Tony-nominated producer Jeff Britton (THE ME NOBODY KNOWS) is set to present WHAT THE BABE SAID and JOINT RETURN, two one-act plays by Martin Halpern, in early 2013, starring Tony Award nominee Tony Lo Bianco (A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, HIZZONER!). Tony-nominated director John Tillinger (LOOT, LOVE LETTERS) is set to direct the production at an Off-Broadway venue to be announced.
A behind-the-scenes look at baseball, WHAT THE BABE SAID co-stars Lo Bianco as Sal Salerno, an Italian American Baseball Manager at odds with his veteran center fielder, Buck Benson, for failing to hustle like he should in the Major Leagues.
In JOINT RETURN, Lo Bianco plays Ben, an author and college professor, visiting his estranged wife Ann, in the New England house they once shared, to complete their final tax return. As revelations of infidelities and suppressed emotions pile up, so does the snow outside.
Additional casting is to be announced.
Brooklyn native Tony Lo Bianco is best known for his tough-guy roles in such films as "The Honeymoon Killers," "God Told Me To," "The French Connection," "Bloodbrothers," and "City of Hope," among others. His television credits include "Police Story," "Get Smart," "Murder, She Wrote," and "The Twilight Zone." Lo Bianco received a Tony nomination for his performance in the 1983 revival of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE and critical kudos for HIZZONER!, his one-man show based on the life of Fiorello LaGuardia. He won an Obie Award for his performance as a waning baseball icon in YANKS-3, DETROIT-0, TOP OF THE SEVENTH.
Director John Tillinger recently helmed DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER. Other Broadway credits include ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR, SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE, NIGHT MUST FALL, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, and the 1986 revival of LOOT, which earned him a Tony nomination for Best Direction of a Play. Tillinger's many Off-Broadway credits include LOVE LETTERS; ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE; AFTER THE FALL; WHAT THE BUTLER SAW; THE LISBON TRAVIATA; LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART; SYLVIA; HOUSE; GARDEN; A PICASSO, and TEA AT FIVE.
Martin Halpern's plays have been widely produced Off and Off-Off Broadway and at regional theaters. He was playwright-in-residence at New York's Circle Repertory Company, where WHAT THE BABE SAID premiered in 1977. From 1965 to 1994, the Bronx native was professor of playwriting and dramatic literature at Brandeis University, where he chaired the Theater Arts department for seven years. In addition to WHAT THE BABE SAID and JOINT RETURN, Halpern's plays include TOTAL RECALL, OPUS ONE-ELEVEN, DAY SIX, THE HEADHUNTER, MAGIC FIRE, and NO MOVES BACK. He is also a noted composer of more than 10 chamber operas.
Dates and venue for WHAT THE BABE SAID and JOINT RETURN are to be announced.