The passionpit Podcast

Jay Michaels talks to indie artists about indie arts: Stage, Page & Screen

Going GREEN: The road to Off-Broadway from THE GREEN ROOM

June 13th, 2019

Miller-Coffman Production LLC
Proudly Present
a new musical with a book by C. Stephen Foster & Rod Damer
with music and lyrics by Chuck Pelletier

 

GREEN ROOM POSTER

THE GREEN ROOM

Directed by Jessica Jennings with musical direction by David Fletcher

C. Stephen Foster, Chuck Pelletier, and Rod Damer bring a paradigm shift in American musical theatre to New York.

Previews begin September 25 with opening set for September 27. Running Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm, with Saturday matinees at 2pm and Sunday matinees at 3pm.

Tickets official go on sale July 15 but … in honor of Pride Month and Stonewall50…
NOW until July 2, you can get ALL SEATS at 50% OFF!

Use discount code: PRIDE

https://greenroom.brownpapertickets.com

 

Harkening to Sondheim’s cult classic and oft-analyzed, “Merrily We Roll Along,” THE GREEN ROOM takes us to a college theatre green room where a group of friends dream of being … NOT on Broadway … but Off-Broadway! We hitch a ride onto the journey of a group of four best friends in college who dream of “making it” in New York. John, Cliff, Anna, and Divonne live out complicated lives in the greenroom of their college theatre department. This concept musical gives an account of the struggles these four encounter in finding their place in this 21st Century world. The rock-pop-infused score includes the stirring “It's All About Me.” This piece won the Songwriter's Guild of America Award. The paradigm shift in musical theatre began at the TONYs with HADESTOWN winning Best Musical. Now, the change continues off-Broadway with THE GREEN ROOM

The cast includes high-energy emerging artists making their impact on National Tours and will - in many cases - be making their Off-Broadway debuts with THE GREEN ROOM. Fresh off the First National Tour of Beautiful is Ryan Farnsworth as John. Joining him is Eli Douglas La Croix as Cliff; Sami Staitman playing Anna; and rounding out the cast is Ariana Valdes in the role of Divonne. Corbin Williams and Kate McManus (Cinderella national tour) will serve as understudy.

 

Learn about the creative team at:

https://artsindependent.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/stephen-miller-on-the-green-room/

https://dramaqueensreviews.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/women-of-the-arts-2019-jessica-jennings-continuing-a-theatrical-legacy/

https://outerstage.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/foster-fosters-a-powerful-musical/

https://words4musicblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/charles-pelletier-music-to-our-ears/

 

Who’s who in THE GREEN ROOM

 

Ryan Farnsworth is a graduate of UC Irvine with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Ryan’s favorite roles include the first national tour of Beautiful. Newsies as Jack Kelley, Godspell as Jesus, Memphis as Perry Como/Huey U/S, Candide as Candide, Ragtive as the Younger Brother, and Music Man as Playya. Ryan prides himself on being a “Jack of all trades” – strong in almost all fields of performance: acting, writing, comedy, drama, Shakespeare, stage and film, and all forms of music composition and performance. Ryan is a proud former voice student of Dr. Daniel Gary Busby and is excited to be working with the Broadway great Kurt Peterson. To learn more about Ryan please visit www.Ryanfarnsworth.net

Sami Staitman is a soon to be graduate of Pace University with a BFA in Musical Theater. Sami’s favorite roles include starring as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Donna in The Brain from Planet X, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown The Musical, Zsa Zsa in Lil’Abner, Maggie Winslow in A Chorus Line, Annie in Annie and her Best Actress Nominated performance as Molly in the World Premiere production of Welcome to My World – A One Girl Musical. To learn more about Sami, Please visit www.samistaitman.com

Eli Douglas LaCroix is a recent Graduate of NYU Tisch Drama New Studio on Broadway with a BFA. Eli’s favorite roles include Simon/Epikhodov in The Cherry Orchard (Off-Broadway), Jerome in The Great Cat Massacre (Off-Broadway), Roy in A Chorus Line, Melchior in Abstract portrait of a Young Girl from a Noose, Brad in Hairspray, Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Bradley in Mr. Marmalade, Carney in Tuck Everlasting and Scott in Swing! To learn more about Eli, Please visit www.elidouglaslacroix.com

