New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo have announced that Restoration, written by Claudia Shear, and directed by Christopher Ashley, will begin performances Friday, April 30, at 8pm, at NYTW, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. Opening night is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 7:00pm. The production runs through Sunday, June 13; single tickets are on sale Friday, April 16.
Two-time Tony Award-nominee, playwright, and actress Claudia Shear reunites with director Christopher Ashley to create and star in her new play Restoration. Shear plays Giulia, a down-on-her-luck art restorer from Brooklyn who receives what could possibly be a career-reviving job of “refreshing” Michelangelo’s David in time for its quincentennial celebration in Florence.
Claudia Shear and Christopher Ashley first worked together on the hit NYTW production of Shear’s OBIE Award-winning Blown Sideways Through Life, which played an extended run at NYTW, transferred to the Cherry Lane Theatre, and was later filmed for PBS’s “American Playhouse.” Shear triumphantly returned to NYTW with Dirty Blonde, a comic exploration of the life of Mae West, directed by James Lapine, which transferred to Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre and for which she won a Theatre World Award, as well as Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Play and Best Actress.
The cast of Restoration is Tina Benko, Alan Mandell, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Natalija Nogulich, and Claudia Shear.
The set design for Restoration is by Scott Pask; costume design is by David C. Woolard; lighting design is by David Lander; sound design is by Dan Moses Schreier; video design is by Kristin Ellert; wig design is by Mark Adam Rampmeyer; the production Stage Manager is James FitzSimmons.
Claudia Shear’s Broadway credits include The Smell of the Kill (directed by Christopher Ashley, Drama League Award) and Dirty Blonde (directed by James Lapine, Tony and Drama Desk Nominations for Best Play and Best Actress, Drama League Award, Theatre World Award). In London she appeared in Chicago, Who’s The Daddy?, and Dirty Blonde. Her off-Broadway credits include Blown Sideways Through Life (directed by Christopher Ashley, OBIE Award, Drama Desk nomination) as well as Dirty Blonde—both at New York Theatre Workshop. Regionally she has appeared in Restoration (La Jolla Playhouse), The Smell of the Kill (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Dirty Blonde (Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Award nominations for Best Play and Best Actress), End of the Day (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Blown Sideways Through Life (Coronet Theatre). Her television credits include “Friends,” “Earthly Possessions” (dir. James Lapine), “Blown Sideways Through Life” (directed by Christopher Ashley). She has made film appearances in Blow Sideways Through Life (“American Playhouse,” Rose D’Or Montreux, Comedy Festival), Living Out Loud, It Could Happen To You, and The Opportunists. Ms. Shear writes for various publications, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Vogue and Travel & Leisure. She is a member of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, NYTW’s Usual Suspects and The Dramatists Guild.
Christopher Ashley is currently Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse. His Broadway directing credits include Xanadu, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, and The Rocky Horror Show for which he received nominations for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, as well as Memphis, All Shook Up, The Smell of the Kill, and Voices in the Dark. Off-Broadway credits include Regrets Only, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Bunny Bunny, Jeffrey (OBIE and Lucille Lortel awards – Outstanding Direction), Communicating Doors, Blown Sideways Through Life, and Das Barbecu.
Other recent directing credits include the world premieres of Alfred Uhry’s Without Walls at the Mark Taper Forum (starring Laurence Fishburne) and Joe Hortua’s Between Us at Manhattan Theatre Club; Charles Busch’s The Lady in Question at Bay Street Theatre; the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb and David Kirshenbaum’s Party Come Here at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Paul Rudnick’s Valhalla at New York Theatre Workshop (Lucille Lortel nomination – Outstanding Direction); the world premieres of The Wonder of the World and Newyorkers (Outer Critics Circle nomination – Outstanding Off Broadway Musical, Drama Desk nomination for Best Revue) at Manhattan Theatre Club; the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sweeney Todd (starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski; Helen Hayes Award winner for Outstanding Direction of a Resident Musical) and Merrily We Roll Along; the National Tour of Seussical: The Musical; Li’l Abner for City Center Encores; Paul Rudnick’s Rude Entertainment; Mondo Drama and The Country Club (both by Douglas Carter Beane) at The Drama Dept.; the world premieres of They All Laughed and Lucky in the Rain, and the revival of Redhead at Goodspeed Musicals; Light Up the Sky at Williamstown Theatre Festival; the American premiere of What You Get and What You Expect at NYTW; and Working by Stephen Schwartz at Long Wharf.
Additional New York credits include As Thousands Cheer at the Drama Dept; Anna Deveare Smith’s Fires in the Mirror at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater (Lortel Award – Outstanding Direction); Paul Rudnick’s The Naked Eye, The White Rose, Bella Belle of Byelorussia, The Night Hank Williams Died, and Buzzsaw Berkeley at the WPA; Dario Fo’s Eve’s Diary/Story of the Tiger and Dale Stein’s A Breath of Fresh Air at NYTW; Portfolio and Experts at Manhattan Punchline and Richard Greenberg’s Neptune’s Hips for the Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon.
In addition to his work for the stage, Mr. Ashley directed the feature film of Jeffrey and the “American Playhouse” production of “Blown Sideways Through Life” for PBS.
New York Theatre Workshop, now celebrating its 26th season, is a leading voice in the world of Off-Broadway and within the theatre community in New York and around the world. NYTW has emerged as a premiere incubator of important new theatre, honoring its mission to explore perspectives on our collective history and respond to the events and institutions that shape our lives. In addition, NYTW is known for its innovative adaptations of classic repertory. Each season, from its home in New York's East Village neighborhood, NYTW presents three to five new productions, over 80 readings, and numerous workshop productions, for over 45,000 audience members. Over the past 26 years, NYTW has developed and produced over 100 new, fully staged works, including Jonathan Larson's Rent, Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul, Doug Wright's Quills, Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla, and Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Far Away, and A Number. The 2002 remounting of Martha Clarke's seminal work Vienna: Lusthaus and subsequent American tour was one of the longest-running productions in NYTW's history. NYTW supports artists in all stages of their careers by maintaining a series of workshop programs including work-in-progress readings, summer residencies, and minority artist fellowships. In 1991, NYTW received an OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement and in 2000 was designated to be part of the Leading National Theatres Program by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Restoration plays at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. The regular performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday through Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be a special student matinee on Wednesday, May 26 at 1pm. Changes in performance schedule for the run are:
Saturday, May 1, 2010 - 8:00pm performance only
Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 7:00pm performance only
Sunday, May 9, 2010 - 2:00pm performance only
Monday, May 17, 2010 - 7:00pm performance
Thursday, May 20, 2010 - no performance
Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 2:00pm performance only
Restoration runs through Sunday, June 13, 2010. Tickets are $65 and may be purchased online at www.ticketcentral.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. For exact dates and times of performance, visit www.nytw.org.
Maintaining its commitment to making theatre accessible to all theatergoers, NYTW continues its CheapTix Sundays program in which all tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7:00pm will cost $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance, payable in cash only, and are available in person only at the NYTW Box Office. And for all performances, student tickets cost $20, based on availability, and can be purchased in advance from the NYTW Box Office with valid student identification. The NYTW Box Office is open 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.