ALMOST, MAINE & I REMEMBER MAMA Featured in Transport Group's 2013-14 Season
Transport Group, the Drama Desk and OBIE award-winning theatre company, has announced that Almost, Maine, written by John Cariani and directed by Jack Cummings III, and I Remember Mama, written by John Van Druten and directed by Mr. Cummings, will comprise the company's 2013-14 season. Both productions will take place at the Gym at Judson, 243 Thompson Street, where Transport Group will now be in residency.
Written by John Cariani
Directed by Jack Cummings III
Previews January 19
Opens February 4
Closes February 23
It's winter in Almost, Maine. Salty waitresses, lost tourists, tough and not-so-tough women and men crack open some beer, start their snowmobiles, pitch a tent, and gather under the northern lights to try to make sense of this strange thing called love. Funny, sexy, sad, and ever-searching, the people of Almost, Maine are stalked by dreams and fears alike as they ante up again and again determined to get past the "almost" to capture the real. Love is local and the world is strange in this midwinter night's dream. The Transport Group production will be the play's first New York revival; playwright and Tony Award nominee John Cariani will be featured in the cast. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Almost, Maine premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim. The play opened at off-Broadway's Daryl Roth Theatre on January 12, 2006 and closed on February 12, 2006. Since its New York debut, Almost, Maine has received over 2000 productions across the country and across the world, and has been presented in over 15 countries.
I Remember Mama
Written by John Van Druten
Directed by Jack Cummings III
Previews March 16
Opens April 1
Closes April 20
Redefining family, time and memory, Transport Group's production of John Van Druten's beloved classic, I Remember Mama, features a cast of ten veteran actresses who play all 23 roles. This bold reinterpretation of Van Druten's simple and honest story reveals how even the smallest and seemingly insignificant experiences of family life can silently accumulate and take our breath away. Barbara Andres will lead the cast; additional casting will be announced at a later date. The production continues Transport Group's 20th Century Project.
The original production of I Remember Mama opened at Broadway's Music Box Theatre on October 19, 1944 and ran for 713 performances. The cast featured Mady Christians, Oscar Homolka, Joan Tetzel, and Marlon Brando, making his Broadway debut as Nels. After its wildly successful run, the play was subsequently adapted for film, into a television series, and a short-lived 1979 Broadway musical with a book by Thomas Meehan, lyrics by Martin Charnin and Raymond Jessel, and music by Richard Rodgers in his final original Broadway production.
Partnering with Judson Arts, the artistic programming arm of Judson Memorial Church, Transport Group and The Gym will continue a relationship that began in 2011 with Transport Group's productions of Lysistrata Jones and Queen of the Mist, the Gym's two inaugural productions. Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III says about the Gym, "It is incredibly exciting for us to have an artistic home where the performance space is completely flexible. The openness of the Gym allows our designers and me to continue to reinvestigate the audience/actor relationship, and the audience's experience of a production. Judson Memorial Church has historically been a warm and welcoming environment for artists, and the Gym continues that tradition. It's a wonderfully creative place to work while in a beautiful and convenient location, right off of Washington Square in the heart of the Village. We look forward to becoming a part of the Judson community and the surrounding neighborhood."
Transport Group is in the midst of its 20th Century Project, a ten-year cycle of ten productions, each production focusing on a different decade of the 20th century. The ten productions comprise five musicals and five plays-including three commissioned musicals, two commissioned plays, and five revivals. The first production in this cycle was Michael John LaChiusa's world premiere musical Queen of the Mist, commissioned by Transport Group with major support from the Shen Family Foundation, which took place during the first decade of the last century (1900-1909). John Van Druten's I Remember Mama is the second play in this cycle, focused on the next decade, 1910-1919.
John Cariani is an actor and a playwright. As an actor he has appeared on and off-Broadway, and in several films and television shows, and was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Fiddler on the Roof. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which premiered in New York in 2004 and has since become one of the country's most produced plays. Other plays include cul-de-sac(produced by Transport Group), Last Gas, and Love/Sick.
John Van Druten (1901-1957) was an English playwright and theatre director. He began his career in London, and later moved to America and became an American citizen. He was known for his plays of witty and urbane observations of contemporary life and society. His most notable works include Old Acquaintance, The Voice of the Turtle, and I Remember Mama.
