Joe Mantello to Direct MTC's Blackbird, Opening in April

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced that two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello will direct the American premiere of David Harrower's Blackbird at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). The play will begin previews on March 15th, 2007 and open on April 10th.

The production will mark Mantello's first return to directing Off-Broadway since 2002 and the fifth production that he has directed at Manhattan Theatre Club. His previous directing credits at MTC include Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994), which subsequently transferred to Broadway and earned Mantello his first Tony Award nomination for direction; Blue Window (1996); Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks (1998); and Corpus Christi (1998).

"One of the most talked-about plays to come out of London in years, David Harrower's Blackbird will come to life at MTC in a thrilling new American production. This powerful, volatile piece begins when Una shows up unexpectedly at the office of Ray, forcing Ray to come to terms with the effects of their relationship. Una pulls Ray into an encounter that is gripping, surprising and utterly unforgettable," state production notes.

Casting for Blackbird will be announced at a later date.

Mantello is represented this season with the Broadway production of Three Days of Rain and the revival of The Odd Couple. Other directing credits include Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony nomination), Assassins (Tony Award), Wicked (Tony nomination), Take Me Out (Tony Award), the Broadway revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Man of No Importance, Design for Living, Terrence McNally and Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking for the San Francisco Opera, The Vagina Monologues, bash, Another American: Asking and Telling, Proposals, The Mineola Twins, God's Heart, The Santaland Diaries, Snakebit, Three Hotels, and Imagining Brad. Mantello also directed the film Love! Valour! Compassion! As an actor, he appeared in Angels in America (Tony nomination) and The Baltimore Waltz. Mantello is the recipient of Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, OBIE and Joe A. Callaway awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

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