30s. A black-and-blue romance with a bruising climax and a colorful cast of pugs, thugs, and dames, Seeing Stars explores the world of “boys being boys” and the women who love them.

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 7, 8pm; Oct. 10, 5pm; Oct. 11, 4pm; Oct. 13, 9pm; Oct. 16, 9pm; Oct. 17, 1pm

 

Street Lights

Book by Joe Drymala and Akin Salawu; Music and Lyrics by Joe Drymala

Monique is going to be the next Alicia Keys. Her brother is on track to be bigger than Thurgood Marshall. But none of this matters when their world is filled with violence, apathy, and broken promises. Can they keep faith when there’s no reason for hope? From writer/composer Joe Drymala and director Ryan J. Davis, the creators of the Broadway-bound 2006 NYMF hit White Noise, comes Street Lights, mixing pop, R&B and hip-hop to crank up the volume on the voice of a new generation saying yes, we can.

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Oct. 13, 8pm; Oct. 14, 8pm; Oct. 16, 7pm; Oct. 17, 1pm; Oct. 17, 5pm; Oct. 18, 1pm

 

The Toymaker

Book, Music and Lyrics by Bryan Putnam

When Sarah’s marriage falls apart after two failed pregnancies, stories of a childless toy maker of the past propel her on a desperate search that spans the globe and time itself. In this tale of enduring passion and hope, Sarah’s quest to find a missing toy and solve the mysteries of a village destroyed by war lead her to a destiny of fulfillment she once thought impossible.

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 5, 8pm; Oct. 6, 1pm; Oct. 12, 9pm; Oct. 13, 1pm; Oct. 17, 9pm; Oct. 18, 4pm

 

Under Fire

Book and Lyrics by Barry Harman; Music by Grant Sturiale

Set in the late 1970s during the bloody revolution in El Mirador, a Central American country lies

under the heel of the ruthless dictator Tacho. Russell Price, a young American photojournalist, is swept up in the maelstrom and embarks on a search for the mysterious rebel leader Rafael—whom no one has ever photographed. As Price makes his way into the heart of darkness, he encounters people working on both sides of the struggle, all with different and shadowy agendas…

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 1, 1pm; Oct. 4, 8pm; Oct. 9, 9pm; Oct. 10, 1pm; Oct. 12, 5pm

 

Whatever Man

Book, Music and Lyrics by Benjamin Strouse

Charlie Weiss, an un-lovable loser, is stuck in his miserable life. But everything changes after Anna, his strong-willed girlfriend, forces him into a self-help group where Charlie encounters disturbed superheroes desperate to stick him with their troubles. When their petty squabbles escalate, will Charlie choose to save the world, his relationship or himself? Whatever Man. 

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Sept. 29, 8pm; Sept. 30, 1pm; Oct. 2, 7:30pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 4, 8pm; Oct. 8, 1pm

 

 

DANCE SERIES

 

Andy Warhol Was Right

Concept by Melinda Atwood, Sammy Buck, Dan Acquisto, Daryl Gray, and Shea Sullivan

Book by Sammy Buck; Music by Dan Acquisto

Directed by Giovanna Sardelli; Choregraphed by Daryl Gray, Darren Lee, and Shea Sullivan

Fame. Some want it. Some get it. And some reject it. Andy Warhol predicted it: everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes. Andy welcomes you into his world of pop art, dance, music, film and fleeting celebrity, as three different stories come together at a party that travels from The Factory scene of the 60’s to today’s world of reality TV and YouTube.

A Born at NYMF Commission

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (248 West 60th Street, between Amsterdam & 11th Avenues)

Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 1, 1pm; Oct. 2, 3pm; Oct. 3, 1pm; Oct. 3, 8pm

 

Encore

Concept by Daniel Gwirtzman; Music by Various Artists

Directed and Choreographed by Daniel Gwirtzman

A troupe of Broadway dancers prepares to go on the road under the pressure of a fastidious and demanding choreographer.  During their final rehearsal, the cast goes through the paces of one show-stopping number after another – set to classic jazz recordings – working through the uncertainty, headaches and hilarity of the intense process of making art, and raising the age-old question: will the show come together?

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (248 West 60th Street, between Amsterdam & 11th Avenues)

Oct. 1, 8pm; Oct. 2, 8pm; Oct. 3, 4:30pm


 

Special Events, Concerts & Readings

 

Count To Ten

Book by Michael Blevins; Lyrics by Michael Blevins and Beth Clary;

Music by Michael Blevins, Scott Knipe, Bruce Sacks and David Wollenberger

A tap-dancing writer’s Broadway ambitions are thwarted because his new musical lacks a real love story. Forced to develop the show at a performing arts camp full of spoiled, rich, and (in some cases) neglected stars of tomorrow, he finds he can no longer dance around his issues and learns to open up his heart. A cross-generational, all-dancing, upbeat musical everyone can “tap” into!

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 15, 8pm; Oct. 16, 1pm; Oct. 17, 5pm

 

Deep Cover

Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael Wolk

There’s love, laughter, rock ‘n’ roll and murder on Bleecker Street! Rex Ryan is a has-been rocker with a struggling bar and a volatile romance with Broadway and cabaret veteran Melody Reinhart. One night, a young, talented singer walks in, igniting long dead hopes and passions. But with her comes a hustler who sees Rex as his ticket to the big time. For the scheme to succeed, though, Rex must die…

Sweet Caroline’s (322 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct 12, 8:30pm; Oct 15, 8:30pm; Oct 16, 8:30pm; Oct 17, 2pm; Oct 17 6pm

 

The Greenwood Tree

Music and concept by Will Reynolds; Text by Shakespeare

Sparks fly when a brilliant young poet falls victim to Puck’s notorious flower and enters a love triangle with his songwriting best friend and a beautiful woman named Sylvia. With the passion and poetry of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a soaring, acoustic score, bask under The Greenwood Tree and savor a modern love story laced with classical seduction.

A NYMF Concert Presentation

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Sept. 30, 8pm; Oct. 2, 4:30pm

 

Letters To Daddy, Jr. 