Ariana Valdes is a Graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music. Ariana’s favorite roles include the National Tours of The Sound of Music as Sister Berthe / Baroness Elberfeld and My Fair Lady as Mrs. Hopkins. Ariana’s other favorite roles include, Madame de la Grande Bouche in Beauty & the Beast, Peaches/Baby Jane in Jerry springer: The Opera, Three different roles in In The Heighs as Abuela Claudia – and Daniela twice, Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act, Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors. To learn more about Ariana please visit www.ArianaValdes.com

Corbin Williams is a Graduate from Rhodes College with a B.A. in Theater with a music Minor. Corbin’s favorite roles include the National Tours of Cinderella as Jean-Michael and How the Grinch Stole Christmas as the Palm Springs Who. Corbin’s other favorite roles include, JC in The Warriors, Logan/Ensamble in Siren’s Den, Frank Abagnale Jr in Catch Me If You Can, Link Larkin in Hairspreay, J. Pierpont Finch in How to Succeed...Trying, To learn more about Corbin, please visit www.corbinwilliams.net

Kate McManus is a Graduate with an MFA in acting from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Kate’s favorite roles include, The Tempest as Ariel (Off-Broadway), Doubt, a Parable (Off-Broadway). Kate’s other roles include, Schwartzy in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee (Regional Tour), The Witch in Into The Woods, and Asaka in Once on this Island. To learn more about Kate, please visit www.KateMcManus.com

Miller-Coffman Productions, LLC exists to produce professional theatre works in NYC, and to share the joy of theatre with everyone, including a specific reach to atypical students who may be excluded from mainstream outings and theatre opportunities. The vision is to deeply impact our audiences in a way that cultivates empathy and fellowship for all humans. To make the world a kinder place, and more welcoming for anyone who feels they are unwelcome or relegated to the outskirts of society. To produce accessible theatre works at the highest level of artistry, with incredible detail to set, costume, props and historical accuracy. MCP produces both known and new work, both plays and musicals, surreal and naturalistic and creates artistic opportunities and collaborations throughout Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. The through-line is always compelling stories about a character in crisis who surmounts their circumstances; produced with highly detailed sets, props, and costumes. MCP productions serve the general public and reach teen groups through the High 5 ticketing program. MCP wants to do so much more, and the next step is providing autism-friendly performances.

 

 

C. Stephen Foster (Book) C. Stephen Foster is an award-winning actor/writer originally from Ft. Worth, Texas. He won 4 best supporting actor awards for the comedy short "That's Opportunity Knocking." He wrote the acting book "Awakening the Actor Within.' He's featured in the indie movies "Off Hollywood," "David Whiting Story," "Hidden Hills," and "Expect Delays." He is featured in the webseries "Studio Lot," "Eternity Hills," "C.P.R.," "Finding Olivia," "What's My Intention," and "Ground Floor." He directed the music video "Dream Vacation." He co-produced the music videos: "That Ain't Love," "Christmas Came Rushing," and "Arlington." "Legends and Bridge" (Joan Crawford, Bette Davis & Judy Garland) won critical praise and award nominations. Stephen co-wrote the book to the hit musical "The Green Room" which has been performed world-wide. He starred as Icarus in the Hollywood Fringe hit show "Seven Dreams of Falling." Foster co-wrote the screenplay "Clubbed!" which was a finalist in several major contests. www.cstephenfoster.com

Rod Damer (Book) Rod Damer is an actor as well as a writer, originally from Chicago. He has had small roles in “House,” “Vegas,” "Common Law," “Zodiac” and “Alien Resurrection.” He’s also worked extensively with the Laguna Playhouse’s Theatereach program for young audiences. Years ago, he enjoyed the humble confines of a green room in the bowels of the theater building at St. Olaf College. It was a space claimed, for a brief time, by its denizens - an ever-changing cast of characters coming and going throughout the day, the weeks, the shows, the years. Within it, all strove for connection - be it in the real world or in the world of theater - that confirmed our humanness.

Charles Pelletier (Music and Lyrics) Chuck has written three produced musicals, hundreds of songs, and has various published choral arrangements. Chuck won 23 awards for his comedy short "That's Opportunity Knocking." Besides The Green Room, Chuck wrote the music and lyrics to a children’s musical called The Boy Who Stood Still which premiered at the University of New Hampshire, and the music to the musical Sour Grapes, which premiered at the Copake Theatre. His original songs have been placed in several independent movies including Valentine Man, Eyes of Innocence, Piling Up Vera, Chasing Indigo and Zyzzyx Road. Chuck taught music for five years at the high school and college levels, and served as music director for the Western Illinois Summer Music Theatre Professional Repertory Company. He is currently the vocal music director for Princess Cruise Lines. Chuck has a bachelor of arts in music from the University of Illinois, and has done additional study with Alice Parker (choral arranging) and Roque Cordero (music composition), as well as at Oxford University in England.

