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Thursday
Aug132015

Meet "Orphans" Playwright Lyle Kessler September 4th in Huntington, Long Island. 

Looking forward to my visit to Huntington to see the wonderful company of actors in ORPHANS”

Lyle Kessler

Actor, playwright, screenwriter, director and master acting coach/teacher Lyle Kessler will paying a visit to Huntington, Long Island's Conkin Barn on September 4th for the final performance of his hit play, "Orphans," playing at the Conklin Barn from August 20th to the 5th of September. The evening will conclude with an audience Q&A session with Mr. Kessler.

This production marks the return of the award-winning team of Bonney/King Production. Bonney/King Productions were winners of Broadway World’s 2014 award for Best Actor, Play and Director for their production of “Prisoners and Criminals” also performed at the Conklin Barn in Huntington.

Orphan’s tells the story of two young abandoned brothers living together in a Philadelphia apartment towards the end of the last century.  The true nature of their existence is revealed in harrowing, funny, and poignant ways when Harold, a mysteriously wealthy businessman enters their lives. 

ORPHANS first premiered in 1983 with Joe Pantoliano (Soprano’s) and Lane Smith (My Cousin Vinny) in originating roles.  It was nominated for a Tony last year for “Best Revival of a Play” that starred Alec Baldwin and Ben Foster (3 10 to Yuma). It has also been adapted to the screen and starred Albert Finney, Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson. 

Tickets to this production are available now and will sell out fast. Pleas read below for details and reserve your tickets early.

Opening Thursday August 20th for a limited 12 performance run.

Thursday thru Saturday August 20th, 21st, 22nd at 8:00 pm

Thursday thru Saturday August 27th, 28th, 29th at 8:00 pm

Wednesday thru Saturday September 2nd, 3rd. 4th, and 5th at 8:00 pm

Sundays August 23rd and 30th at 3:00 pm.

Venue:  Conklin Barn, 2 High St (off New York Ave./ across from Appliance World), Huntington NY  11743.

Tickets:  Purchase online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1766086

contact Barbara Gasparik at 631-484-7335

Visit “ORPHANS” Facebook at www.facebook.com/OrphansLongIsland

Saturday
Jul252015

Academy Award winner BENICIO DEL TORO to be honored at the 2015 HOLA Awards

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), the nation’s longest running active arts advocacy Benecio Del Toroorganization for Latino actors, is pleased to announce that it will honor Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro with the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award.

He will join “Orange is the New Black” star Selenis Leyva, “Jane The Virgin” star Andrea Navedo, “Blue Bloods” star Marisa Ramírez, and others at the Sixteenth Annual HOLA Awards Gala and Benefit.  Selenis Leyva in Orange Is the New Black (2013)

The HOLA Awards will take place on Monday, October 14, 2015 at 6pm at The Battery Gardens, located on the waterfront overlooking New York Harbor in Battery Park (opposite 17 State Street in lower Manhattan).

Benicio del Toro will receive the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award. Del Toro won the Academy Award for his role in Traffic. Other film credits include Che, The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy and Escobar: Paradise Lost. Upcoming films include The Little Prince, Sicario, Weightless, and A Perfect Day.

Andrea Navedo will receive the inaugural 2015 HOLA Elizabeth Peña Breakthrough Artist Award. The award is named after HOLA founding member Elizabeth Peña, who passed away in October 2014. Navedo, an HOLA member, is a veteran of television and film. She is currently playing Xiomara Villanueva in The CW’s “Jane The Virgin”. Selenis Leyva will receive the 2015 José Ferrer HOLA Tespis Award. Leyva, a former HOLA Award theater winner, is a veteran of stage and screen. She is best known for playing Gloria Mendoza on the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”. Marisa Ramírez will receive the HOLA Excellence in Television Award. Ramírez can currently be seen playing Detective María Báez in the CBS series “Blue Bloods”.

HOLA is collaborating with R.Evolución Latina on the Dare To Go Beyond Award, an honor for one who is an inspiration to the Latino community and who gives back to it. This year’s inaugural honoree is director, playwright, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). In addition to winning the Oscar for Birdman, Dinelaris wrote the book for the Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical On Your Feet!, opening in Broadway this fall. He is also the Co-Executive Director of the Oberon Theatre Ensemble. Special citations will be given to filmmakers Rocío Llado (for her feature film La novia del libertador), and Julio Ortega and Nitsy Grau for their feature film Medardo).