Book by Jill Jaysen; Music and Lyrics by Mark Shepard; Conceived and Developed by 4e Productions 

Mr. Turner, an English teacher at Lincoln Elementary, has given his students an assignment to write letters about something unfair in their lives. When his 10-year-old daughter, Caroline gets into a fight with Billy the bully, she receives the ultimate “unfair” treatment – she’s grounded! Sent to her father’s study as punishment, she discovers the folder of letters. As they come to life in this whimsical musical, everyone grows and learns to get along, transforming an awful day into an awesome one!

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (248 West 60th Street, between Amsterdam & 11th Avenues)

Oct. 4, 1pm; Oct. 4, 4pm

 

Liberty

Book and Lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein; Music by Jonathan Goldstein

A beautiful, French immigrant arrives in New York Harbor. There’s something different about her, something larger than life.  It’s the age of optimism, but there’s a recession going on, and immigration is a hot-button issue. Can the arrival of Liberty really solve anything? There are powerful political forces working against her, and a precious few who see her potential. Can Liberty’s friends keep her from being deported? Maybe even put her on a pedestal?  See for yourself. You’ll never look at Liberty the same way again.

A NYMF Concert Presentation

Acorn Theatre Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Sept. 29, 8pm

 

Live! Nude! Girl!

Book and Lyrics by Donna Kaz; Music by Wayne Barker

What if a 1950’s Midwestern housewife got so sick of making meatloaf every Tuesday night that she snapped and ran away to Las Vegas?  What if her mother could drink like Dean and her daughter could entertain like Sammy? And what if this housewife went from the silent and submissive bottom to the tough, impulsive and calculated top of the heap?  Live! Nude! Girl! tells the story of a once-in-a-lifetime chance to break out of a rut into something original and cool.

A NYMF Developmental Series Reading Presentation

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 15, 1pm; Oct. 15, 4:30pm

 

 

Moisty the Snowman Saves Christmas

Book and Lyrics by Bradford Scobie, Music by Bradford Scobie and Christian Dyas

This kiddy show for adults is the naughty little fairy tale of how one filthy and flamboyant New York snowman saves Christmas.  Join Moisty and all his friends – a homeboy elf, a lesbian rag-doll, and the Baby Jesus – as they struggle to save Christmas from the witchy and glamorous Mayor Bloomburger-Meisterburger.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 8, 8pm; Oct. 9, 11pm; Oct. 10, 11pm

 

Nightingale and the Satin Woman

Book by William Kotzwinkle and Elizabeth Gundy; Music and Lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Based on the book Herr Nightingale and the Satin Woman
Pursued by Scotland Yard, the WWI hero-turned-smuggler Nightingale and his alluring companion, The Satin Woman, hunt for an elusive Golden Caterpillar which brings its possessor untold wealth. But they are not the only ones seeking it – so are the master criminals Gospodinoff and Chang! From London to Cairo, Istanbul to India, China to Buenos Aires, intrigue, double-crosses, romance, and anthropomorphic creatures abound. This sensual and surreal tale features a score by the legendary Leiber and Stoller.

A NYMF Developmental Series Reading Presentation

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 2, 1pm; Oct. 2, 5pm

 

One Night Stand

By Quinn Beswick, Adam Cochran, Kobi Libii, Samantha Martin, Josh Margolin,

Jonah Platt, Mollie Taxe, and Andrew Resnick

A completely improvised hour-long musical! Using an audience-suggested title, everything is made up on the spot without ANY writing or planning, including the music, the lyrics, the singing melodies, the characters, the choreography, the plot, the dialogue and anything else you can think of. Fun for all ages!

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues) 

Oct. 9, 10:30pm; Oct. 11, 9pm

 

Punk Princess

Book and Lyrics by Yasmine Lever; Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald

When rebellious blue blood Clare can’t get accepted into the early ‘80s London post-punk music scene, she escapes to Manhattan with American hustler Andy. Together, they reinvent her past as a “Watford slumdog” and launch Clare into musical stardom. But as things spiral out of control, she risks losing everything when Andy finally threatens to expose the Punk Princess’s true roots.

A NYMF Developmental Series Reading Presentation

Theatre St. Clement’s (423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Oct. 14, 4pm; Oct. 14, 8pm

 

Rated RSO: The Music and Lyrics of Ryan Scott Oliver

Multi-award winning composer and lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver brings sexy schoolteachers, provocative rent-boys, obsessive homicidal teenagers, and fairy dust to rock out at NYMF! Directed by Travis Greisler, this concert features a ridiculous cast of talent from Broadway to L.A., singing their faces off to Ryan’s eclectic work. Ryan is the recipient of the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award and the 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant, a 2009 MAC nominee and the composer of Mrs. Sharp (recently featured at Playwrights Horizons, starring Jane Krakowski). Rated RSO sold out when it played Joe’s Pub in May so don’t miss it this time around!

American Theatre of Actors – Chernuchin Theatre (314 West 54th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues)

Oct. 5, 7pm; Oct. 5, 9:30pm

 

 

R.R.R.E.D: A Secret Musical
Book by Adam Jackman, Katie Thompson and Patrick Livingston;

Music and Lyrics by Katie Thompson 
In the Year 2005, the Oxford Hair Foundation predicted that due to the rampant intermixing of the population, the recessive gene which causes red hair would be extinct by the year 2100. Today, redheads have taken matters into their own hands. A world without redheads is no kind of world they are going to let happen, and if heads have to roll, well, they sure as hell won’t be red… heads.

45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct. 1, 8pm; Oct. 2, 1pm; Oct. 2, 11pm; Oct. 3, 11pm

 

 

Educational Series

Triple Threats: Writers Who Write Book, Music AND Lyrics

Moderator: Peter Filichia (TheaterMania, Newark Star-Ledger)

Guests: Michael John LaChiusa, Monica Bauer (Lighter, NYMF ’09),

Bryan Putnam (The Toymaker, NYMF ’09)

It’s tough enough to compose a perfect score, write profound lyrics or create a captivating book, but to do all three is the mark of true talent. Forget the actor/singer/dancer, without these triple threat writers, there would be no show! Join us as we talk with some of theater’s most prominent writers, who’ll let us in on the joys and struggles of the demanding yet rewarding job of composer, lyricist and librettist.