Jessica Jennings (Director) holds a BFA in Dance from University of the Arts, and the 2 yr. Training Certificate from the Martha Graham School of Dance. Accolades include the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Shakespearean Actress 2005 for 'Ophelia' in Hamlet, a Van Lier grant scholarship at Martha Graham, Dominique DiPaolo Choreography Award at UArts, and Faculty Recognition Award at UArts. She has performed and choreographed internationally and was an off-camera dance coach for Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, Cherry Jones, and William Hurt in M. Night Shymalan’s film The Village, 2003. She was directed by Tony nominee Jana Robbins as ‘Ali’ in She Has A Name (The Sargent Theatre). She began directing in 2010, after retiring from dance – although she is known for her unique ability to move actors on stage. For Directing, Jessica won two audience vote awards for All About Lorrie (one-act version, Chatterton’s Midtown Festival), and for The Dance McCabe (Manhattan TheatreSource); she received the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Director with her production of A Midsumer Night’s Dream and was nominated for a Princess Grace Award (2011) for her direction of Romeo & Juliet. Most recently she directed Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and The Boor as part of ATA’s Female Voices in Theatre initiative.

David Fletcher (Music Director) David holds a Masters of Arts in African History from Ohio University and a bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. David has a vast history of music direction, including performances at the Kennedy Center with their Child Help Gala and Dream Child. Other credits include, 42nd Street, Pacific Overtures, Into The Woods, The Wiz, South Pacific, Crazy For You, Cabaret, Candide, Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Good Man Charlie Brown and Godspell, along with many more. To learn more about David, please visit – www.davidfletchercompany.com

S. Scott Miller (Production Stage Manager) S. Scott holds a bachelors of Science in Psychology from Grand Canyon University. Stephen has been part of the theater industry for 31 years as an actor, singer, director, producer and stage manager. Stephen’s stage managing credits include – The Cherry Orchard (Off-Broadway), The Boor, The proposal, King John, The Bare Truth, Streetwalker: A New Masical, 2071: The World We’ll Leave Our Grand Children and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Stephen’s Directing credits include – The Belle of Amherst, Love is a Bad Neighborhood, The Cover of Life, Macbeth, Annie, Pirates – A Musical, Murders in the Heir, Totally Red and Into The Woods. To learn more about S. Scott, please visit www.MillerCoffmanProductions.com

Ken Coughlin (Technical Director) has been called a Renaissance Man. Ken is an award-winning actor/director, accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist and involved in the technical aspects of theater for year. Ken has worked with sound since the late 60s. Ken’s path veered toward theater in the late 80s, where he began creating sound effects for the stage. Ken was thrown into lighting design while working on THE LAST SONGBIRD. Since his 2006 foray into lighting design, he has designed over 50 shows. His lighting and sound credits Leaving Love is a Bad Neighborhood, The Cover of Life, The Belle of Amherst, Siren’s Den, Lannahassee, Buzz, Emmett, A Lesson in Blood, The Killing of the Snow Fox, The Dead Old Lady, P.O.W. Sandman, Shelter, In Some Room, Above The Street, Polly Come Home Again, Diary of a Madman and Touch Not My Heart.

Jessica Newman will serve as Assistant Stage Manager

Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainments is press representative.  www.jaymichaelsarts.com

 

A sitcom on a dot-com: Ps in a Pod - a new Web-TV-Show

June 13th, 2019

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Ps in a Pod, a new web series, created by and starring Alex Pires, co-starring Stephanie Windland and executive produced by Richard Wingert starts on a blind date between Pete (Pires) and Polly (Windland) at a bar in Brooklyn. At first, they seem to be “two peas in a [neurotic] pod” but something is off. After a ton of awkward fumbling – including an uproarious attempt at sex – they simultaneously realize they are perfect as friends.

As luck would have it, Polly is looking for a room and Pete needs a room-mate. A best friendship is born! “Pod follows how funny and real it is to have a close, platonic friendship between a man and a woman,” says executive producer, Richard Wingert.