In addition to the above awards HOLA will also continue its annual tradition of honoring the best of Latino theater in New York with noncompetitive awards encompassing multiple winners in each category. HOLA is at the forefront in recognizing the high caliber work being offered across New York’s growing and thriving Latino theatrical stages.

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is an arts service/advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the presence of Hispanic artists in entertainment and media through the cultivation, education and recognition of emerging artists. HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of the full spectrum of Latino culture and heritage in the entertainment and media industries. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. A limited number of individual tickets are available at $150 (if purchased before August 31, 2015) and $175 (if purchased from September 1, 2015 onward).

CLICK HERE for More information.

Sunday
Jun212015

SUMMER THEATRE FESTIVALS HEAT UP NYC

If you haven't noticed, the Summer theatre festivals are upon us. And they are not just arriving, they are arriving almost at once!

This is not to say that theatre festivals are exclusively a Summer event, but in the next few months (having started in mid June), there will be hundreds of festival productions to choose as FringeNYC, Thespis, Midtown International Theatre Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival and quite a few others make their 2015 debut. These offerings will include everything from plays in development to finished works looking for production deals from off Broadway producers, independent theatre companies and more.

If you think making it big is a long shot, think again. Urinetown, The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told, Sistas and The Imbible are all productions that started humbly at the festival level and made the jump to the big league, some with seemingly realtive ease.

The Imbible, as an example, recently (just last Thursday, June 18th) celebrated its 100th performance since debuting at the FringeNYC Festival in 2014. For The Imbible, it began with a few festival dates, continued through Fringe Encore and quite litereally never stopped. They found a home at Soho Rep and are still going strong. For more on The Imbible or to purchase tickets, click here: http://imbible.org/.

This year, even before some of the festivals open, we are seeing and hearing about some interesting and potentially groundbreaking theatre sitting in the wings. Theatre with a cause or a social message is nothing new, but things change and so does the message. A few of these shows haven't even begun casting, but the buzz has already created the stage for some great expectations.

In less than one month, The Thespis Festival, which is fast becoming one of the fasted growing and biggest theatre festivals in the New York area, opens with over 60 productions that will run into late September at the beautiful Hudson Guild Theatre on the Westside. The festival offers both equity showcase and non-equity productions in just about every genre you can imagine, but it is aleady showing some promising works in the making.

Anthony Inneo's "You Just Don't Get it, Do You?" is a strong and powerful story about the recent "great recession" that makes a social commentary about the banking and financial industries in a sort of Quentin Tarantino manner. This is a play that appeals to a very base, anger-laden and emotional reaction that comes at the heels of  losing your life's saving to corporate stupidity and greed.  Yet it is written with great passion, understanding and intelligence by Mr. Inneo. Imagine your golden years destroyed financially and what you would want to do about it and you will quickly catch a glimpse of where this staged dramedy can go. The show is currently in pre-production and will open on Labor Day weekend.

Another socially themed work is Carol W Berman's "Parking Lot 63," a chilling and touching piece also opening at Thespis an dealing with abuse, sexual slavery and prosititution. Dr. Berman, who is a New York City psychiatrist, is also an accomplished playwright and artist with several works under her belt. She is looking to tell a story that hopefully will draw attention to a subject that is seldom discussed, but certainly merits our attention. Her play opens in mid-August also at the Hudson Guild.

But there is an abundance of great new works we can catch right now. 

Now running through July at The Paradise Factory is The Planet Connections Festivity, "New York’s premiere socially-conscious arts festival." This Festival is designed to "invoke the power of art in motivating philanthropy, community outreach and social change" and offers quite a range of productions that are produced to directly benefit different causes.

You can find a full list of their productions BY CLICKING HERE, but we've featured a few highlighted productions below:

Buddhas Are Screaming In China - “A play about love, luck, loss, and Elephants.”

Benefiting: Big Life Foundation

Written and Directed by: Maggie Surovell | Choreographed by: Jill Echo

Buddhas are Screaming in China (written and directed by Maggie Surovell and choreographed by Jill Echo) is a play about love, luck, loss, and Elephants. Hai’ou is studying the conservation of endangered species when she is forced to confront her mother who buys ivory Buddhas for good luck.  As we follow Hai’ou’s journey, we witness a family of life size elephant puppets trying to survive. Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street. Run Time: 50 minutes

Tuesday, 6/23/15, 8:00pm, Saturday, 6/27/15, 12:30pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 6:00pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 8:00pm, Sunday, 7/5/15, 6:45pm, Tuesday, 7/7/15, 7:15pm

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In Our Own Voice: Women Veterans Tell Their Story

“The hardest part is coming home.”