Barnes & Noble (1972 Broadway) 

Oct. 1, 5pm

 

Showtunes in Translation: The Global Appeal of Musicals

Moderator: Michael A. Kerker (Director of Musical Theatre, ASCAP)

Guests: Joe DiPietro, Mark Hollmann, Will Aronson and Kyoung-Ae Kang (My Scary Girl, NYMF ’09), and Eric Wainaina (Mo Faya, NYMF ’09)

It’s the 21st Century and it seems to be a small world after all. People on every continent are connected by the World Wide Web, cell phones, film, television, and…musical theatre? From Avenue Q in Sweden to Dreamgirls in Seoul, Broadway isn’t limited to Broadway anymore. Come learn about the differences and similarities between various productions around the globe, NYMF’s own international shows, and why people from all over the world share a universal love for the musical.

Barnes & Noble (1972 Broadway) 

Oct. 8, 5pm

 

Next to Normal: A Journey from NYMF to Broadway

Moderator: Isaac Robert Hurwitz (Executive Director & Producer, NYMF)

Guests: Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal)

The hit musical Next To Normal has taken Broadway by storm, but the road to success has not always been easy for creators Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. After numerous revisions and workshops, Next To Normal has evolved into the heart-wrenching story of a dysfunctional suburban family struggling in the face of psychological illness, love and loss. Join the Tony-award winning team in an exclusive interview discussing Next To Normal’s journey from a bold idea to a Broadway smash.

Barnes & Noble (1972 Broadway) 

Oct. 15, 5pm

 

NYMF @ NITE

In Therapy With Celine

Book by Evan Storey; Featuring the Music of Celine Dion
Join in the hilarity of a 50-minute therapy session of woe and heartache with a sex-starved head case (played by Christina Cataldo) belting hits such as “All By myself,” “I Drove All Night,” “The Power of Love,” “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and many, many more.
Sweet Caroline’s
(322 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct 13, 8:30pm

TICKETS: $15 plus a 1-drink minimum

 

 

Sing, But Don’t Tell

Words by Sam Carner; Music by Derek Gregor; Directed by Igor Goldin
Irreverent, soulful, and insightful, Sing, But Don’t Tell explores the many eccentricities of isolation and connection in the modern city. An evening of original songs by Carner and Gregor and directed by Igor Goldin (Unlock’d, NYMF 2007 – “Best In Fest,” Talkin’ Broadway “Best Original Theatrical Score” and “Best Musical”), Sing, But Don’t Tell combines glorious harmonies and musical comedy with elements of progressive rock to weave together the musical stories of five New Yorkers, as they struggle to break habits, get out of ruts, and shed their urban armor.
Sweet Caroline’s (
322 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct 18, 6pm

TICKETS: $15 plus a 1-drink minimum

 

 

ROOMS Album Launch Party

Straight from its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run at New World Stages, we bring you the ROOMS A Rock Romance album promo party. Enjoy live performances of songs from ROOMS and hear tracks from the forthcoming Time-Life cast album. ROOMS features music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman (Bright Lights Big City) and book by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon.  www.RoomsMusical.com

Sweet Caroline’s (322 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues

Oct 14, 8:30pm

TICKETS: $20

 

NYMF Sixth Anniversary Season Opening Night Celebration
As the lights come up on new musicals with the start of the festival, there is no better way to celebrate than with a party! Dance the night away with the NYMF family at our opening night bash and meet the casts and creative teams of this year’s shows!
Touch (240 West 52nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue)

Sept 28, 9pm

TICKETS: Free for NYMF Members and Patrons

NYMF Closing Night
Hoist a glass or three as we toast an unforgettable three weeks of new musicals at our free closing night party. The 2009 festival may be ending but the fun lives on as you mingle with new friends and old.

Sweet Caroline’s (322 W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct 18, 8:30pm

TICKETS: Free for NYMF Members and Patrons

 

 

Partner Events 

 

ARGENTINA passionate!

Created and Directed by Roi “Bubi” Escudero

Performed and Choreographed by Rubén Celiberti

ARGENTINA passionate! is an intrinsic, sensual and passionate musical spectacle embodied in a multimedia performance-art piece interpreting Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel and other Argentinean legends and featuring Andy Chmelko, Jennifer Loryn, and La Banda Argentina. It reflects the Argentine idiosyncrasy through its culture, music, dance and its zest of life. Through a series of tableaux and connected musical vignettes, the audience will discover and explore an Argentina beyond Tango.

ATA – Beckmann Theatre (314 West 54th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

Oct  5, 9:30pm; Oct 6, 9:30pm; Oct 7, 9:30pm

TICKETS: $15

 

 

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, the wildly popular weekly soiree, brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and glamour to the legendary Birdland in New York City.  Every Monday night showbiz superstars hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, creating an impromptu variety show with jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.  The buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair, and the audience is invited to participate in the musical fun.  It’s the party that would happen if somehow David Letterman and Ed Sullivan threw a hip house party around a nine-foot concert grand piano.  CBS-TV called it “Extreme Open Mic!”  For more information, go to www.CastPartyNYC.com.

Birdland (315 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) 

WHEN: September 28, October 5, and October 12 at 9:30pm

TICKETS: $10 cover plus a 1-drink minimum

 

 

Musicals on Television

As part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, The Paley Center for Media will screen a sampler of musicals written exclusively for television including The Bachelor (1956), starring Hal March, Jayne Mansfield, Julie Wilson, and Carol Haney, with music and lyrics by Steve Allen (plus additional songs by Ervin Drake); Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (1958), starring Tab Hunter, Dick Button, Carmen Mathews, and Peggy King, with music and lyrics by Hugh Martin; and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966), with an all-star cast including Jimmy Durante, Nanette Fabray, Jack Palance, Ricardo Montalban, Tom & Dick Smothers, and Agnes Moorehead, and music by Moose Charlap and lyrics by Elsie Simmons. In addition, the Paley Center will also screen the 1967 television adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, starring Robert Goulet, Pernell Roberts, and Patricia Neway.

