Paradise Factory to Re-Open After 2-Year Renovation with SHAPE OF SOMETHING SQUASHED, Begin. 2/17
The celebrated, award-winning downtown film/theater cooperative The Paradise Factory will re-open following a 2-year, $4 million renovation with the world premiere of Tom Noonan's comedy the SHAPE of SOMETHING SQUASHED. Preview performances are February 17 and 18 prior to the official press opening February 26, 2014 at the new Paradise Factory venue, 64E4 (64 East 4th St.) in Manhattan. One of the highlights of the renovation is the addition of a new performance space, giving The Paradise Factory two performance spaces for the first time in its 30-year history.
The Paradise Factory is widely-known for creating original theatrical works that evolve into feature-length films. Projects include Tom Noonan's hit play WHAT HAPPENED WAS... which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature and the Waldo Salt Award for screenwriting at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994 and PETER AND VANDY by Jay DiPietro, which played in competition at Sundance after premiering as a play at The Paradise Factory following its development in one of the Factory workshops.
Directed by the playwright, the SHAPE of SOMETHING SQUASHED is the story of an older 'has-been' actor who is called to 'fill-in' for a legendary star at a backer's audition of a new play.
Though the production's success depends on the success of the read-through, Hermione Anglund, the film's high-strung co-star and wife of the director refuses to participate without the missing male star, pronouncing "He is the frame, I am the picture." Each character is a little-more-than desperate, fighting to make their world match their dreams. the SHAPE of SOMETHING SQUASHED is at once bitter, mysterious, funny and touching in its depiction of life in the movies.
The cast are all long-time members of the Paradise Factory, and have worked with Mr. Noonan on various projects, while developing into playwrights and filmmakers in their own right through this association. Grant James Varjas has written, among other works, the hit musical 33 TO NOTHING and ACCIDENTALLY, LIKE A MARTYR at Paradise Factory in 2011. As an actor, Grant has appeared in 33 VARIATIONS with Jane Fonda, Mr. Noonan's WHAT THE HELL'S YOUR PROBLEM, and the current debut of Chuck Blasius' I COULD SAY MORE along with SHAPE cast-mate Monique Vukovic.
Ms. Vukovic appeared in GOD'S EAR at Vineyard Theatre, Romeo & Juliet with Moonwork Shakespeare Company and PETER AND VANDY at The Paradise Factory. Talia Lugacy is the writer/director of the film DESCENT with Rosario Dawson, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Warner Independent in 2008. Ms. Lugacy is a member of The Actors Studio Playwrights & Directors Unit and has appeared in numerous productions at The Paradise Factory, notably a workshop production of FLOGISTAN with Will Patton and Kevin Corrigan.
Tom Noonan's Obie Award winning play WIFEY was subsequently adapted to film (directed by and starring Mr. Noonan) premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was named one of the 10 Best Movies of the Decade (1990-2000) by Artforum Magazine. He originated the role of 'Tilden' in Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning BURIED CHILD, and appeared in Harvey Fierstein's SPOOKHOUSE, Michael Weller's SPLIT, as well as the OBIE award winning plays FARMYARD, FIVE OF US, and A POSTER FOR THE COSMOS, which was written for and dedicated to Mr. Noonan by the late playwright Lanford Wilson. He has appeared in over 75 film and TV projects, including MANHUNTER, ROBOCOP 2, LAST ACTION HERO, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, DAMAGES, LOUIE, HELL ON WHEELS and the upcoming ANOMALISA by Charlie Kaufman. His performance in Mr. Kaufman's film SYNECDOCHE, NY, won Tom both the 2009 Gotham Award and Independent Spirit Award.