The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) will begin previews tonight, May 6 for the New York premiere of KNICKERBOCKER, written by Jonathan Marc Sherman and directed by Pippin Parker. The final show in the 2010-2011 Public LAB season, KNICKERBOCKER will run Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 29, with an official press opening on Thursday, May 19. Single tickets are on sale now; all tickets for Public LAB productions are $15.
The cast for KNICKERBOCKER features Mia Barron (Pauline), Alexander Chaplin (Jerry), Bob Dishy (Raymond), Christina Kirk (Tara), Drew Madland (Steve), Zak Orth (Chester), and Ben Shenkman (Melvin).
"Are you ready?" Jerry confronts this question from the womb of his favorite restaurant booth while the months pass by and the son he and his wife Pauline are expecting grows from the size of a peach to the size of...a baby. As the due date approaches, can friends and family members help Jerry feel prepared, or just feel worse, like some un-anonymous sperm donor terrified of making the transition from being the son of a father to being the father of a son? Staged just blocks from the titular restaurant where it is set, the latest play by Jonathan Marc Sherman (Things We Want, Sophistry) is sharp, funny, and deeply felt.
KNICKERBOCKER features scenic design by Peter Ksander; costume design by Gabriel Berry; lighting design by Jeff Croiter; sound design by Walter Trarbach; and projection design by Shawn Duan.
Public LAB, conceived in association with LAByrinth Theater Company, is an annual series of new plays that lets New Yorkers see more of the work they love from The Public in scaled-down productions. Public LAB allows The Public to support more artists, and gives audiences immediate access to new plays in development. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported Public LAB with one of the largest grants ever received by The Public Theater.
In its first three years, Public LAB has produced a diverse range of works by emerging and established playwrights, including Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? by Adrienne Kennedy, The Poor Itch by John Belluso, Paris Commune by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman, The Fever Chart by Naomi Wallace, The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson, Penalties and Interest by Rebecca Cohen, Sweet Storm by Scott Hudson, Philip Roth in Khartoum by David Bar Katz, Tales of an Urban Indian by Darrell Dennis, Knives and Other Sharp Objects by Raúl Castillo, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman, Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9) by Suzan-Lori Parks, Juan and John by Roger Guenveur Smith, and Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
JONATHAN MARC SHERMAN (Playwright). His plays include Things We Want, Sophistry, Veins & Thumbtacks, Evolution, Sons & Fathers, Jesus on the Oil Tank, Serendipity & Serenity, Wonderful Time, and Women & Wallace. They have been performed at Malaparte Theatre Company (which he co-founded), The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the Williamstown Theater Festival, as well as in England, Australia, Israel, and Japan. He adapted Women and Wallace for PBS-TV's "American Playhouse," and Veins & Thumbtacks was the basis for the movie The Jimmy Show.
PIPPIN PARKER (Director). His recent directing work includes Betrayed by George Packer at Culture Project (Lortel Award, Best Play 2008) and a new version of Jose Rivera's References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot for Abroad Stage Company. He is a founding member and former Artistic Director of Naked Angels Theater Company, where he co-conceived their long-running reading series "Tuesdays at 9" and their signature Issues Projects, which has collaborated with a diverse range of advocacy organizations including Amnesty, International and Project A.L.S. Parker currently serves as Chair of the graduate playwriting department at the New School for Drama, New School University.
MIA BARRON (Pauline) has appeared on Broadway in The Coast of Utopia. Her Off-Broadway credits include Spirit Control, What Once We Felt, The Pain and the Itch and The World Over. She has also appeared on "Children's Hospital," "The Venture Bros," and "Grey's Anatomy."
ALEXANDER CHAPLIN (Jerry). His New York credits include Jonathan Marc Sherman's Women and Wallace, The Petrified Prince at The Public Theater, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Philip Roth in Khartoum, and Comic Potential. His television credits include "Ugly Betty," "The Hustler," "Scrubs," "Numb3rs," and a recurring role as James Hobert on "Spin City." His film credits include The Basketball Diaries and the 30 Days.
BOB DISHY (Raymond) has appeared on Broadway in Sly Fox, Mornings at Seven, The Price and The Tenth
Man. His Off-Broadway credits include By Jupiter and The Shawl. He has appeared in such films as The Wackness and Along Came Polly, and his television credits include "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Johnny Zero," and "Frasier." He is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination.
CHRISTINA KIRK (Tara) appeared on Broadway in Lisa Kron's Well. Her Off-Broadway credits include Clybourne Park, A Lifetime Burning, and God's Ear. She has appeared on television in "The Good Wife" and "Law & Order," and in films such as Taking Woodstock, Satellite, The Limbo Room, and Along Came Polly.
DREW MADLAND (Steve). His New York theater credits include Sacred Search (Lincoln Center), Happy's Funeral (Times Square Art Center), and Pat Novak for Hire (New York Cares). His other theater credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona, Time Of Your Life, Charlie's Aunt, and How It Is.
ZAK ORTH (Chester) is making his Public Theater debut. His previous New York credits include Major Barbara, The Internationalist, A Place at the Table, Rope, Misalliance, and SubUrbia. He is best known for his roles in the films Wet Hot American Summer, The Other Guys, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, In and Out, Melinda and Melinda, Romeo + Juliet, and Music and Lyrics. His television credits include Fox's "Fringe," "Nurse Jackie," and "30 Rock."
BEN SHENKMAN (Melvin) appeared in Antony and Cleopatra and Venus at The Public. His Broadway credits include Proof, Sight Unseen, and The Deep Blue Sea. His other New York credits include Baby Anger, Three in the Back Two in the Head, and Carson McCullers. He earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Louis Ironson in HBO's "Angels in America." His film credits include Must Love Dogs, Blue Valentine, Requiem for a Dream, Solitary Man, Just Like Heaven, and Breakfast with Scott. Shenkman's television credits include "Canterbury's Law," "Grey's Anatomy," "Burn Notice," "Damages," "Lights Out," and the NBC sitcom, "The Paul Reiser Show."
THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes, Interim Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater's productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls...; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice. www.publictheater.org.
KNICKERBOCKER, a Public LAB production, begins performances on Friday, May 6 and continues through Sunday, May 29, with an official press opening on Thursday, May 19 at 8 p.m.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays at 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.