SCHEDULE:

Saturday, October 10 at 1 p.m.         The Bachelor (“The Sunday Spectacular,” 1956)

Saturday, October 10 at 3 p.m.         Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates  (“Hallmark Hall of Fame,” 1958)

Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m.            Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966)

Sunday, October 11 at 3 p.m.            Carousel  (“Armstrong Circle Theatre,” 1967)

The Paley Center for Media (25 W. 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues)

TICKETS: Suggested donation: $10, $8 for seniors and students, $5 for children under 14

(212) 621-6600; http://www.paleycenter.org

 

 

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Cast announced for Summer Shorts 3

SS_logo_2

3rd Annual Festival Of New American Short Plays

To Feature Nancy Giles (“CBS Sunday Morning”), Neal Huff (Take Me Out), Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Margaret Colin and Victor Slezak (Jackie), Rosalyn Coleman (Seven Guitars, Radio Golf), Robert Dusold (Les Miserables), Leenya Rideout (Company), Mary Joy, Sherry Anderson (Chris Durang & Dawne), and more, In World Premieres from John Augustine, Nancy Giles, Bill Connington & Skip Kennon, Roger Hedden, Neil LaBute, Carole Real, Keith Reddin and William Inge

 

J.J. Kandel and John McCormack will present SUMMER SHORTS 3, their third annual festival of new American short plays, at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street).  Performances begin Friday July 24th, and continue through Thursday August 27th. Featured will be Nancy Giles (“CBS Sunday Morning”), Neal Huff (Take Me Out), Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Margaret Colin and Victor Slezak (Jackie), Rosalyn Coleman (Seven Guitars, Radio Golf), Robert Dusold (Les Miserables), Leenya Rideout (Company), Mary Joy, Sherry Anderson (Chris Durang & Dawne), and more, in eight World Premieres from some of New York’s finest established and emerging playwrights, including John Augustine (“Encore! Encore!” starring Nathan Lane), Nancy Giles (“CBS Sunday Morning”), Bill Connington (Zombie) & Skip Kennon (Herringbone, Time and Again), Roger Hedden (Bodies, Rest & Motion), Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty), Carole Real (ABC’s “Relativity” and “Port Charles”), Keith Reddin (Life and Limb, Rum and Coke) and the late William Inge (Come Back Little Sheba, Bus Stop, Picnic). 

Summer Shorts returns for another summer of new American one-acts featuring original plays by the country’s top playwrights. Representing some of today’s best writing, directing and acting talents, Summer Shorts celebrates theatre, summer and the short form. The festival’s two separate series offer a diverse range of voices, styles, and subject matter. Summer Shorts 3 offers eight world premiere one-act plays, in two separate evenings. The two series will run in rotating repertory (a detailed description and schedule follows below). Last year The New York Post declared “one-act shorts fit nicely in summer heat!”  

59E59 Theaters is the Drama Desk Award-winning state-of-the-art theater complex located on 59th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Manhattan. Owned and operated by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a not-for profit operating foundation, 59E59 Theaters has set an invigorating policy of bringing new, challenging and entertaining work to a new Off Broadway neighborhood.

Performances will be Tuesday at 7:15pm, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8:15pm, with matinees Saturdays at 2:15 and Sundays at 3:15. Tickets are $18 each (59E59 Members $12.60). Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office, by phone through Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at http://www.ticketcentral.com. Service fees apply to phone and web purchases. For more information, please visit www.59e59.org or www.summershortsfestival.com

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THE COLUMBINE PROJECT to Premiere Off-Broadway

 

David & Pamela Burrus,

In Association with Bree Pavey and Jessimeg Productions,

Will Present the Off-Broadway Premiere of

THE COLUMBINE PROJECT,

A New Play Written & Directed by Paul Anthony Storiale

Performances Begin July 27 at Actors Temple Theatre

 

 

THE COLUMBINE PROJECT, a new play written and directed by Paul Anthony Storiale, will begin performances July 27th at The Actors Temple Theatre, 339 West 47th Street (between Eighth & Ninth Avenues). Opening Night will be Sunday August 9th (at 7 PM).

Ten years ago on April 20, 1999, the world watched as two young men presumed to be outcasts walked into their high school and attempted to massacre hundreds of their peers. Although failing in their original mission to kill 250 students, the two teens left 12 students and a teacher fatally wounded and many others scarred for life.  THE COLUMBINE PROJECT examines exactly what went through the minds of several students, including the killers who at one time were just normal kids.  Pulled straight from journals, diaries and information shared personally with the writer by survivors of the incident, this true story provides insight into who these children were and who may have also had a hand in cultivating the rampage that resulted in bloodshed and destruction.

THE COLUMBINE PROJECT premiered in North Hollywood in April of this year.  After its initial sellout run, the production was extended twice and received unanimous favorable reviews.  Upon being invited to bring THE COLUMBINE PROJECT to New York City’s Actors Temple Theatre, the entire original cast committed to making the cross country trip to bring a very important story to a whole new audience.

Heading the cast of THE COLUMBINE PROJECT are Artie Ahr, Evan Enslow, Justin Mortelliti, Bradley Michael, and Rya Meyers.  Also featured in the cast are Stacy Allen, Will Barker, Alex Bica, Kelli Joan Bennett, Jesse Kove, Kelly McCracken, Derek Meeker, Bree Pavey, Karen Praxel, Morgan Roberts, Sara Swain, Stephanie Weyant, and Marquerite Wiseman.

Playwright/Director Paul Anthony Storiale has produced several shows in Los Angeles using the work of New York writers, such as Jeff Blumenkrantz’s Woman with Pocketbook, the West Coast premiere of Gila Sand and Paul Leschen’s Drama Desk Award nominated Twist in addition to several other New York originals, like The Ransom of Red Chief, The Musical, and The Life and Times of Joe Jefferson Benjamin Blow.  For Woman with Pocketbook, Paul’s production won an Artistic Director’s Achievement Award for Best Production along with several nominations for Twist, including Best Director of a Musical, and Best Production of a Musical. Paul’s sole creation One-Night Stands… The Sex Comedies, for which he won an ADA Award for Best Director of a Comedy, is now in its third continuous year. Currently Paul is co-creating A Big Gay Hollywood Wedding, an audience interactive comedy set to open at the end of August in Los Angeles.

The playing schedule for THE COLUMBINE PROJECT will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m.  (Special added performances Tuesday July 28th and August 11th at 8 PM; no performances on Wednesday July 29th or Monday August 10th) .Tickets, which will be $31.50 and $56.50 (including facility fee), are available at Telecharge.com or by calling 212/239-6200.

THE COLUMBINE PROJECT is being produced Off-Broadway by David & Pamela Burrus in association with Bree Pavey and Jessimeg Productions.