“By eliminating the “Will they? Won’t they?” dynamic we make room for a ton of very funny and very touching situations that audiences have been deprived of in an episodic sitcom format,” creator and star, Alex Pires, exuberantly exclaimed; while co-star, Stephanie Windland chimed in with “The world is going through a paradigm shift in terms of the roles men and women play separately – this series shows how they come together under this new way of thinking,” she said regarding the evolving friendship the series depicts.

Pod follows the characters through semi-story lined episodes “a day in the life” style. We see them struggle – both comedically and realistically  – with germaphobia, stereotypes, cultural-diversity, identity, romanticizing the past, relationships, depression and so much more.

We learn something new about the Ps – Pete & Polly – every episode. Things that we know or will learn about ourselves as well. It seems the stronger their friendship, the wilder things get. They just want to be happy and healthy but between self-sabotage and the universe who knows what will happen!

NOW’S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A TV CRITIC.

WATCH THE PILOT (ONLY 8 MINUTES LONG)
AND TELL US WHAT YOU THINK.

SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO JMAE.HAPPENINGS@GMAIL.COM
AND WE’LL PRINT THEM ON THIS SITE.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE… WATCH TV.

HERE’S THE LINK TO THE PILOT:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb1nHikriIQ

 

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The Multi-Talented, Multi-Personas of ROBERT HOFMANN

June 13th, 2019

WTF Logo NY Small

 

Celebrate Stonewall50 in style at St John’s in the heart of the West Village with the American premiere of
WHAT THE FANDANGO?!
A musical-comedy cabaret featuring international performance artist, Robert Hofmann,
brilliantly embodying four powerful personas in his stunning blend of comic genius and musical versatility
creating a wild multi-gendered romp that has already taken Australia by storm.

What the Fandango?! brings visual humor, spicy stand-up, and poignant performances peppered with musical genius. Australian singing celeb, Robert Hofmann and New York-based piano accordionist Will Holshouser will present this tour-de-force for two nights only on Tuesday June 25 at 7:30pm and Saturday on the eve of World Pride New York, Saturday June 29 at 7:30pm at Revelation Gallery, 224 Waverly Place (between W11th ST and 7th Ave.) Proceeds will be donated to Ads-Up (Australian Ex-pats Supporting Refugees.)

Hofmann splits into four distinct personalities to present a cavalcade of musical entertainment:
The feisty Helmut Wunderlicher who turns standard love songs into same-sex serenades;
Dr Gaye Thyme, a glam goddess with magnificent maracas;
The outspoken Sister Virgillious who risks being shut down by the church by presenting …
Susan “I know someone just like her” Higgins. the deluded guitar-playing hymn singer.

Hofmann has sung many roles with West Australian Opera including Koko in The Mikado and Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love. He has sung with Opera Australia and performed in two cabarets with DivaLicious at the Sydney Opera House. His award-winning cabaret, Desperately Young at Heart played in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Edinburgh Fringes to rave reviews. Playing the piano accordion is the brilliant New York based Will Holshouser who has played with Ute Lemper, David Krakauer, Antony and The Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Andy Statman, Phillip Johnston, Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford, the Raymond Scott (tribute) Orchestrette, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Morris Dance, New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others including Ron Horton (trumpet) and David Phillips (bass) in the Will Holshouser Trio.

With decades of dazzling performance experience spanning the globe, Robert and Will unite to create an enthralling hour of musical comedy with quick-change costumes by legendary designer Cherie Hewson. Directed by the internationally renowned Australian opera and music theatre director Stuart Maunder, What the Fandango?! takes adult audiences on a wild ride into high energy cabaret.

Order tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-the-fandango-tickets-61358797816

Watch trailer at: https://youtu.be/0oVzsQtMlu4

“Hofmann is a singer and female impersonator without compare.” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Arts Hub 2019

“Genders range from male to female to the delicious any-man’s-or-woman’s land in between. And it’s all delivered with a luxurious flair for costume, a devout sense of character, and a classically trained operatic voice”. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fourth Wall Media 2018

“…the pair blow all your cares away with their WTF celebration of being non-conformist”
★ ★ ★ ★ Out in Perth 2018

“hilarious, poignant cabaret” ★ ★ ★ ★ The West Australian 2017

Watch trailer at: https://youtu.be/0oVzsQtMlu4

THIS Baron makes his Marc as a Shepherd and a Screenwriter

June 3rd, 2019

MARC BARON is a President ("Shepherd" as they are called) of the venerable LAMBS. (SEE BELOW). He is also a respected and decorated Screenwriter. 

