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Wednesday
Apr232014

Sam Mendes' & Kevin Spacey's "NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage" Shakespeare Documentary Opens May 2

NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage, which takes you along with twenty British and American actors on a whirlwind ten month international tour of “Richard III” starring Kevin Spacey and directed by Sam Mendes. The documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and opens in theaters in New York on May 2. (SEE SPECIAL OFFER BELOW)

As we discover Spacey’s revelatory performance as the power-mad Richard III destroying his family and everyone in his path, we also see how Sam and Kevin demonstrate the leadership required to unify and bring the best out of a group of different actors, with different techniques and experiences. You can view the trailer and learn more about the film here: www.nowthefilm.com

The film follows Mendes’ Bridge Project—the first transatlantic theatre company—as the play takes shape and unfolds for us in a seamless tapestry between the backstage world to the on stage production, as it travels through nine cities.According to Mr. Spacey, "This film is an insider’s look back stage at the experience of being an actor in a company:  going to rehearsal every day, beginning to create a role with your director, crew and fellow actors; spending ten months together, first at our home theatre The Old Vic, finally at our sister home the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in between—six months on the road in many different cultures and countries forming a company."


The film offers us a privileged look at the process of putting a play together, and plunges us into the hustle and bustle of the goings -on behind the curtain.  This intimacy is enhanced by our introduction to every member of the company, as they share their thoughts about acting their roles, their personal lives, and what the play and the tour means to them.


The film is a study in the art of performance: the transatlantic actors have varying training, experience levels, and ages; the cities and cultures they encounter are exotic and diverse, with a vivid clash between ancient civilizations like Beijing and Doha and the futuristic architecture of their theatres; the play itself is staged by Mendes with sets and costumes that are a mélange of the old and the new; and the world tour itself is a throwback to a grand theatrical tradition that may be fading away. 

 
Spacey and Mendes, who collaborated so memorably on “American Beauty,” for which they won Academy Awards® for Best Actor and Director, and for which the film won Best Picture, now work together for the first time since then on the stage, a medium they both cherish.   Those who only know Spacey through his commanding, but realistic acting style—currently showcased in his stunning turn as Frank Underwood in “House of Cards”—will get a rare opportunity to see an audacious, swing-for-the-fences Spacey who playfully engages in real time with massive audiences from vastly differing cultures.


The word “now” epitomizes what makes the theatre unique among all the arts—it is a living thing that only exists in the moment—and the voyage of the cast and crew parallels that.  While “NOW:  In the Wings on a World Stage” reveals the transitory nature of an actor’s existence, few who watch it will question why people devote their lives to the profession.


SPECIAL OFFER FOR LOCALTHEATRENY.COM READERS

Spacey presents A Treetops Production:  Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes & The Bridge Project Company in “NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage.”  The film was edited by Will Znidarick, with Aadel Nodeh-Farahani as director of photography, and Michelle Mullen as associate producer.  It was executive produced by Kevin Spacey and produced and directed by Jeremy Whelehan. 

The film opens May 2 at the IFC Center in NYC and becomes available for digital download May 2 as well (currently in the pre-order stage).

LocalTheatreNY.com readers can enter the code "NEWYORK" at CHECKOUT for $1 off the digital download of the film by CLICKING HERE (Please DO NOT put the code in the REDEEM YOUR CODE section, instead enteri it at checkout after clicking PRE-ORDER NOW)

(www.nowthefilm.com/utm_source=New%20York&utm_medium=Social%20Media&utm_campaign=discountcode

"enter the code NEWYORK at checkout"? People have been getting confused and putting the code in the REDEEM YOUR CODE section instead of entering at checkout after clicking PRE-ORDER NOW

Proceeds from the digital release go to the The Kevin Spacey Foundation).

Saturday
Mar292014

THE PUBLIC THEATER PUBLIC FORUM EVENT: HOW WE TELL STORIES — AND WHY (Monday, April 21)

THE PUBLIC THEATER ANNOUNCES EXCITING PUBLIC FORUM EVENT "HOW WE TELL STORIES — AND WHY." - MONDAY, APRIL 21

Frank Rich Joins Scott Z. Burns and Steven Soderbergh To Discuss the Power of Narratives and
Explore Questions Raised by the New Play The Library

March 27, 2014 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced an additional spring Public Forum, HOW WE TELL STORIES – AND WHY, on Monday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m. This one-night-only Public Forum event will feature Frank Rich sharing his insights on the ways that artists and journalists alike shape narratives, then joining writer Scott Z. Burns and director Steven Soderbergh for a conversation about the sometimes dangerous power of stories. This 90-minute event in the Newman Theater will be hosted by Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter.