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Mint Announces First Plays of 2009-10 Season

Drama Desk Award-Winning Mint Theater

Announces Two Plays about Players:

Is Life Worth Living?

by Lennox Robinson, Directed by Jonathan Bank

Featuring Jordan Baker and Kevin Kilner 

 

So Help Me God!

by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Directed by Martin Platt

At the Lucille Lortel Theatre

Featuring Kristen Johnston

 

 

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-wining Mint Theater Company today announced that it its 2009 – ‘10 season will kick off with two plays celebrating the art and antics of the actor.  First up will be Lennox Robinson’s comedy, Is Life Worth Living? starring real-life couple Jordan Baker and Kevin Kilner as a pair of married actors heading up a troupe of traveling players in Ireland who bring their high-toned repertory of Russian and Scandinavian drama to the seaside resort town of Inish.  Is Life Worth Living? will play from August 19th thru Oct. 11th at the Mint’s usual home in the heart of the theater district, at 311 W. 43rd Street.  Following that, Mint will present two-time Emmy Award winner Kristen Johnston in a hilarious backstage farce by Maurine Dallas Watkins entitled So Help Me God! which will play downtown at the Lucille Lortel Theater on Christopher Street beginning November 18th.  Watkins wrote the play Chicago upon which the musical is based, as well as numerous films including Roxie Hart, Libeled Lady and Professional Sweetheart.

Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank will direct the rare revival of Lennox Robinson’s Is Life Worth Living? starring Jordan Baker and Kevin Kilner..  Performances will begin August 19th, with Opening Night set for September 14th. In addition to Ms Baker and Mr. Kilner, the cast includes Leah Curney, Bairbre Dowling, Brian Keane, John Keating, Laurie Kennedy, Jeremy Lawrence, Erin Moon, Grant Neale, Paul O’Brien, and Graham Outerbridge.

“Legit repertory troupe comes to a small village in Ireland and, after a week or so of Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg the town is off its nut.”  That’s how Variety described Lennox Robinson’s comedy when it played London in 1933 and that, in a nutshell, is the story of this gloriously goofy play that imagines the impact a steady diet of serious drama might have on the amiable residents of the seaside town of Inish. The fun begins when the town elders decide to improve the tone of the place.  Enter Hector de la Mare and his wife Constance Constantia of the De La Mare Repertory company—committed exclusively to “psychological and introspective drama: the great plays of Russia, an Ibsen or two, a little Strindberg; because,” as Hector puts it, “they may revolutionize some person’s soul.” Whether or not the souls of Inish require revolution is the question this comedy poses while delightfully exaggerating and celebrating the transformative power of the theater.  In choosing Is Life Worth Living? Mint pokes some fun at themselves.  One of the plays in the De La Mare repertory is Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness, which Mint produced in 2007.

“I suppose you would call it farce, “Robinson told The New York Times in 1933,” But I’d rather not call it that because—well, you know what people think you mean when you call a play farce.”  Is Life Worth Living? played on Broadway three times in the 1930’s—but has not been seen in New York since.  Brooks Atkinson writes, “You are permitted to respect the theme of Mr. Robinson’s play and to like every character who is in it.  If that is not pure comedy, what is?” 

Robinson was a key figure in the Irish theater for decades.  Critic and fellow playwright St. John Ervine described him as “easily the most skilful dramatist that the Irish theatre has produced.”  His comedy The Whiteheaded Boy was second only to Playboy of the Western World as the most performed play in Ireland through the 1960’s.  The author of more than 30 plays, his style defies categorization—during his prolific career, Robinson penned comedies, tragedies, radio plays, poetry, an historical novel, and short stories.

Is Life Worth Living? will have scenic design by Susan Zeeman Rogers, costume design by Martha Hally, lighting design by Jeff Nellis, and sound design by Jane Shaw.

Performances for Is Life Worth Living? will be Tuesday through Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $35 (Aug. 19th – 30th only), $45 (Sept. 1st – 20th only) and $55 (Sept. 22 –Oct. 11th).  All performances will take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit www.minttheater.org

 

Mint Theater Company will present its second offering of the season, So Help Me God! by Maurine Dallas Watkins at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street), beginning November 18th.  Kristen Johnston, two-time Emmy Award winner for her performance in “Third Rock from the Sun” will perform the role of Lily, a fabulous dramatic diva who must fend off a challenge from her ambitious but naïve understudy.  Watkins play was written 20 years before All About Eve.  So Help Me God! will be directed by Martin Platt

Maurine Dallas Watkins was a journalist with the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s, covering the crime beat — but her real aspiration was to write plays. She studied playwriting at Yale in George Pierce Baker’s famous 47 Workshop and wrote the play Chicago for a class assignment.  Originally titled The Brave Little Woman, Chicago made a great sensation on Broadway in 1927 under the direction of George Abbot. Watkins’ play was the basis for the wildly successful Broadway musical, now at the Ambassador Theatre.  Shortly after the success of Chicago, Watkins went to Hollywood where she became a successful screenwriter.  Her credits include Libeled Lady and Roxie Hart, based on her play, Chicago.

So Help Me God! circled New York in October of 1929 but did not land on Broadway, thanks in no small part to the Stock Market Crash.  The comedy tried out “out-of-town” on the “Subway Circuit” including Werba’s Flatbush Theater and the Boulevard Theater in Queens.

Kristen Johnston’s New York stage credits include The Women, Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Skin of Our Teeth.

Mint Theater Company, “that truffle hound of half-buried treasures from the past” (Village Voice), has a celebrated reputation for re-discovering worthy but neglected gems and has brought new vitality to timeless but timely plays since 1992. The Mint was awarded an Obie for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition.”  Mint was awarded a special Drama Desk Award for “Unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.”  

Advance tickets are available by calling the Mint box office at 212/315-0231 or go to www.minttheater.org. The Lucille Lortel Theater is located at 121 Christopher Street. 