Jack Cummings III is the co-founder and Artistic Director of off-Broadway's award-winning Transport Group. He is a five-time Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Director (The Audience, The Boys in the Band, See Rock City & Other Destinations, Hello Again, and Queen of the Mist). Additional credits include the world premiere musicals A Thousand Words Come To Mind by Michele Lowe and Scott Richards and Arlington by Polly Pen and Victor Lodato for New York's Premieres/Inner Voices, A Streetcar Named Desire for Pennsylvania's Gretna Theatre, Tony Kushner's adaptation of The Illusion for Nevada Theatre Company, and Violet(Best Director and Best Musical, Virginia's Style magazine) and The Young Man From Atlanta for Richmond's Barksdale Theatre. For PBS, he directed a musical version ofA Tale of Two Cities (filmed in Brighton, England), starring Michael York. Upcoming: the world premiere of Terrence McNally's And Away We Go for the Pearl Theatre Company and the new musical The Blonde Streak by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer for Grove Entertainment. Mr. Cummings received his MFA from the University of Virginia and his BA from the College of William and Mary. He is married to actress Barbara Walsh.
Season subscription packages are now available for $80, which includes premium reserved seating to both shows, unlimited ticket exchanges, access to purchase house seats, exclusive subscriber-only events, and a free glass of wine at each show.
Single tickets also now on sale. Prices start at $49 for general admission, and $65 for premium reserved seating. To purchase tickets visit www.transportgroup.org or phone866-811-4111.
Founded in 2001, Transport Group, under the leadership of Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director, and Lori Fineman, Executive Director, is a not-for-profit theatre company that stages new works and re-imagined revivals by American writers. Their visually progressive productions of emotionally classic stories explore the challenges of relationships and identity in America. Transport Group is the winner of a special Drama Desk Award for its "breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions." Transport Group presented its premiere production in 2002: Thornton Wilder's Our Town, which featured older actors in the roles of Emily and George and a twelve-year-old girl as the Stage Manager. Its second production, Requiem for William, an evening of seven seldom produced plays by William Inge, that featured a cast of 26 as well as original songs, premiered in 2003. In 2004 the company presented the first New York revival of Michael John LaChiusa's First Lady Suite, which received rave reviews, played to sold-out houses, and earned two Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Other productions include the world premiere of the musical The Audience, which featured a cast of 46 actors and earned three Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding Musical; Normal, a new musical about a mother's battle to save her daughter from anorexia; cul-de-sac, a new play by Tony Award nominee John Cariani; the first New York revival of Tad Mosel's Pulitzer Prize play, All the Way Home; the 50th anniversary, OBIE-winning production of William Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; the world premiere musicals Crossing Brooklyn, Marcy in the Galaxy, andBeing Audrey, and the first New York revival of Irwin Shaw's Bury the Dead. BothFirst Lady Suite and Bury the Dead were filmed for the New York Performing Arts Library's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at Lincoln Center. In 2010 Transport Group presented a sold-out, extended engagement of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band, which received an OBIE Award and was nominated for five 2010 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play-the most for an off-Broadway play. Transport Group's productions of See Rock City & Other Destinations by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, and Hello Again by Michael John LaChiusa combined for eleven 2011 Drama Desk Award nominations and one win. Transport Group's production of Lysistrata Jones, by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, opened to rave reviews, played to sell-out houses, transferred to Broadway, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. In 2011, the company produced a critically acclaimed run of The Patsy and Jonas at the Duke on 42nd Street, starring OBIE winner David Greenspan and Michael John LaChiusa's world premiere musical,Queen of the Mist, winner of the 2012 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New off-Broadway Musical. Most recently, Transport Group produced the world premiere of House for Sale, an essay by National Book Award-winning author Jonathan Franzen adapted for the stage and directed by Daniel Fish and the New York premiere of the new musical The Memory Show, starring Catherine Cox and Leslie Kritzer, written by Sara Cooper and Zach Redler, and directed by Joe Calarco. Both productions were presented at the Duke on 42nd Street.
Judson Arts continues the long tradition of arts ministry at Judson Memorial Church, a spiritual force in Greenwich Village for over 120 years, devoted to creative freedom, social justice, and progressive faith. From the acclaimed Judson Poets' Theater and Judson Dance Theater to today's Bailout Theater and Magic Time programming, Judson embraces the necessity of art in our lives and nurtures an uncensored environment for innovative expression. Recent co-productions in the Gym at Judson include Jay Stull's The Capables, Matthew-Lee Erlbach's Handbook for an American Revolutionary and the upcoming October/November production of Nate Weida'sByuioo.
Transport Group will honor Tony Award-winning producer Beth Williams at its annual gala, Gimme a Break!, on December 9, 2013, at the Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue. Scheduled performers and speakers include Julie Halston, Doug Wright, Rachel Bay Jones, Santino Fontana, Carolee Carmello, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Jessie Mueller. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.transportgroup.org or by phoning 212-564-0333.