David Hyde Pierce to Lead THE LANDING at Vineyard Theatre; Scott Ellis to Direct
Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce has been cast in the Vineyard Theatre's Developmental Lab Production of THE LANDING (previously titled "Andra") -- a collection of three related one-act musicals written by the celebrated composer John Kander and his new collaborator, Greg Pierce - to be directed by Scott Ellis, with David Loud as musical director, it has been announced by artistic director Douglas Aibel and co-artistic director Sarah Stern. THE LANDING will be presented in the spring of 2012 at The Vineyard (108 E. 15 St.).
Based on stories written by John Kander and Greg Pierce, THE LANDING - which will mark Mr. Kander's first full new theatre collaboration with another writer since the passing of his long-time collaborator Fred Ebb in 2004 - is comprised of three one-act musicals thematically-linked and performed together by an ensemble of four. These gripping and soulful pieces invite audiences into richly imagined worlds, in which characters must confront what it means to get what they think they want.
Additional cast and information for THE LANDING will be announced at a later date. Developmental Lab Productions at The Vineyard are limited runs for which only Vineyard members are guaranteed a seat. Developmental Lab Productions have minimal production values and are not open for review by critics.
Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's BEYOND THERAPY. He went on to create roles in the Off-Broadway productions of Mark O'Donnell's THAT'S IT FOLKS, Richard Greenberg's THE AUTHOR'S VOICE and THE MADERATI, Harry Kondoleon's ZERO POSITIVE and Jules Feiffer's ELLIOT LOVES before returning to Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein's THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. In 2005 he originated the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, written by Eric Idle, with music by Idle and John Du Prez. For his performance, Pierce was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. In 2007 he won the Tony Award and earned another Drama Desk Award nomination for his role as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in the Musical Comedy CURTAINS, before going on to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of the 1930's comedy ACCENT ON YOUTH, and most recently, in the acclaimed London and Broadway productions of David Hirson's LA BETE with Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley, directed by Matthew Warchus. This fall, Pierce will make his directorial debut with the new musical IT SHOULDA BEEN at the George Street Playhouse. The musical, starring Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris with book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, opens October 14th. In December he'll return to acting on the New York stage in the Manhattan Theater Club's production of CLOSE UP SPACE, a new comedy by Molly Smith Metzler. The play centers on an editor who is estranged from his daughter until she walks back into his life, and is set to begin previews on December 1 in advance of a December 19 opening night. In addition to his work in new plays, Mr. Pierce also appeared in HAMLET and MUCH ADO at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, HOLIDAY and CAMILLE at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CANDIDA at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, THE SEAGULL, TARTUFFE, CYRANO and MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and Peter Brook's production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Terrence McNally's IT'S ONLY A PLAY at the Doolittle Theatre and in the Geffen Playhouse production of SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS with Uta Hagen.
Mr. Pierce's film credits include "Bright Lights, Big City," "Crossing Delancey," "Little Man Tate," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Wolf," "Nixon," "Isn't She Great," "Wet, Hot, American Summer," "Full Frontal," "Down With Love," "A Bug's Life," "Osmosis Jones," "Treasure Planet," and the Sundance Film Festival Selection "The Perfect Host," for which he earned rave reviews when it was released by Magnolia Pictures in 2011. His television credits include a short but happy stint on Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be," and a long but happy stint on "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He most recently joined the New York Philharmonic and an array of Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone, as host of "Sondheim! The Birthday Concert," which premiered as part of PBS' Great Performances series. He teamed with Victoria Clark and Rob Fisher in "Night and Day, a Cole Porter Evening," for Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Ravinia Festival, and with Michael Feinstein in his Holiday Celebration at Mr. Feinstein's club at the Regency.
Mr. Pierce has been an Alzheimer's Association National Board Member since 1999. As a board member and national spokesperson, he works with the Association in its mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. In 2010 he was awarded the Tony Awards' Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work with the Association.