 

 

 

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SUMMER SHORTS 3 Kicks off July 24th

 

3rd ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS

RUNNING JULY 24th THROUGH AUGUST 27th ONLY

AT 59E59 THEATERS

Featuring World Premieres from John Augustine, Nancy Giles, Bill Connington & Skip Kennon, Roger Hedden, Neil LaBute, Carole Real, Keith Reddin and William Inge

 

J.J. Kandel and John McCormack will present SUMMER SHORTS 3, their third annual festival of new American short plays, at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street).  Performances begin Friday July 24th, and continue through Thursday August 27th. Featured will be eight World Premieres from some of New York’s finest established and emerging playwrights, including John Augustine (“Encore! Encore!” starring Nathan Lane), Nancy Giles (“CBS Sunday Morning”), Bill Connington (Zombie) & Skip Kennon (Herringbone, Time and Again), Roger Hedden (Bodies, Rest & Motion), Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty), Carole Real (ABC’s “Relativity” and “Port Charles”), Keith Reddin (Life and Limb, Rum and Coke) and the late William Inge (Come Back Little Sheba, Bus Stop, Picnic). Maruti Evans will provide scenic and lighting design.

Summer Shorts returns for another summer of new American one-acts featuring original plays by the country’s top playwrights. Representing some of today’s best writing, directing and acting talents, Summer Shorts celebrates theatre, summer and the short form. The festival’s two separate series offer a diverse range of voices, styles, and subject matter. Summer Shorts 3 offers eight world premiere one-act plays, in two separate evenings. The two series will run in rotating repertory (a detailed description and schedule follows below). Last year The New York Post declared “one-act shorts fit nicely in summer heat!”  

59E59 Theaters is the Drama Desk Award-winning state-of-the-art theater complex located on 59th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Manhattan. Owned and operated by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a not-for profit operating foundation, 59E59 Theaters has set an invigorating policy of bringing new, challenging and entertaining work to a new Off Broadway neighborhood.

Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:15pm, with matinees Saturdays at 2:15 and Sundays at 3:15.  Tickets are $18 each (59E59 Members $12.60). Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office (Monday 12pm – 6pm, Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 9pm, Sunday 12pm – final curtain.), by phone through Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at http://www.ticketcentral.com. Service fees apply to phone and web purchases. For more information, please visit www.59e59.org or www.summershortsfestival.com  

 

SERIES A:

 

 

THINGS MY AFRO TAUGHT ME

Written and Performed by Nancy Giles

 

 A black girl, her hair, her adventures, and eventual escape from a Los Angeles acting cult.

 

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE

by John Augustine

Directed by Robert Saxner

 

 A woman copes with menopause, her birthday, and the death of her husband. Luckily, she has alcohol and candy to help her get through the day. Unluckily, she faces an unwanted visit from her sister-in-law.

 

 

A SECOND OF PLEASURE

by Neil LaBute 

Directed by Andrew McCarthy

 

A couple head off for a romantic weekend – or do they?

 

THE ETERNAL ANNIVERSARY

Book by Bill Connington

Music and Lyrics by Skip Kennon

Directed by TBA

 

A hotel chef in 1913 New York City makes the perfect meal for his anniversary dinner. Very much in love with his wife, he is haunted by the suspicion that she was unfaithful to him years ago. Finding a lost bottle of Grand Marnier to complete the meal, he discovers evidence of her innocence. They can finally rest assured in their “perfect love.”

 

 

 

 

Performance Schedule

 

Fri July 24 @ 8:15PM

Saturday July 25 @ 8:15PM

Sunday July 26 @ 3:15 PM

Tuesday July 28 @ 7:15PM

Wednesday July 29 @ 8:15PM

Thursday August 6 @ 8:15PM

Friday August 7 @ 8:15PM

Saturday August 8 @ 2:15PM

Tuesday August 11 @ 7:15PM

Wednesday August 12 @ 8:15PM

Saturday August 15 @ 8:15PM

Sunday August16 @ 3:15PM

Thursday August 20 @ 8:15PM

Friday August 21 @ 8:15PM

Saturday August 22 @ 2:15PM

Tuesday August 25 @ 7:15 PM

 

 

 


 

SERIES B:

 

 

 

DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD

By Carole Real

Directed by Ian Belknap

 

Irascible and compulsively honest, Josh tells his girlfriend Laura about a conversation he had with his guy friends. Big Mistake.

 

THE SIN EATER

By Keith Reddin

Directed by Billy Hopkins

 

El is 14 and her father has been murdered. She’s plotting revenge and nothing is going to stop her. Not the police, not the court appointed psychiatrist, and definitely not her mother. Because her mother was the one who killed El’s father.

 

IF I HAD

By Roger Hedden

Directed by Billy Hopkins

 

Landscape maintenance, class struggle, and a bikini-clad girl collide in a country with potable water.

 

THE KILLING 

By William Inge

Directed by José Angel Santana

 

Desperation leads one man to ask for the ultimate favor from a stranger.

 

 

 

 

 

Performance Schedule

 

Friday July 31 at 8:15 PM

Saturday August 1 at 8:15 PM

Sunday August 2 at 3:15 PM

Tuesday August 4 at 7:15 PM

Wednesday August 5 at 8:15 PM

Saturday August 8 at 8:15 PM

Sunday August 9 at 3:15 PM

Thursday August 13 at 8:15 PM

Friday August 14 at 8:15 PM

Saturday August 15 at 2:15 PM

Tuesday August 18 at 7:15 PM

Wednesday August 19 at 8:15 PM

Saturday August 22 at 8:15 PM

Sunday August 23 at 3:15 PM

Wednesday August 26th at 8:15 PM

Thursday August 27th at 8:15 PM

 

 

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COMING OFF-BWAY THIS FALL:

COMING OFF-BROADWAY THIS FALL: 

THE DEEP THROAT SEX SCANDALA NEW PLAY BY DAVID BERTOLINO, DIRECTED BY JERRY DOUGLAS 

PERFORMANCES BEGIN  SEPTEMBER 14TH AT THE HA! THEATER

 

 

When Harry Met Linda, LLC today announced that The Deep Throat Sex Scandal, a new play by David Bertolino, directed by Jerry Douglas, will have its Off-Broadway premiere at the newly renovated HA! Theater (163 West 46th Street, just east of Broadway). Performances will begin September 14th. Full cast to be announced shortly as well.

Finally the true story will be revealed: In 1972, a hairdresser from the Bronx made a little movie that grossed over $600 Million (possibly the most profitable film of all time) and ignited the sexual revolution. The Deep Throat Sex Scandal takes you behind the scenes, into the secret world of adult filmmaking and introduces you to the legendary Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems.  Follow the bizarre journey from the creation of the movie, through the raids, arrests and the banning of the film, to the political fallout of the ensuing courtroom drama, which launched the career of Allen Dershowitz.