Marc first began performing in grade school, and in high school began writing and directing many school projects. He continued acting, singing and directing in Pace University, NYC, where the department head took Marc on as a protégé. Marc was titled the ‘Most likely to succeed’ by the college theatre club.

After service in naval intelligence, Marc continued his studies at Pace, and at NY’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts and H. B. Studios. Fred Kelly, director, choreographer, and brother of Gene Kelly, became Marc’s friend and muse, mentoring him in the early stages of his career. Fred, a well known director of early television, brought Marc into The Lambs, America’s first professional theatrical club, more than 30 years ago. Marc began acting, singing, writing, directing and managing productions for The Lambs; Marc directed the new play, The Gershwin Factor, which sold-out; directed and acted in The President’s Mother, and he now serves as The Lambs’ 35th Shepherd (President). Marc is a multi-term member of the NY Board of SAG-AFTRA. In the summer of 2006 Marc directed two episodes of the California-based cable talk show, Talking Over Coffee, and directed Bookstore – a reading of a new musical for Manhattan’s prestigious York Theater. Marc recently served on the Council of the Episcopal Actors Guild, a charity for actors.

Professionally, some films Marc has appeared in include Mortal ThoughtsBigThe Believer and Bullets Over Broadway. He is known as the stand-in and photo-double to the stars; while on the set of Mickey Blue Eyes Hugh Grant nicknamed him the ‘Lon Chaney of stand-ins’ for his ability to physically imitate numerous actors. He has worked with actors including Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Sean Connery…with directors Sidney Lumet, Andrew Bergman, Woody Allen and Henry Beam…and with cinematographers Carlo DiPalma, Don Thorin, Bill Fraker, Laslo Kovacs and Zhao Fei; each offered filmmaking insights only found by working on a real film set.

It was Matthew Broderick and Dustin Hoffman who first encouraged Marc to write projects, while working together on the set of Family Business. As a writer, Marc has co-authored both the stage musical and screenplay version of Love of a Lifetime; wrote the comedy western screenplay, Don’t Call Me Cisco; co-wrote the police action-drama Blue Shirts; and co-wrote Hot Properties, a romantic comedy screenplay based on a play Marc directed. and wrote the comedy MegaBall$. Marc has had several articles published in local newspapers, and in the Journal of Medical Education. Marc has been a guest judge for the NY Filmmakers’ Festival for three years, and in 2016 will be a guest judge for the GI Film Festival in Washington DC.. Marc is also researching material for Brothers in Stone,  a biography with accompanying documentary and blog on his grandfather and his brother, the Viennese sculptors, Josef Josephu and Florian Josephu-Drouot.

www.MarcBaron.com

HISTORY OF THE LAMBS

HISTORY OF THE LAMBS

The history of The Lambs ® extends back to early 19th Century England when a group of lively folk of theater and arts frequently visited their friends, Charles Lamb and his sister Mary, for dining salons discussing the arts. In the spring of 1869, thirty years after the death of Charles Lamb, a men’s theatrical and dining club was formed in London and named in their honor.

Christmas week of 1874 a companion club was formed in New York by one of the London Lambs and its third Shepherd, English actor Henry J. Montague, who became our first Shepherd. The first meeting was at the original Delmonico’s Blue Room on 14th Street. (To see what 1874 was like, click here.) The Lambs incorporated in 1877 in the State of New York and its journey continues today.

The motto of the Club is Floreant Agni — “May The Lambs Flourish” — which, with many ups and downs, the Club has done for more than 140 years. Changing times in the early 1970’s led to the sale of its landmark building on West 44th Street, now the Chatwal Hotel. Since then, the Fold has been pleasantly situated at 3 West. Originally restricted to gentlemen only, today’s club is attuned to modern sensibilities and has emerged and thrived as a society for both ladies and gentlemen.

The roster of past and living Lambs reads like a Who’s’ Who and include: Fred Astaire, Gene Autry, Red Barber, Maurice Barrymore, and his sons John and Lionel, Ed Begley, David Belasco, Ralph Bellamy, Edgar Bergman, Irving Berlin, Joe E. Brown, Earl Carroll, Howard Chandler Christy, George M. Cohan, Cecil B. DeMille, Dwight David Eisenhower, Douglas Fairbanks, James Montgomery Flagg, Eddie Foy (Sr. & Jr.), Sir Cedric Hardwicke, William S. Hart, Victor Herbert, Ed Herlihy, Bert Lahr, Ring Lardner, Alan J. Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Alan Mowbray, Conrad Nagel, Elliot Nugent, Pat O’Brien, Will Rogers, Charlie Ruggles, Otis Skinner, John Philip Sousa, Fred Waring, David Warfield, Bert Wheeler and Hon. Robert Wagner. A searchable listing of past members is available by selecting the Membership Roster.