“Few people in public life have studied narratives—the ways that artists, journalists, and entire communities tell stories—with greater insight than Frank Rich,” said Jeremy McCarter. “I am thrilled to have him join Scott Burns and Steven Soderbergh for a conversation about why Americans are so eager to tell each other tales, and to believe them.”

Member tickets for the Public Forum, HOW WE TELL STORIES – AND WHY, are on sale now. Single tickets, starting at $40, go on sale Saturday, March 29 and can be purchased at (212) 967 7555www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library restaurant at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:30 p.m., with brunch on select weekends, and Joe’s Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city.

In Scott Z. Burns’ THE LIBRARY currently running at The Public Theater, Caitlin Gabriel survives a deadly shooting at her high school. After this traumatic event, she struggles to tell her story to her parents, the authorities and anyone who will listen. But there are other narratives that gain purchase in the media and paint her in a different light. This bold and chilling new play asks us to examine our relationship to the truth and the lies that claim to heal us.

The next spring Public Forum will be Sarah Lewis: Pictures and Progress on Monday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe’s Pub. Author Sarah Lewis, playwright José Rivera, and photographer Carrie Mae Weems will discuss Frederick Douglass’s seminal lecture “Pictures and Progress” and the lessons contemporary artists should take from it. The spring Drama Club season concludes on Sunday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe’s Pub with a reading and discussion of Susan Glaspell’s timely one-act play, The People, featuring a special cast comprised entirely of our leading political journalists, including David Brooks (The New York Times), Christopher Hayes (MSNBC), and many more.

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Monday
Mar172014

BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS WEDNESDAY NIGHT, MARCH 19th AT 7:45 PM IN MEMORY OF CELEBRATED COMPOSER, DIRECTOR, AND PRODUCER MITCH LEIGH

New York, NY (March 17, 2014) - The Broadway community mourns the loss of composer, director, and producer Mitch Leigh, who passed away on Sunday at age 86. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday night, March 19th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Photo by The New York TImesMitch Leigh wrote the music for Man of La Mancha, which won five 1966 Tony Awards including Best Composer and Lyricist (Mr. Leigh and Joe Darion) and Best Musical. Richard Kiley won for Best Actor in a Musical. Man of La Mancha ran until 1971 with a total of 2,328 performances, followed by four revivals on Broadway. The show’s signature number, “The Impossible Dream (The Quest),” has been recorded by numerous artists. 

“Mitch Leigh was a multi-faceted talent whether he was composing, directing, or producing for Broadway or Madison Avenue,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and fans of his work.” 

Mr. Leigh was also nominated for a 1985 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for The King and I starring Yul Brynner, and he produced the 1983 Broadway revival of Mame starring Angela Lansbury.

He wrote the music for several Broadway shows in the 1970’s including Cry for Us AllHome Sweet Homer and Sarava, and the incidental music for Too True to Be Good and Never Live Over A Pretzel Factory in the early 1960’s.

For more on the Broadway League, please click HERE

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Thursday
Feb202014

THE PUBLIC THEATER AND BRITISH COUNCIL PRESENT THE ARTISTS EXCHANGE SATURDAY, MARCH 8 

Tarell Alvin McCraney and Kwame Kwei-Armah Swap Stories on Creating Theater On Both Sides of the Pond

Free Afternoon Discussion Open To The Public

The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) and British Council announced today that they will present THE ARTISTS EXCHANGE on Saturday, March 8 at 12:00 p.m. with MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney and CenterStage’s Kwame Kwei-Armah swapping stories about creating theater on both sides of the pond. All tickets to this exciting one-on-one discussion at Joe’s Pub at The Public are free and can be reserved on-line at www.publictheater.org or by calling (212) 967-7555.

HowlRound will also live-stream the event, in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, GableStage in Maimi, and CenterStage in Baltimore, to allow people to watch live. Viewers can participate in the dialogue by sending their comments and questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #artistsexchange. To watch the live-stream, please visit http://howlround.tv.

In the spirit of international collaboration in The Public, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and GableStage’s new co-production of Antony and Cleopatra, this dynamic exchange will bring together two international artists and Public Theater favorites, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Kwame Kwei-Armah. The two artists will discuss McCraney’s creative process in directing Antony and Cleopatra, Kwei-Armah’s experience as a British artist working in the United States, and the state of transatlantic collaboration as a whole.

THE ARTISTS EXCHANGE will be 75 minutes, allowing for audience members to attend Antony and Cleopatra at 2:00 p.m. in the Anspacher Theater. Tickets for Antony and Cleopatra, starting at $65, can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library will also be serving brunch that day from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with light fare from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Antony and Cleopatra began previews at The Public on Tuesday, February 18 and runs through Sunday, March 23, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 5. This unique company is comprised of five actors from each country to make up the cast of Shakespeare’s historical play of love and politics. The actors appear with the permission of Actors' Equity Association pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Foundation.

