Morton And Elbrick Star In 'LEAVES OF GLASS'

Morton And Elbrick Star In 'LEAVES OF GLASS'Tony nominees Euan Morton and Xanthe Elbrick co-star with Victor Villar-Hauser and Alexa Kelly in the U.S. premiere of British playwright Philip Ridley's highly acclaimed "Leaves of Glass." Co-produced by Origin Theatre Company (which specializes in emerging European playwrights) and Stiff Upper Lip (whose bailiwick are daring British plays from London's Fringe), "Leaves of Glass" plays a limited 4-week engagement from Wednesday January 14 through Sunday February 8 at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street, on Theater Row. The opening is on Sunday January 18 at 3pm.

Directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser, who made a splash several season's ago with "The Countess," the long-running hit drama she both directed and produced, "Leaves of Glass" had its world premiere in May 2007 in a highly acclaimed production at London's Soho Theatre. The Guardian called it a "crooked fairytale of family life that has a grey banal surface but which is like a shard of glass plunged straight into the heart." Time Out said "Philip Ridley's new play is a kind of dark expressionist encapsulation of the state we're in."

Set in East London, "Leaves of Glass" chronicles the slow disintegration of the relationship between Stephen (portrayed by Victor Villar-Hauser), a man with what seems like an enviably stable, have-it-all life and his younger brother Barry (in the person of Euan Morton) an alcoholic painter with mental health issues. At the core of this fraternal meltdown is the haunting memory of their father's suicide at a young age, an act of selfish violence that proves to be just as responsible for the older brother's functionality as it is for the younger sibling's dysfunction.

The Scottish-born Morton was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Boy George in "Taboo." The London-born Villar-Hauser has earned high praise for his work for Stiff Upper Lip embodying a string of damaged men in plays by Joe Penhall, Ridley and Jamie Linley. The London-born Xanthe Elbrick (as Stephen's high-strung, ambitious wife Debbie) earned Tony and Drama Desk nominations (while winning a Theatre World Award) for her Broadway debut in "Coram Boy" in 2007. Rounding out the cast of four is Alexa Kelly as the men's emotionally distant mother.

Ridley, who is also a children's author, painter, and photographer, is the controversial author of "Mercury Fur" and "The Pitchfork Disney," which Stiff Upper Lip staged here in 2003. This is the first collaboration between Stiff Upper Lip and Origin.

Since its founding in 2002 by George C. Heslin, Origin Theatre Company has become one of New York's most innovative pipelines for new plays of distinction by producing readings, special events and fully mounted shows both here and abroad. The company's 1st Irish Festival 2008 was this city's first festival of its kind dedicated exclusively to Irish theater. Among its notable New York successes are "Crestfall" by Mark O. Rowe and Enda Walsh's "Misterman."

"Leaves of Glass" performs 20 times in a limited run from Wednesday January 14 to Sunday February 8 at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street, on Theater Row. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. For tickets, which are $20, call Ticket Central at 212/279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com

 


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