BOXCAR THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE SPEAKEASY January 10 - March 15
Pictured (l to r): Gabe Kenney, Gabriel Montoya, Jamie Castner. Photo credit: Peter Liu. thespeakeasysf.com
Following its sold-out, extended run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Boxcar Theatre is pleased to announce the world premiere of The Speakeasy. Conceived and created by Boxcar Artistic Director Nick A. Olivero, The Speakeasy recreates an authentic Prohibition-era saloon, complete with period cocktails, craps tables, roulette and a backroom cabaret. Inside its multiple rooms unfolds a fully immersive theatrical experience involving more than 35 actors, singers and musicians. Together they lead audiences back to a time poised precariously between two great calamities, World War I and the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Speakeasy begins in previews today, Friday, January 10, opens on February 13 and runs through March 15, 2014 at a discreet converted studio space in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.
In the 1920s the illicit nightclub known as a speakeasy was, as often as not, a place to forget one's troubles, if only for a few hours. Abundant booze, live music and gambling lifted the spirits for a time, but addiction, heartache and loss lurked just around the corner. In Boxcar's The Speakeasy patrons enter via a run-down clock shop. Time and Fortune, the two central arbiters of the play, allow patrons to eavesdrop on the interwoven stories of floozies and bootleggers, couples young and old, a degenerate gambler and his kid daughter, a pair of World War I veterans and an aspiring novelist. A dressing room and the saloon owner's office offer opportunities to observe more intimate action. The boisterous backdrop to all of the stories is a parade of chorus girls and croupiers, busboys and bouncers, and a host of vaudeville acts. The Speakeasy is structured freely to allow audience members to decide what they want to see and do, and no two patrons will likely see the same show. The play's three acts, spanning three and a half hours, pack in a range of possible entertainments, whether one chooses to wander, sit or play.
Since its founding in 2005 by Olivero and former partner Peter Matthews, Boxcar Theatre has produced over 60 plays. Its latest original venture, The Speakeasy, combines the writing talents of Barry Eitel and Tim Bauer, with assistance from Bennett Fisher, Geof Libby, Olivero, Peter Ruocco and Miriam Wilson. Olivero and Ruocco direct, with music direction by Grace Renaud and choreography by Kelsey Bergstrom. Tickets for The Speakeasy range between $60 for general admission and $115 for VIP service. Reserved seats in the cabaret and gambling chips are available for $5 to $10 on top of a general admission ticket. Tickets may be purchased online at thespeakeasysf.com. In conformity with historical speakeasies of the 1920s, the address of The Speakeasy will remain undisclosed to ticket buyers until the day of the event. At that time patrons will receive a text providing instructions on how to reach the space.
Performances run Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with four admittance times at 7:30pm, 7:40pm, 7:50pm and 8:00pm. The show runs three and a half hours. ABOUT BOXCAR THEATRE Since its founding in 2005 by Nick A. Olivero and Peter Matthews, Boxcar Theatre has produced over 60 plays. Dedicated to supporting the bold vision of emerging and established directors, Boxcar has earned recognition for its robust productions. In 2010 the company presented three Tennessee Williams plays in rolling repertory, and in 2012 Boxcar followed suit with four Sam Shepard plays. Boxcar has produced plays in living rooms, museums, beaches, buses as well as the streets of San Francisco. Among its productions are Clue, Equus and a re-imagined version of Little Shop of Horrors. Boxcar's most recent production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch enjoyed a run of 145 performances over eight months. Boxcar aims to push the boundaries of what theater can be while redefining how audiences engage with the work. FACT SHEET WHO: The Speakeasy was conceived and created by Nick A. Olivero. Directors Nick A. Olivero & Peter Ruocco Head Writer Barry Eitel Associate Head Writer Tim Bauer Writers Bennett Fisher, Geof Libby, Nick A. Olivero, Peter Ruocco, Miriam Wilson Choreographer Kelsey Bergstrom Music Director Grace Renaud WHAT: Boxcar Theatre presents the world premiere of The Speakeasy. WHEN: January 10 - March 15, 2014 The Speakeasy runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with four admittance times at 7:30pm, 7:40pm, 7:50pm and 8:00pm. The length is 3½ hours.