Scott Ellis directed Vineyard Theatre's 1987 revival of Kander and Ebb's musical FLORA THE RED MENACE. As well, he directed the Kander and Ebb musicals CURTAINS and STEEL PIER on Broadway, and received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND: THE SONGS OF KANDER AND EBB. Other Broadway credits include THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination), TWELVE ANGRY MEN (Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations), Arthur Miller's THE MAN WHO HAD ALL THE LUCK, THE RAINMAKER, 1776 (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony Award nominations), COMPANY, SHE LOVES ME (Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations, Outer Critics Circle Award, Olivier Award for Best Director London Production), PICNIC, A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY starring Helen Mirren. Off-Broadway credits include GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, THE UNDERSTUDY, STREAMERS, MR. AND MRS. FITCH, GOOD BOYS AND TRUE, THE WAVERLY GALLERY, THE DOG PROBLEM, FLORA, THE RED MENACE, DARK RAPTURE, and THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, New York City Opera's 110 IN THE SHADE, and Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Drama Desk Award) which was subsequently televised on PBS Network's "Live from Lincoln Center" (Emmy Nomination.) For television, he is currently the Executive Producer for Showtime's "Weeds", and has directed "Modern Family," "Nurse Jackie," "The Good Wife", "Hung," "30 Rock"(Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series), "Desperate Housewives," "The Closer" and "Frasier". A graduate of Chicago Goodman School of Drama and is the Associate Artistic Director of the Roundabout Theatre Company.
John Kander's relationship with The Vineyard dates back to 1987 with the theatre's acclaimed revival of the Kander and Ebb musical FLORA THE RED MENACE. Most recently, Vineyard Theatre presented the world-premiere of Kander and Ebb's musical THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS in March 2010 -- with book by David Thompson and with direction and choregraphy by Susan Stroman -- prior to co-producing the show's Broadway transfer last fall.
John Kander and Fred Ebb won Tony Awards for their scores for CABARET (which also won the Tony for Best Musical), KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (Tony Award, Best Musical) and WOMAN OF THE YEAR. They also wrote the Broadway musicals CHICAGO, STEEL PIER, THE VISIT, ZORBA, THE ACT, THE RINK and THE HAPPY TIME. AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND, THE SONGS OF KANDER AND EBB enjoyed critical and popular success Off-Broadway in 1991.
Greg Pierce is a playwright and fiction writer. His stage adaptation of Haruki Murakami's novel THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE (co-written with director Stephen Earnhart) premiered at The Ohio Theatre in NYC, and was performed at the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival. His plays include SLOWGIRL, KICK STOP, ODYSSEY ROOM, SMACK THE WAGON and THE SUBURBANOIDS. They have been produced or workshopped with Naked Angels, The New Group, The Public Theater's Under the Radar festival, The Kraine Theater, the Rattlestick Theater, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, 3-Legged Dog, Out North/Anchorage, and others. His verses to accompany Camille Saint-Saens' CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS (written with Brian Hargrove) were performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Philharmonic.
David Loud served as musical director for THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS both at The Vineyard and on Broadway. His other Broadway credits are RAGTIME, STEEL PIER, THE LOOK OF LOVE, CURTAINS, SHE LOVES ME, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, and SWEENEY TODD. His vocal arrangements have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. His Off-Broadway credits include AND THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND (Vocal Arrangements). Regional credits include FIRST OF YOUR DREAM, BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR, ANYTHING GOES, HAROLD AND MAUDE, and THE VISIT. Mr. Loud is a graduate of Yale University. He appeared as an actor in the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG and Terrence McNally's MASTER CLASS.
One of the nation´s leading non-profit theatre companies dedicated to new plays and musicals and bold programming, Vineyard Theatre has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works including the Pulitzer Prize-winning productions of Edward Albee´s THREE TALL WOMEN and Paula Vogel´s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, Tarell Alvin McCraney´s WIG OUT!, The Civilians´ THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY, Nicky Silver´s PTERODACTYLS and RAISED IN CAPTIVITY, the Laura Nyro musical ELI´S COMIN´, A BOY AND HIS SOUL, written and performed by Colman Domingo, Adam Rapp´s THE METAL CHILDREN, Will Eno´s MIDDLETOWN, Christopher Shinn's PICKED and most recently, Developmental Lab Productions of NOW. HERE. THIS., the latest from the creators of [title of show], and the Broadway-bound revival of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.
Vineyard Theatre produced the world premiere of the musical AVENUE Q and is a recipient of the Tony Award for Best Musical. The Vineyard continues as producer of the musical´s current production at New World Stages in New York. As well, The Vineyard produced the musical [title of show] both on Broadway and off, along with producing the world-premiere of THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS on and off Broadway.
This fall, Vineyard Theatre will produce the world-premiere of Nicky Silver's play THE LYONS starring Tony winners Linda Lavin and Dick Latessa, with previews starting September 21 prior to an official opening on October 11. Later this season The Vineyard will produce Zayd Dohrn's new play OUTSIDE PEOPLE as a co-production with Naked Angels.
For more information about The Vineyard, visit www.vineyardtheatre.org
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos
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