The Lambs®, commonly known as The Lambs Club, is proud of its theatrical legacy, and of its continuing contributions to charitable causes which The Lambs Foundation administers and funds. J. Lester Wallack, an early Shepherd of The Lambs, was a leader in the founding of The Actors’ Fund of America; a close association between the Fund and The Lambs continues today. Numerous Lambs have served as Trustees of the Fund. Lambs were also instrumental in the founding of ASCAPScreen Actors Guild and Actors’ Equity Association (see more below).

 

An Open-Discussion where Anthony J. Piccione Opens-Up about his Open-End Run

May 17th, 2019
After a successful premiere at the Hudson Guild Theatre this past January as part of the New York Theatre Festival’s 2019 NYWinterfest, A Therapy Session with Myself – Anthony J. Piccione’s controversial, semi-autobiographical drama about living with mental illness and Asperger’s syndrome – returns this May for an ongoing series of monthly afternoon performances at the legendary Kraine Theater.
 
Performances are scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of each month at 2pm beginning May 18th. Tickets cost $25 dollars and can be purchased by visiting atswm.brownpapertickets.com.
 
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A Therapy Session with Myself tells the story of Alex Grayson, a young college student and aspiring writer living with severe social anxiety, depression, and Asperger’s syndrome. During the summer before his senior year, he receives a mysterious visit from “himself”, a human incarnation of his inner consciousness. As they interact, Alex is forced to reflect on his own flaws and personality quirks, as well as some of the darkest and most painful memories of his adolescence, while also pondering the question of whether or not he can overcome his inner demons, and ultimately build a brighter future for himself.
 
Mr. Piccione described his inspiration for the play in an interview with Five-Star Arts Journals last December. “[It’s] a semi-autobiographical play that’s mainly inspired by real-life events that occurred from my first year of high school up to my last year of college, [and] I’d say the actual story itself is about 80 to 90 percent the truth, with only some minor changes,” according to Piccione, who went on to say that “[w]hen people come see the show, it’ll likely feel more like a stream of consciousness, rather than a traditional story with a beginning, middle, and end, so I imagine it’ll raise at least as many questions as answers. But still, my hope for this play is that it leaves people thinking about issues of social anxiety, depression, and Asperger’s syndrome [in] a different way than perhaps they used to.”
 
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Returning to direct is award-winning director Holly Payne-Strange, who last year was named Best Director for her work on Opposites and Contradictions at the NYC Theatre Festival and Showcase at Theatre 80. St Marks, while acclaimed actor/director/songwriter Andres Gallardo Bustillo returns in the dual roles of assistant director and stage manager.
 
Returning actors include Nick Roy, Shane Zimmerman, Nathan Cusson, Emma Romeo, Louise Heller, Tony Bozanich, Travis Martin, Rosie Coursey, and Lizzy Moreno, with additional casting announcements to be made in the coming weeks.
 
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Anthony J. Piccione is an award-winning playwright and producer based in New York City. His full-length drama A Therapy Session with Myself premiered in January 2019 at the Hudson Guild Theatre before transferring to the Kraine Theater for an ongoing series of monthly performances. Additionally, his eclectic canon of one-acts have previously been presented in NYC at the Hudson Guild Theatre, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, Midtown International Theatre Festival, and Manhattan Repertory Theatre, as well as at regional venues such as Playhouse on Park, Hole in the Wall Theatre, the Windsor Art Center, and Windham Theatre Guild. His short drama What I Left Behind was named the NYWinterfest’s Best Short Play of 2018, and he was also nominated for Planet Connections Theatre Festivity’s Outstanding Playwright award for his avant-garde one-act 4 $tages. His work as a playwright has been published at JAC Publishing and Promotions, Heuer Publishing & Off The Wall Plays, and his articles and reviews are frequently published at OnStage Blog. He received his BA in Theatre from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2016 and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. 
 
For more information, please visit www.anthonyjpiccione.com/atherapysessionwithmyself.

WEDNESDAY REPERTORY COMPANY gets their CARCASS on stage!

