Gretchen Cryer, Melissa Errico & Orville Mendoza Set for Prospect Theater’s EVERGREEN Holiday Concert, 12/18-19

Prospect Theater Company, under the leadership of Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director and Melissa Huber, Managing Director, will present a concert staging of Evergreen, a family friendly musical for the holidays at The TimesCenter (242 W 41st Street), with performances Friday, December 18 at 7pm and Saturday, December 19 at 2pm and 6pm.

The concert will feature the Obie Award-winning Gretchen Cryer (I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road), Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Melissa Errico (Amour), and Orville Mendoza (Peter and the Starcatcher), alongside Pace University students Hillary Fisherand Joe Ottavi-Perez in the leading roles of Maya and Joshi.

The cast also features an ensemble of youth performers ages 8 to 15, including Abbie Anderson, Anabella Brizuela, Victoria Csatay, Ciela Elliott, Maddox Elliot, Virginia Franks, Andre Gulick, Gabrielle-Marie Kaufman, Irena Kogarova, Joy Kate Lawson, Jibreel Mawbry, Carys Mesinai, McKenzie Mullahey, Lily Peterson, Violet Prete, Nolan Shaffer, Brigit Eileen Tejada,Alexa Valentino, and Thomas Vaethroeder.

Recommended for ages six and up, Evergreen is an original (one act, 75-minute) holiday musical by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, that follows Maya, a headstrong girl on a fantastic adventure to find the Earth’s last living evergreens.

Read more here.

Yasmine Rana Named a Finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize

The American Theatre Critics Association has announced the six finalists for the 2015 Francesca Primus Prize, including New York-based playwright Yasmine Rana. The Primus Prize is offered annually to an emerging woman playwright and includes a $10,000 award.

Rana is a finalist for her play “The War Zone is My Bed” written after extensive interviews with survivors of the Bosnian conflict.  The other finalists include Liz Duffy Adams for “A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World,” Tira Palmquist for “Ten Mile Lake,” Nambi E. Kelley for “Native Son,” Sharyn Rothstein for “By the Water,” and Catherine Trieschmann for “Hot Georgia Sunday.” Finalists were selected by a national committee of critics.

 

‘Playing the Assassin’ Shows Football’s Power

By, Jim Rutter, for The Inquirer

Playing the Assassin” performed by the Delaware Theatre Company stars Ezra Knight (right) and Garrett Lee Hendricks.

In 2013, I called David Robson’s Assassin a brutal gridiron drama, a verdict that holds up for his revised Playing the Assassin, now in a thrilling production at Delaware Theatre Company.

His current script builds on his original themes of guilt and recrimination, accidental suffering born of tragic circumstances (the hit didn’t violate rules, but Baker, like his real-life counterpart, Tatum, never apologized) and expands the depth of its humanity.

Some credit goes to Knight’s ferocious performance; like a tiger, he stalks the stage in a partial crouch, ready to unload on offenders, and instills his braggadocio with authenticity. But much goes to Robson, who has added great insight into the relationship of football to society and the evolution of the game as it has gone from a city-vs.-city sport to a corporate behemoth more bent on coddling millionaires and selling advertising and merchandise than on fueling intense rivalries.

The verbal sparring between the never-played Lewis and the veteran Baker accurately captures how football (and all team rivalry based sport) enables populations to sublimate violent urges into something less catastrophic and localized, no matter how violent that surrogate.

Read the full review here.

Ticketing information:
Playing the Assassin
Through Nov. 8 at Delaware Theatre Company, 200 Water St., Wilmington.
Tickets: $30 and up. Information: 302-594-1100 or www.delawaretheatre.org

Urban Stages to Present Oren Safdie’s UNSEAMLY

Urban Stages to Present Oren Safdie's New Play UNSEAMLYInspired by a variety of sexual harassment allegations brought against well-known clothing companies, Unseamly follows a young woman seeking legal advice to initiate charges of sexual harassment against her former boss, the CEO of an international clothing company known for its risqué billboards. In Unseamly, female sexuality confronts male corporate power.

“Sexual harassment and power plays in corporate America, sadly are not uncommon. Oren has crafted an edgy, cutting play that explores the truth and manipulation in corporate America. The play asks just how far one will go to get to the top? Although it’s controversial, it’s a very smart and important play to see and Urban Stages is proud to bring this play to the stage.” – Urban Stages Founding Artistic Director, Frances Hill.

For ticketing information: Unseamly will begin performances on October 8; Opening night is set for October 14 through November 1 at Urban Stages (259 West 30 Street) Tickets will be $55 ($35 during previews) and are available at UrbanStages.org.

Stephen Sachs’ BAKERSFIELD MIST – Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh

Review from The Public Reviews:

Bakersfield Mist Review from Edinburgh ImageHaving bought a canvas in a thrift store for $3 (and narrowly avoided filling it with bullet holes on a drunken bender) Maude (Hazel Eadie) now believes her ‘ugly’ painting is a hitherto unknown work by iconic modern artist Jackson Pollock. In her rundown trailer in the Californian heat, art expert Lionel (Ian Aldred) has come to view the painting and offer his professional assessment of its authenticity…

There are a few twists in the tale to keep the story moving, and the performers manage the changes in tone effectively, seeming most at ease when playing the comedy of Sachs’ text but also bringing genuine tension to some moments of high drama. Eadie and Aldred bring depth and authenticity to what could be played as clumsy archetypes of white trash and art snob, with Kara Johnston’s broadly confident direction helping bring Maude’s trash filled trailer to life.

Like Yasmina Reza’s Art and Alan Bennett’s A Question of Attribution, art is here used for an exploration of character, so don’t be surprised if by the end of the play you’ve learned more about Maude and Lionel than the canvas itself.