Benefiting: Women for Women International

Written by: Beverley Coyle - Directed by: Colleen Britton

What do you do when you’re a young woman and a recent veteran – when the hell of war is being eclipsed by the hell of coming home?IN OUR OWN VOICE is a lively and funny but devastating interchange between young women who’ve just come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. They know way more about war than their families want to know they knowVenue: Paradise Factory, Downstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street - Run Time: 60 minutes

Wednesday, 6/24/15, 4:30pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 5:00pm, Thursday, 7/2/15, 8:45pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 6:00pm, Thursday, 7/9/15, 8:00pm, Saturday, 7/11/15, 1:45pm BUY TICKETS HERE

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Lost In Place - “A look back at today with the hindsight of tomorrow.”

Benefiting: Coalition for the Homeless

Written by: Secondhand Theatre Company | Directed by: Secondhand Theatre Company

Conceived and created by the ensemble:
Jenn Calhoun, Nicolas Carra, Ashley Ford, Lesley Shannon, Brandon Hollely, Eunyoung Bona Jung, Evan Kincade, and Liberty O'Dell.

Lost In Place is a collaborative exploration by the Secondhand Theatre Company, a look back at the “Now” through the neo-vaudevillian orators of a future generation. Return to the birth of storytelling with us! Dance around fires while aiming a playful, yet critical eye at our modern society. Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street. Run Time: 90 minutes

Saturday, 6/20/15, 11am, Sunday, 6/21/15, 12:00pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 4:00pm, Saturday, 7/4/15, 12:00pm, Monday, 7/6/15, 9:15pm, Friday, 7/10/15, 6:30pm BUY TICKETS HERE

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When the Party’s Over

“Bon voyage, champagne and caviar!”

Benefiting: World Wildlife Foundation

Written by: Glory Kadigan
Directed by: Eric Mercado

Broadway actress Anna takes her mother Adriana on an Alaskan vacation in the hope of repairing their terse relationship. It’s “all aboard” as the ladies sail off, but Anna and the other passengers get more than they bargained for on their magical glacial adventure as Anna encounters ghosts from the past - Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street - Run Time: 90 minutes

Schedule: Thursday, 6/18/15, 4:30pm, Monday, 6/22/15, 8:45pm, Sunday, 6/28/15, 3:45pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 6:00pm, Saturday, 7/11/15, 7:00pm, Sunday, 7/12/15, 11:00am - BUY TICKETS HERE

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Women and Children - “For years these guys thought they were on a sinking ship. Turns out it was a lifeboat.”

Benefiting: SAGE Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Elders

Written & Directed by: Michael Boothroyd

After years of dodging obstacles, from prejudice, inequality, plaques, and grindr, a group of NYC gay men realize they landed on their feet. However, when a straight-man, separated from his wife and children, interrupts their dinner, they struggle to make sense of the choices they made and the paths they took.

SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 6/17/15, 7:45pm, Sunday, 6/21/15, 2:00pm, Tuesday, 6/23/15, 9:30pm, Wednesday, 6/24/15, 4:30pm, Tuesday, 7/7/15, 4:00pm, Thursday, 7/9/15, 6:00pm - BUY TICKETS HERE

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For more information about other upconming festivals, please check back shortly.

Monday
Jun082015

Manhattan Repertory Theatre To Offer a Memorial For Scotty Decker

The Manhattan Rep Theatre Company in Times Square will be holding a memorial at their theater on 42nd Street this coming Saturday for actor/playwright Scotty Decker.

Decker was a well known actor and playwright who was recognized for his unique writing style, memorable characters and high-energy performances in the New York Theatre circuit. He had been featured more than several times on LocalTheatreNY.com and will be dearly missed. Friendly, hardworking and a well-respected and talented playwright, he created plays and characters that he would embody and bring to life with tremendous effect. 

He had numerous tv credits including roles on "Law & Order: SVU", recurring role on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and the pilot of "The Mysteries Of Laura."

