Theater for the New City Extends PLAYING SINATRA Through 10/13
To share an exceptional production with a wider audience, Theater for the New City has extended the American premiere run of "Playing Sinatra" by England's Bernard Kops by one week; it will now play through October 13. The powerful drama opened September 15 and was originally scheduled to close October 6. In the play, grown up siblings in Streatham, London, resist their lonely future by idolizing ol' Blue Eyes. Norman can't leave their family nest; his sister, Sandra, knows she must try. Her new friend, Philip, is drawn into their trap to escape his painful past. This American premiere is performed by Austin Pendleton, Katharine Cullison and Richard McElvain. Kelly Morgan directs.
Playwright Bernard Kops is one of Europe's best-known and most admired playwrights. He was born in the East End of London of Dutch-Jewish working class parents in 1926. He achieved recognition with his first play, "The Hamlet of Stepney Green," which was performed all over the world. He has written more than forty plays for stage and radio, nine novels and six volumes of poetry. He lives in London.
The play takes place in the decaying family home that has been shelter to Sandra and Norman since childhood. She toils in an office. He, agoraphobic, works a little from home as a bookbinder. Now middle-aged, they are bonded by promises made to their deceased parents and by their shared, obsessive adoration of Frank Sinatra. With posters of the crooner on the walls and his records on the sound system, they carry on each evening in a life-avoiding ritual of microwave dinners and fan talk. Their cozy status quo is shattered when Sandra brings home Philip, the "platonic lover of her dreams," who describes himself as a "seeker" and encourages her toward independence. Phillip's potential to finally break Sandra out of her long-suffering isolation sends Norman on a desperate scheme to prevent his life from changing, making him dangerous and unpredictable. The tense, gripping play holds holds the audience tightly as it illuminates the nature of obsession and the strength of family promises, home and the ties that bind.
Photo by Jonathan Slaff