May 8th, 2019

I've known company member, Dan Lane Williams, for some time now but I only recently made the acquaintance of Bruce Ornstein, celebrated auteur and artistic director of this intense theatre company and playwright Eddie Vernovsky. Their newest work - CARCASS - is revealing and fascinating. 

Wednesday Repertory Company (WedRepCo) presents “Carcass”.  A story about boys, blood, and a buffalo, “Carcass”, is the World Premiere of a full length play by Eddie Vernovsky.  

“Carcass” was developed in concert with Wednesday Repertory Company (WedRepCo), led by Artistic Director Bruce Ornstein.  It represents the second full-length play produced and developed by WedRepCo, and a worthy successor to Abby Rosebrock’s “Different Animals” which premiered at the Cherry Lane.

Shetler Studios 244 W 54 St, New York City

Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 @ 7:00 pm;
Saturday, May 11 @ 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm;
Sunday May 12 @ 5:00 pm;

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, May 15, 16 & 17 @ 7:00 pm;
Saturday May 18 @ 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm;
Sunday, May 19 @ 5:00 pm.

$20.00 at www.carcass.bpt.me or 212-726-2324.

 

Barnaby Edwards and Regeneration Theatre and a rare ARTHUR MILLER play

May 8th, 2019

My esteemed colleague, Barnaby Edwards, is artistic director of Regeneration Theatre - a company that unearths plays rare or rarely done works and breaths new life into them. They've struck gold this time. AN ARTHUR MILLER PLAY THAT HAS NEVER BEEN PERFORMED IN NYC ... UNTIL NOW. 

The Archbishop's Ceiling by Arthur Miller. Regeneration Theatre presents a rare Arthur Miller play never seen in New York City. Performing at Urban Stages, 259 West 30th Street, NYC
May 9 - 19 (Thursday - Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. and Sunday @ 2;00 p.m. with a special Monday showing (May 13) @ 7:00 p.m.) Regeneration.BrownPaperTickets.com.

Four old friends - writers, lovers, activists, celebrities - gather in a 16th century palace on one evening in a country where power is all, and nothing can be trusted. Is someone listening to them? Can any of them speak freely? Can they resist the powerful that surround them and still maintain their art?

Arthur Miller's prescient 1978 play, never seen in New York City, forces us to confront politics as theatre, where blending the truth with lies is all part of the game. Cast includes: Kristen GehlingLevi MorgerJon Spano, Michael Meth, Jessica Carollo; with Set Design by Ryan Godd; Lighting Design by Domino Mannheim; Stage Manager-Allison Hohman; Assistant Director-Marcus Gualberto. Production produced and directed by Barnaby Edwards.

Tickets and info: http://regeneration.brownpapertickets.comor at http://regenerationtheatre.org

IMPROVISATIONAL REPERTORY THEATRE ENSEMBLE - funny and full-steam ahead!

May 8th, 2019

My buddies at the IRTE are just passing midpoint of a GREAT Season 8. Evil Clowns Have Feelings Too has one more weekend and the sequel to HAPPY BIRTHDAY STUPID KID is already in development. 

I chatted with Nannette Deasy and Robert Baumgartner about the stamina needed to keep'em rolling in the aisles night-after-night!

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Evil Clowns Have Feelings, Too

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS May 3, 4, 10 & 11, 8:00pm

Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door

The Producers Club

358 West 44th Street

New York, NY 10036

Conceived by Izzy Church

With Special Guest Improvisers TBA

 

When their car breaks down in the woods, the Poolander’s family vacation comes to a screeching halt, forcing them to seek refuge in an old cabin in the woods until help arrives. Little do they know, that a bunch of evil clowns own the cabin and are having a really, really bad day. 

 

Join the IRTE jesters, fools and jokers in this improvised and totally terrifying family comedy.

 

Featuring Musical Guests TBA

Go to Sleep, Stupid Kids!

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS May 31, June 1, 7 & 8, 8:00pm

Tickets $15 Online / $17 at the Door

The Producers Club

358 West 44th Street

New York, NY 10036

Original Concept by Nannette Deasy

Directed by Robert Baumgardner

With Special Guest Improvisers TBA

 

Jamie’s been twelve for THREE WHOLE MONTHS and has NEVER had a “big kid” slumber party. That’s all going to change in this improvised sequel to IRTE’s hit comedy “Happy Birthday, Stupid Kid!” Grab your sleeping bag and your best PJs and hope that Jamie’s dysfunctional family doesn’t embarrass him in front of the cool kids!