Born and raised in the Boston area, DAVID BERTOLINO became intrigued with theater having operated Boston Costume for over 25 years, a landmark theatrical super store catering to theater in Boston.  He created his first theatrical venture, SPOOKYWORLD, a Halloween theme park that ran for 14 years and showcased the talent of over 200 actors each evening.  Guest stars included Linda Blair, Elvira, Alice Cooper, Robert Englund, Willard Scott, Bill Mahar, and Jerry Springer, among others; David also produced the comeback career of Tiny Tim, presenting Tiny’s wedding live on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” from SPOOKYWORLDand hosting an episode of MTV’s “The Real World.”  Many a career was launched for dozens of special effects directors and technicians as well.  Spookyworld sold over a million tickets under Berolino’s reign, during which time, he also partnered with the New England Patriots Football Team.  The Deep Throat Sex Scandal is Bertolino’s first foray into New York theater. 

JERRY DOUGLAS, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, attended Drake University and did his graduate work at the Yale School of Drama. Among the Broadway and Off-Broadway plays he has written and/or directed are Rondelay, Spofford (by Herman Shumlin, produced by Zev Bufman), Circle in the Water, Score (where he discovered Sylvester Stallone, getting him his Equity card), Tubstrip, and Max’s Millions. He also wrote the screenplay for Radley Metzger’s film version of Score. In the early 1970s he directed two films, The Back Row and Both Ways, then began to focus on a career as a free-lance journalist for such publications as The Advocate and Manshots..  Among his more recent films are More of a Man, Kiss-Off, Honorable Discharge, Flesh & Blood, Dream Team, and BuckleRoos.  

Sharon Carr will serve as Associate Producer.

Performances will begin September 14th. Tickets will go on sale at a later date. For more information, visit www.deepthroattheplay.com.

 

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NBS Tenth Anniversary

 

nbs logo 

NAKED BOYS SINGING!

THE LONG RUNNING INTERNATIONAL SENSATION

NOW AT NEW WORLD STAGES

CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY

AND LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE!

“The three greatest words in the English language – Naked Boys Singing!” – Kelly Ripa, “Live With Regis & Kelly”

NAKED BOYS SINGING!, the fifteen-song celebration of the male form will hit yet another milestone: it will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Saturday July 25th.  The Naked Boys are appearing on New World Stages Stage 4, graciously shared with the other (clothed) Boyz of New World Stages: Altar Boyz!  New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues.  Naked Boys plays Fridays at 10:30pm and Saturday evenings at 6pm.

To further mark the occasion, the producers of the show recently launched a new website!  Check it out at http://www.NakedBoysSinging.com

Still drawing both equally gay and straight crowds, NAKED BOYS has become a New York mainstay, while the London production, which recently opened to critical acclaim, announced it will soon transfer to the West End. Other productions are currently running in Las Vegas and Provincetown, and more will open within the next year, including a production in Lisbon, and another in Berlin.

Naked Boys Singing! is produced by Jamie Cesa, Carl D. White, Hugh Hayes, and Tom Smedes.  It is directed and was conceived by Robert Schrock, and choreographed by Jeffry Denman. Schrock and a team of 12 writers — Stephen Bates, Marie Cain, Perry Hart, Shelly Markham, Jim Morgan, David Pevsner, Rayme Sciaroni, Mark Savage, Ben Schaechter, Trance Thompson, Mark Winkler and two-time Emmy Award winning Bruce Vilanch — have written a bouncy (pun intended) and fabulous musical revue that reminds us that clothes alone do not make the man. The show opened Off-Broadway at The Actors’ Playhouse in July 1999. The film version was released in 2008 by TLA Releasing and remains one of their top sellers on DVD.

Ticket prices are $69.50, which includes $1.50 facility fee.  Tickets for Naked Boys Singing! are available through Telecharge.com at 212-239-6200 or at the New World  Stages Box Office. For Group Sales, call 212-302-4848, ext 18.  The show runs at a lean, hard 70 minutes, without an intermission.

 NBS 2

 

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So Help Me God!

SO HELP ME GOD!

A GALA READING TO BENEFIT MINT THEATER COMPANYOF THE PLAY BY MAUREEN DALLAS WATKINS (“CHICAGO”)AND FEATURING KRISTIN JOHNSTON

MONDAY JUNE 8TH AT THE LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE

 

Mint Theater Company will present a reading of the backstage farce, So Help Me God! by Maurine Dallas Watkins on Monday, June 8th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).  Kristen Johnston, three-time Emmy Award winner for her performance in “Third Rock from the Sun” will read the leading role of Lily, a fabulous dramatic diva who must fend off a challenge from her ambitious but naïve understudy.  Watkins play was written nearly 20 years before Mary Orr wrote her story about Eve Harrington — the basis for the famous film, All About Eve.

So Help Me God! will be directed by Martin Platt.  In addition to Ms. Johnston, the cast will also include Sheffield Chastain, Catherine Curtin, Roderick Hill,  Jeremy Lawrence,  Mark Pinter, Allen Lewis Rickman, and  Jeff Steitzer. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Maurine Dallas Watkins was a journalist with the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s, covering the crime beat — but her real aspiration was to write plays. She studied playwriting at Yale in George Pierce Baker’s famous 47 Workshop and wrote the play Chicago for a class assignment.  Originally titled The Brave Little Woman, Chicago made a great sensation on Broadway in 1927 under the direction of George Abbot. Watkins’ play was the basis for the wildly successful Broadway musical, now at the Ambassador Theatre.  Shortly after the success of Chicago, Watkins went to Hollywood where she became a successful screenwriter.  Her credits include Libeled Lady and Roxie Hart, based on her play, Chicago.

So Help Me God! circled New York in October of 1929 but did not land on Broadway, thanks in no small part to the Stock Market Crash.  The comedy tried out “out-of-town” on the “Subway Circuit” including Werba’s Flatbush Theater and the Boulevard Theater in Queens.

Kristen Johnston has recently been tapped to star in the Fox series “Absolutely Fabulous.”  Johnston’s New York stage credits include The Women, Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Skin of Our Teeth.

