THE TRIBUTE ARTIST and ALMOST, MAINE Cast Members Set for THEATER TALK, Now thru 2/10

THE TRIBUTE ARTIST and ALMOST, MAINE Cast Members Set for THEATER TALK, Now thru 2/10

The newest THEATER TALK features two new Off-Broadway productions that showcase their writers as performers: The Tribute Artist by Charles Busch and Almost, Maine by John Cariani. Joining Charles Busch on the show is his current co-star and frequent sidekick, actress Julie Halston, celebrating the premiere production of the new play at 59E59 Theaters. Later, John Cariani - whose Almost, Maine was first produced in 2002, and is now one of the most frequently produced plays of the past decade - is accompanied by director, Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director of Transport Group, who is helming the revival of the play, now at The Gym at Judson.

Hosted by Michael Riedel and Susan Haskins, THEATER TALK's The Tribute Artist and Almost, Maine episode premieres in the New York metropolitan area today, February 7 (2014) at 1 AM (Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, and continues on CUNY TV* Saturday 2/8 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 2/9 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 2/10 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.

In The Tribute Artist, Charles Busch portrays a man who impersonates his elderly and now-deceased landlady in order to keep her Greenwich Village townhouse. Halston, in her own words, plays "Manhattan's worst real estate agent, a hapless lesbian broker." The play is a sharp comment on the current value of New York City real estate and to what lengths people will go to hold onto it. Busch describes the play as "halfway between my gender-bending comedies and my sentimental Jewish comedies."

Cariani's endearing Almost, Maine had a short-lived NYC debut in 2006, but since its publication it has received over 2,000 productions in the U.S. and internationally. A series of short vignettes with different characters who all know each other in their small hamlet in Maine, the play explores - in what has been described as an "absurdist" or "magic realism" style - the rapture and heartbreak of expressing love's warmth in a chilly climate. Cariani and Cummings talk about the current production, and the work of the Transport Group, dedicated to intimate theatre.

THEATER TALK is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 100+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The TDF/TAP Plus Program, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK. *CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast in the New York metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3, and cablecast in the five boroughs of New York City on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). The show is available online anytime at and and via iTunes podcasts. CUNY TV is also live-streamed for mobile, tablet and desktop viewing on

Pictured: Julie Halston and Charles Busch in Busch's "The Tribute Artist" (Photo: James Leynse); Kevin Isola and John Cariani in Cariani's "Almost, Maine" (Photo © Carol Rosegg).

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