He was waked on Sunday June 7th 2-6PM at Yorktown Funeral Home in Shrub Oak, New York. The Mass was earlier today, Monday June 8th at 10AM at St. John The Evangelist 225 East Lake Blvd. Mahopac, NY, 10541.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, June 13th 3PM at Manhattan Repertory Theatre 303 W. 42nd Street at 8th Ave. It will be an opportunity for all to share memories of Scotty.

MRT describes the loss to the theatre community as follows:

"Scotty was amazingly talented, a super star of the Theatre, an absolute gentleman and a part of the Manhattan Rep family.  He will be greatly greatly missed. 

Scotty presented a myriad of plays here at Manhattan Rep and he brought one of his characters "THE CAPTAIN" in to many of our Event's programs just for fun. (I remember at one event he dressed up one of his actresses as a "Bottle of Mustard" just so "THE CAPTAIN" could make a crudely clever Condom / Condiment pun.) Scotty's acerbic wit and gift for language was like no other playwright/performer I have ever known. And he said that Manhattan Rep was his favorite stage to perform on.

His passing is so wrong. He was a great, courageous, super talented, prolific, amazing man. And he will be greatly missed by all of us here at Manhattan Rep, and in the theatre community here in New York City."

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to manhattanrep@yahoo.com to confirm participation with "Scotty Memorial" in the subject. Include if you'd like to speak so that they can plan the memorial.

Food & Drink are welcome.

 

Sunday
Apr262015

LONGTIME FANS OF THE FANTASTICKS STEP IN TO RESCUE THE WORLD’S LONGEST RUNNING MUSICAL FROM CLOSING

Producers of THE FANTASTICKS, Catherine Russell and Al Parinello have announced that they will now be able to keep Off Broadway’s longest running musical from closing. Two donors (longtime fans of the show who have asked to remain anonymous) have stepped in and pledged to keep the production running, making the Sunday, May 3rd performance a 55th anniversary celebration of the opening of the show in 1960 – not a farewell.

“Over the past few weeks, two longtime fans of the show called yelling at me for not letting them know the show was closing,” explains Producer Catherine Russell. “Each offered financial help keep the show running in NYC. I initially declined the offers, but after much thought and consideration, I've decided to accept their generous offers that will help keep The Fantasticks alive. I was surprised and moved to see the enormous outpouring of emotion and attention the closing announcement received. People called the box office crying and telling stories about the first time they saw the show. I didn’t realize how many people love the show and feel like it’s an important part of their lives. The Fantasticks truly is a treasured and iconic piece of NYC that should live on.

A modern twist on Romeo and JulietTHE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world.  What follows is a hilarious and heartwarming story for all ages.  The score, which includes the hit songs “Try To Remember”, “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” and “They Were You”, is as timeless as the story itself.

Hailed as "A Gem" by The Wall Street Journal, The Fantasticks is not only the "perfect first musical for any child to see" (amNewYork), butThe Fantasticks at The Theater Center is the definitive way to see the show.

The play has become a true New York institution. For many people, seeing The Fantasticks when visiting New York is as important as seeing The Statue of Liberty or The Empire State Building. In fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended the New Year's Eve performance of the show before ringing in 2008 in Times Square. In 1992 The Fantasticks won The Tony Award for Excellence and remains the only Off-Broadway show ever to have won a Tony.

The cast of THE FANTASTICKS features Edward Watts as the Narrator (El Gallo), Daniel Berryman as The Boy (Matt), Samantha Bruce as The Girl (Luisa), Donald Corren as The Boy’s Father (Hucklebee), Joe Dellger as The Girl's Father (Bellomy), MacIntyre Dixon as The Old Actor (Henry), Michael Nostrand as The Man Who Dies (Mortimer) and Drew Siegla as The Mute. The production also features Dave Schoonover, Rita Markova, and Tom Flagg.

Robert Felstein is the Musical Director / Pianist and Maria Banks is the Harpist. Production Stage Manager is Paul Blankenship and the Assistant Stage Manager is Earlye Rhodes.

The performance schedule will remain the same -  on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 8PM, Wednesdays at 2PM, Saturdays at 2PM & 8PM and Sundays at 3PM & 7:30PM.

Tickets to THE FANTASTICKS are priced at $76.50 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862, by logging ontowww.Ticketmaster.com or by visiting the Snapple Theater Center box office. A limited number of premium front row seats are available for each performance priced at $126.50.

THE FANTASTICKS plays at The Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street at Broadway. The box office phone number is (212) 921-7862. www.SnappleTheater.com