THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS Plays 59E59 Theaters, Now thru 7/1

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59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) is thrilled to present the NY premiere of the hit musical comedy THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS, based on the play by Mickle Maher, with music by Mark Messing, libretto by Mr. Maher and directed by and featuring George Andrew Wolff and Larry Adams.

Produced by Chicago’s Theater Oobleck and Brian W. Parker, THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS begins performances tonight, June 1 for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1.  Press opening is Sunday, June 10 at 3:15 PM.  The performance schedule is Tuesday – Thursday at 7:15 PM; Friday at 8:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM and 8:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:15 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.

THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS dramatizes a hilarious and melancholy panel discussion between Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame, and Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, on their attempt to create a mysterious sound effect called for in Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard. Playing out over eleven musical scenes, or “variations,” the story details the duo's collaboration -- one doomed by their deafness, unpleasant working conditions, and the fact that Beethoven has not fully committed to the process.

Called “smart, eccentric, unpredictable, thought-provoking, and very funny!” by the Chicago Reader, THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS just concluded a sold-out, critically acclaimed run in Theater Oobleck’s hometown of Chicago.

The cast features Larry Adams as Quasimodo and George Andrew Wolff as Beethoven.

The production features Paul Ghica on cello and Christopher Sargent on piano. The lighting design is by Jesse Klug. The mask design is by Richard Henzel.

Mickle Maher (Playwright) is a co-founder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck and the author of numerous plays, including An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening; The Hunchback Variations; The Strangerer; Spirits to Enforce; Cyrano (translator); The Cabinet; and Lady Madeline. His plays have appeared Off Broadway and in numerous theaters around the world. He has been the recipient of a Creative Capital grant (for The Strangerer) and, recently, an NEA grant for The Hunchback Variations, and a MAP Fund grant (through Catastrophic Theatre) to write a play about a man with a talking hand. He currently teaches playwriting and related subjects at the University of Chicago, and Columbia College. For the University of Chicago he is adapting Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares for production at the university’s Logan Cultural Center in 2012. His plays are published by Hope and Nonthings.

Mark Messing (Music) is cofounder of Mucca Pazza, a 30 piece mobile orchestra/marching band and Opera-Matic which performs Lullaby Parades on bicycle powered floats in Chicago neighborhoods at twilight. Recently he wrote new music for the Tony Kushner translation of Mother Courage performed by The Bricklayers Theater, music for Chicago Children’s Theater’s The Houdini Box based on the book by Brian Selsnick and music for The Thief of Baghdad for The Ljubljana Puppet Theater. He has also composed for Redmoon Theatre, Lookingglass Theater, Walkabout Theater, Lucky Plush Dance Company, Shirley Mordine and Company, and for numerous independent films including The First Breath of Tengan Rei (2009) by Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski.

George Andrew Wolff (Director/Beethoven) National/Tours: A Christmas Story, The Musical (First National Tour) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chicago Sit-Down). Chicago/Regional: Sweeney Todd, Ragtime (Drury Lane Theatre); Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, A Christmas Carol, Light in the Piazza, The Producers, Sunset Boulevard (Marriott Theatre); Die Fledermaus, Yeomen of the Guard, Countess Maritza (Light Opera Works); Willy Wonka and The Emperor’s New Clothes (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Albert Herring (Monteux Opera Festival); Bon Appetit (Anchorage Opera); Cats (TATC); Treasure Island (Fulton); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Bailiwick Repertory); Annie Get Your Gun and Camelot (Ravinia Festival); and Side by Side by Sondheim (Second Stage) for which he earned a Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination.

Larry Adams (Director/Quasimodo) has worked in various musical styles throughout his career. He has performed a number of musical genres, including opera, musical theatre, pop and minimalism. Companies with which he has worked include: Drury Lane Theatre, Light Opera Works, Theatre at the Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lincoln Center, La MaMa, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Michigan Opera Theatre, Lake George Opera, Fulton Theatre, Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, among others. He has performed on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, and has toured nationally in various productions. Larry was an original member of The Cummings Ensemble, a minimalist group featured on the CRI Label; which performed throughout New York City and the country.

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