 

Featuring Musical Guests TBA

Allison Wick sheds new light on Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE

April 29th, 2019

Hunger Theatre, an NYC-based theatre company, self-described as "small but relentless in our pursuit of excellent storytelling," will honor one the 20th Century's greatest storytellers, Arthur Miller, with a new production of The Crucible. Performing at Access Theatre Gallery, 380 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York City. Opening May 2; Running Thursday-Sunday @ 8pm through May 18. Special matinee performance, Saturday, May 11 @ 3pm. "Scrappy, weird, hungry theatre-makers" (www.hungertheatre.com/thecrucible)

Allison Wick, co-founder of Hunger Theatre, will direct and appear in The Crucible. The cast, like the company itself, is non-traditional and unique, with a third of the actors in the ensemble playing multiple roles. "I want to combine the emotion and urgency of the piece with the opportunity for experimentation that smaller ensemble and pared-down production affords." Ms. Wick further remarked, "This play is a masterpiece. It doesn't need to be 'reimagined' to make it compelling or relevant. That being said, our production won't be stuffy or strictly by-the-book."

The Crucible cast includes:

Brian Vestal* (John Proctor)
Samantha Wendorf (Elizabeth Proctor)
Allison Wick (Abigail Williams)
Joseph Cordaro (Reverend Hale)
Madeline Adelle Phillips* (Mary Warren)
Stan Buturla* (Deputy-Governor Danforth)
Zuri Washington* (Tituba/Martha Corey)
Arshia Panicker (Ann Putnam/Susanna Walcott/Sarah Good)
Alex Orthwein (Thomas Putnam/John Willard)
Richard Wayne* (Judge Hathorne/Francis Nurse)
Jim Staudt* (Reverend Parris/Ezekiel Cheever)
Nancy Fox* (Rebecca Nurse)
Luke Wehner* (Giles Corey)
Emily Suuberg (Mercy Lewis)
Sharon Romano (Betty Parris)
Kelly McCready* (Abigail Williams u/s)

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

The Crucible is a 1953 play by legendary American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized (and partially fictionalized) story of the Salem witch trials of 1692-93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism - the anti-communist witch hunt against trade unionists, artists, and leftist activists which was in full swing at time of his writing the play.

Hunger Theatre's mission: "To produce great plays, new and old, with simplicity, playfulness, and daring. To conduct emotional electricity. To serve the human truth of each story above all else." Co-founded by Ms. Wick and Luke Wehner, alumni of Circle in the Square Theatre School and students of prominent acting coach, Ken Schatz, Hunger Theatre began in 2016 with a series of new one-act plays and later, a showcase production of Mark Schultz' Everything Will Be Different. Show-Score gave this production a plethora of accolades, including "First off, the entire cast deserves a standing ovation for their performance. Allison Wick (Charlotte) laid it all on the stage and it was magnificent. Ms. Wick handles the emotional weight brilliantly." "The lead actress is so brilliant that it's worth seeing just for that... The story is powerful, well written and leaves you truly impacted. This is the kind of theater that makes me love living in New York."

 

Scott Bullock and the awe and mystery that is … U V X

April 22nd, 2019

They’re Back! UVX presents

The Most Dangerous Man

an interactive adventure that needs your phone and your imagination! UVX, which took ComicCon by storm in 2017, returns with another interactive adventure film putting you in the action.

 

In the style of Netflix’ Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch, UVX’s “The Most Dangerous Man,” part of the FUTUREPROOF film series, is a send up of action/adventure/fantasy film of the 80s, was shot over 80 different ways to create an unlimited world of possibilities for the viewer.

 

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN: mostdangerousmanmovie.com.

April showings: April 10, 17, and 24 @7:30 p.m. at the opulent Cinepolis Chelsea, 260 W 23rd St, New York City. Tickets: $45-$55 (discounts available)  

 

Yu8Dj737T0C3kHEQTyR2_bW9zdF9kYW5nZXJvdXNHOW IT WORKS:

The UVX is an interactive film being screened in NYC. In it, attendees will be able to make multiple votes on their phones that change not only the look, feel, and action of the film, but the circumstances in the theatre, which will be populated by actors playing the director and production staff of the film. Each vote stacks on to the last, leading to a wild and unexpected  climax. The whole event takes place in a fictional, 80s-themed universe as a part of a story that’s been going on for more than two years.

Visit the interactive futureproof.site and explore the FutureProof Universe with their new Knowledge Base.