The U.S. cast features Charise Castro Smith (Octavia, Iras); Joaquina Kalukango (Cleopatra); Ian Lassiter (Agrippa, Thyreus); Chivas Michael (Mardian, Eros, Soothsayer); and Henry Stram (Lepidus, / Messenger/Proculeius). The U.K. cast features Jonathan Cake (Mark Antony); Samuel Collings (Octavius); Ash Hunter(Pompey, Alexas, Scarus); Chukwudi Iwuji (Enobarbus); and Sarah Niles (Charmian, Menas).

KWAME KWEI-ARMAH recently directed The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit production of Much Ado About Nothing, and the Public Lab production of Detroit ’67. He is the Artistic Director of Baltimore Centerstage and Chancellor of the University of the Arts London. He has served as Writer in Residence for the Old Vic and BBC Radio. Amongst his many plays, Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, and Statement of Regret premiered at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, with Elmina’s Kitchen transferring to London’s West End, making him the first Black British playwright to have that honor. Kwame was awarded an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II on her Jubilee Honours List for Services to Drama. His other awards include the Olivier Award, BAFTA nominations, Evening Standard Charles Wintor Award, Screen Nation Award, 100 Black Men of Britain Public Figure Award, GPA Man of the Year, and the RECON Local Community Leadership Award. He also served as a Good Will Ambassador for Trade for Christian Aid (2003-2008). He is currently on the board of TCG and serves on the Steinberg Playwright Award Advisory Committee. Plays he has directed at Centerstage include Things of Dry Hours, The Whipping Man, Enemy of the People, and The Mountaintop.  At the Tricycle Theatre, he has directed Let There be Love and Seize the Day.  He also directed the opening ceremony of the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal.   

TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY is currently directing Antony and Cleopatra at The Public, an international collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Miami’s GableStage, which he also edited. His play The Brothers Size first premiered at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival in 2006 and was followed by a Public Lab production in 2007. His complete trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays (comprised of: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet), was produced at The Public in 2009. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was the RSC/CAPITAL CENTRE Warwick International Playwright in Residence in 2009-2011 and is now an artistic associate. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Tarell is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and in residence at New Dramatist Center in New York.  For the RSC he co-edited/directed the Young People's Shakespeare production of Hamlet, and wrote a new full-length play for the RSC’s acting ensemble, American Trade. His other plays include Choir Boy, Wig Out, and Head of Passes, which received its world premiere in 2013 in Chicago. McCraney was the recipient of London's Evening StandardAward for Most Promising Playwright in 2008, the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award in 2009 and the 2009 Steinberg Award. 

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Monday
Feb172014

Meet the Playwright and creator "Playing at War," Now at the Strawberry Festival

PLAYING AT WAR by David Malinsky - New York Theatre wasn’t always Broadway Tinsel and Black Box Rebellion; during the American Revolution it was illegal—by act of Congress, no less! Join William Dunlap, America’s first Theatrical Chronicler, as he explores the dark, revealing past of Theatre’s role in American History.

Also Playing:

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SOME PEOPLE RUN, A Musical by Patrick Flanagan - Mix a blind bounty hunter, a nurse and a runaway convict with blues and R&B. Shake well. Garnish with wit and serve over the sexy backdrop of New Orleans, making for a night of musical comedy you don't have to worry about forgetting. Please enjoy responsibly.

February 13th (Thursday) at 9:30pm | February 16th (Sunday) at 2:00pm  | February 17th (Monday) at 7:30pm

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CODE OF SILENCE, A Murder Mystery by Van Dirk Fisher  - Inspired by the infamous case that Rocked NYC.  Ripped from the headlines in 1998, when a police officer in the Bronx was accused of using excessive force and killing a teenager with an illegal choke hold after the kid's football bounced off of his patrol car.  It was a case that enraged NYC while the world watched to see how things would play out. They are the Provoti family.  3 Generations under 1 roof. Family secrets, love and honor. Nothing could threaten to tear them apart . . . Until NOW!

February 21st (Friday) at 3pm  |  February 22nd (Saturday) at 5:00pm |  February 22nd (Saturday) at 8:30pm | February 23rd (Sunday) at 2:00pm | February 23rd (Sunday) at 5:00pm

AND COMING at The Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival:

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EEEK! A Mousical   Produced by Friends Always Creating Theatre, written by Jack Dyville & John Stutte, directed by Jack Dyville. 

Starring Julia Menn, Chapman Riedel, Ashley Aran, Barry Sheppard, Vicki Oceguera, Kyle James Johnson, Paige Felicia Mitchell & Joris deGraff.

A Play about The City Mouse and The Country Mouse.

Children's - Performance Dates: Feb 27, March 1, 2

Running time: 60 minutes

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