Mint Theater Company, “that truffle hound of half-buried treasures from the past” (Village Voice) has a celebrated reputation for re-discovering worthy but neglected gems and has brought new vitality to timeless but timely plays since 1992.  In 2001, the Mint was awarded an Obie for “combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition.”  Mint was awarded a special Drama Desk Award for “Unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit.”

A limited number of tickets from $40 to $250 are available by calling the Mint box office at 212/315-0231 or go to www.minttheater.org. The Lucille Lortel Theater is located at 121 Christopher Street.  The reading begins at 7:30 PM.

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York Theatre announces 2009-’10 shows

THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY

ANNOUNCES TWO OF ITS SHOWS FOR 2009-‘10:

 

Blind Lemon Blues Set for Fall Opening

and Yank! The New Musical to Debut in Spring 2010

 

The YORK THEATRE COMPANY (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director) is proud to announce two upcoming mainstage productions.  Blind Lemon Blues—based upon more than 60 Blind Lemon Jefferson songs will return to the York Mainstage in Fall 2009.  Performances begin September 8th.  Spring 2010 will see the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical Yank!.  Performances begin in February 2010.  All performances will be at the company’s home at The Theatre at Saint Peter’s (54th Street just east of Lexington Avenue). For more information, visit www.yorktheatre.org or call 212/935-5820.

The York Theatre Company was recently nominated for five 2009 Drama Desk Awards, four 2009 Lucille Lortel Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, and two Drama League Awards for its productions of Enter Laughing, The Musical and My Vaudeville Man! last season.  The York is the only theater in New York City—and one of very few in the world—dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals, as well as preserving gems from the past. Winner of a special Drama Desk Award for developing and producing new musical theatre, York’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike for almost four decades.  Under the guidance of Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively on new musicals in its Mainstage Series—most of them world, American, or New York premieres—by some of the field’s most esteemed creators, and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. The York’s Developmental Reading Series, which presents nearly 40 free readings of new musicals every year, was the incubator for the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Avenue Q, among many other significant shows.

Blind Lemon Blues was created by Alan Govenar and Akin Babatunde, has musical arrangements by Akin Babatunde, Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples Yarbrough, and is directed and choreographed by Mr. Babatunde. It will be presented by The York Theatre Company and Documentary Arts in association with Central Track Productions. 

Blind Lemon Blues was presented as a York mainstage production in 2007 for a special 10-performance run featuring Benita Arterberry, Akin Babatunde, Timothy Parham, Lillias White, Cavin Yarbrough, Alisa Peoples Yarbrough and guitarist Sam Swank.  The New York Times declared it “a lively and intelligent new musical—an inspiration!” and Variety concurred, saying “Blues lovers be grateful… very, very grateful—Blind Lemon Jefferson’s voice emerges with full force!”  Casting for the fall engagement will be announced soon. 

Jefferson was a blind street musician who played his guitar with a tin cup tied to it until a Paramount Records scout discovered him.  Between 1926 and 1929, Jefferson made more than 80 records and became the biggest selling down-home blues singer in America.  Blind Lemon Blues is set in New York City in 1948 at the last recording session of the legendary Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, and combines elements of traditional blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, doo-wop, and rap to evoke the enduring legacy of Blind Lemon and his contemporaries Blind Willie Johnson, Lillian Glinn, Hattie Hudson, Bobbie Cadillac, Lillian Miller and Leadbelly himself. 

Yank!, a new musical set in the U.S. Army at the time of World War II, has music by Joseph Zellnik with book and lyrics by David Zellnik.  It will be presented by the York Theatre Company in association with Pamela Koslow, Maren Berthelsen and Stuart Wilk, and associate producer Matt Schicker.  The cast and creative teams will be announced shortly. 

Yank! tells the story of Stu, a scared Midwestern kid who gets drafted for World War II in 1943, and becomes a photographer for Yank Magazine, the journal “for and by the servicemen.” Yank! has a score that pays homage to the 1940s and explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against him. Yank! premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005 where it had a sold-out run and won an audience award for Best Musical. It was subsequently presented by the Gallery Players in Brooklyn—where it was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, and was seen in its West Coast premiere at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego.  During its run at the Gallery Players, NYTheatre.com declared “Yank! is poised to become a musical of real stature.”

Tickets for both shows will be available soon at the York box office (212) 935-5820 and on its website, http://www.yorktheatre.org.

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COMING THIS FALL: LIBERACE: The Man, The Music & the Memories

COMING THIS FALL:

LIBERACE: The Man, The Music & the Memories

Starring Wayland Pickard

 

 

Today producers Edmund Gaynes and Nancy Bianconi have announced their plans to produce LIBERACE: The Man, The Music & the Memories starring Wayland Pickard in New York. Dates for a Broadway theatre opening are being discussed. The production recreates and celebrates a Liberace Las Vegas showroom concert featuring Pickard as Liberace along with assorted special guest stars.

Making his New York stage debut as the great showman will be WAYLAND PICKARD.  Wayland is a Television “Ace” Award Nominee for HBO, Cine Golden Eagle Award winner and a Billboard Song Finalist and 2006 Los Angeles Theatre ADA Award Winner for “Best Actor”. He has been described by Dick Van Dyke as “A Great Showman” and by Phyllis Diller as “The Piano Variety-Artist of the Decade”. LA Metro Magazine recently called him “the new Mr. Entertainment”.

 

He has been featured in recordings, film and television. Wayland has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” HBO and at Carnegie Hall! He’s also appeared in such films as Beethoven’s 5th and The Great Santini. His television credits include a recurring role in the CBS television series, “Capitol”. As a composer, he’s scored music for film & television. As a performer, Wayland has shared the stage with such notables as Jay Leno, Lee Greenwood, Dionne Warwick, Dick Van Dyke, Larry Gatlin, Carol Lawrence, Pam Tillis, Bill Cosby, Andy Williams, Sandi Patty, James Darren, Carol Channing and many other celebrities.

 

LIBERACE: The Man, The Music & the Memories will be directed by Pamela Hall, veteran Broadway actress, who has most recently compiled a list of Off-Broadway directorial credits (Picon Pie, The Rise of Dorothy Hale, Trolls). She is currently directing  Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, going into previews at St. Luke’s Theatre on May 2nd.

The production has the approval and co-operation of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing & Creative Arts.