EXTRAORDINARY EXTREMITIES Begins Tonight a Soho Playhouse
Soho Playhouse, the downtown Off-Broadway theatre located at 15 Vandam Street, will present the world premiere of Extraordinary Extremities with previews beginning tonight, April 4 prior to an official press opening of April 13 it has been announced by producer Darren Lee Cole.
EXTRAORDINARY EXTREMITIES was inspired by the NPR story on Hugh Herr; the biomedical engineer whose legs were amputated after a climbing accident and who now designs technologically advanced artificial limbs. Hugh himself has over twenty different pairs of feet, "I feel fortunate that I can always look forward to having better and better feet," he stated in his "Fresh Air" interview entitled "The Double Amputee Who Designs Better Limbs."
Written and directed by Renee Philippi with an original score by Lewis Flinn, Extraordinary Extremities is performed and designed by solo-performer and puppeteer, Carlo Adinolfi whom is accompanied on stage by live cellist Jeanette Stenson. It is a funny yet heart-breaking tale. Mr. Adinolfi's character, Geppetto (the puppeteer and puppet-maker), has recently lost his wife and performing partner, the other half of the "Mythic Puppet Theater," a company dedicated to adapting classic Greek myth. The play centers around Geppetto attempting to perform, solo for the first time, the couple's signature piece based on the grand love story of Perseus, who slays a sea monster to save his beloved Andromeda. As things begin to go awry he finds himself forced to create new scripts, ideas and even limbs. Extraordinary Extremities is a tale of resilience, adaptation and ingenuity all marshaled to face a world full of challenges and changes.
Renee Philippi is Artistic Director of Concrete Temple Theatre with Carlo Adinolfi. Over the past 25 years, she's been writing and directing in NYC and has toured work nationally and internationally. With Concrete Temple she's worked as a co-creator, director and writer/adapter on New York, national, international and touring productions of Bird Machine, The Whale (Off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre and Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms), Hudson to China, Alberto's Great Escape and The Bystander Project. Philippi is an alumna of Women's Project Directors Forum and a member of Lincoln Center's Directors Lab and New Georges. She's been an Artist-in-Residence with Mabou Mines, St. Ann's Warehouse Puppet Lab, The Flea and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Carlo Adinolfi was born in Italy. He's Artistic Director of Concrete Temple Theatre with Renee Philippi. With Concrete Temple he's worked as a co-creator, performer, set designer and puppet designer on New York, national, international and touring productions of Bird Machine, The Whale (Off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre and Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms), Hudson to China, Alberto's Great Escape and The Bystander Project. Adinolfi is a member of EST and has danced with Laura Pawel Dance Company, Sara Pearson/Patrik Widrig and Dancers, and Elise Long.
Lewis Flinn has written scores and songs for national commercials, network TV shows, Broadway plays, musicals and independent films. His theater musicals include the acclaimed Broadway production of Lysistrata Jones with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, Other Girls with Steven Sater, Like Love with Barry Jay Kaplan (NYMF 2007) and The Winner with Joe Sutton (Lyric Stage). He composed and produced the music and main themes for the CBS primetime shows: "The Power of 10" and "Million Dollar Password." In addition to writing musicals, Flinn has composed scores and songs for over 50 productions around the country including the Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed on Broadway and collaborations with Charles Busch (The Divine Sister and Die Mommie Die).
SoHo Playhouse (Darren Lee Cole, Artistic Director) has been one of Off Broadway's primary venues for new plays for the past 70 years. Formerly "Vandam Playhouse" the theatre has been home to countless dreams and movements. Many actors, directors, choreographers, production designers, theatre managers, technicians, and producers all received their start at SoHo Playhouse. Several of America's leading writers have premiered their work at 15 Vandam Street including; Sam Shepard, Edward Albee, Tracy Letts, Charles Busch, Leroi Jones and Lanford Wilson. Award winning shows have included: "The Boys in the Band", "Killer Joe", "The Divine Sister", "Mindgame", "Krapp, 39", "Piaf", "Room Service", "Jamaica Farewell", "Belly of a Drunken Piano", "Bukowski From Beyond", "Simon Lovell's Strange & Unusual Hobbies", "The Emperor Jones", "Triassic Parq", "The Canterbury Tales Remixed", "The Other Josh Cohen" and "Bill W and Dr Bob". Mr. Cole has served as Artistic Director since 2004.
EXTRAORDINARY EXTREMITIES will share the mainstage theatre at Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street) with the theatre's current hit BILL W. AND DR. BOB (which just extended its run through April 27).