Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Photo Flash: MURDER IN THE FIRST Debuts Off-Broadway Tonight at 59E59 Theaters

59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) welcomes The Directors Company, in association with Chase Mishkin, Barbara & Buddy Freitag, and Invictus Theater Company, with MURDER IN THE FIRST, written by Dan Gordon and directed by Michael Parva. MURDER IN THE FIRST begins performances tonight, Friday, May 25, for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1. Check out photos of Chris Kimball, Guy Burnet, Larisa Polonsky and more on stage below!

Inspired by a compelling true story, MURDER IN THE FIRST is a gripping drama about the murder trial that blew open the deplorable treatment of the prisoners at Alcatraz, the most notorious correctional institution in U.S. history. The stage version of Dan Gordon's 1995 film explores the unlikely friendship that develops between the young, idealistic attorney and the prisoner that he was brought in to defend.

Tony Award-nominee Chad Kimball (Memphis) plays the Alcatraz convict Willie Moore. British actor Guy Burnet (TV: Hollyoaks; Film: Two Jacks, Rites of Passage) makes his NY stage debut as Willie’s attorney Henry Willard Davidson. Larisa Polonsky (Burning for The New Group) plays fellow attorney Mary McCasslin.

The cast also includes Joseph Adams, J. Stephen Brantley, Richard Fiske, John FitzGibbon, Robert Hogan, Jim Lorenzo, Ian Holcomb, Anthoula Katsimatides, Daren Kelly, Thomas Ryan, Ryan Scoble, and John Stanisci.

The design team includes Mark Nayden (set design); David Castaneda (lighting design); Tristan Raines (costume design); Quentin Chiappetta (original music and sound design); and Leah Loukas (hair/wig design). The stage manager is Katharine S. Fergerson.

Dan Gordon's (playwright) theater credits include the Broadway production of Irena's Vow, starring Tovah Feldshuh (nominated for Best Play, Outer Circle Critics Awards); the West End production of Rain Man, starring Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley (nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor, Adam Godley); and the UK production of Terms of Endearment starring Linda Gray. His feature film credits include The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington (nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor); Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner (Spur Award, Best Screenplay); Murder In The First, starring Kevin Bacon (nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Award and SAG Award, Best Actor, Kevin Bacon); and The Assignment, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Aiden Quinn and Donald Sutherland. His television credits include the HBO feature Gulag (Cable Ace Nominee, Best Screenplay); the pilots of The Highlander and The Dirty Dozen; and 45 episodes of Highway to Heaven starring Michael Landon, as well as numerous movies for television. He is the author of six published novels and is the co-founder of The Zaki Gordon Institute For Independent Film Making in Sedona, Arizona.

Artistic/Producing Director of The Directors Company, Michael Parva (director) has developed and directed over 50 new plays and musicals, most recently directing Irena’s Vow, starring Tovah Feldshuh, which transferred to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre. He has had the privilege of directing the work of many exceptional playwrights including Drifting Elegant by Stephen Belber, winner of the first Development Award from the Kennedy Center; 25 Kesselring Award projects including Brooklyn Bridge by Bridget Carpenter and The Latecomer by David Auburn; Land of Cockaigne by David Ives; Avow by Bill C. Davis; and Trudy Blue by Marsha Norman at The Actors Studio, where he is a member of the Directors & Playwright’s Unit. Other credits include, Concrete Christ Trilogy with Philip Seymour Hoffman & Kristin Johnston. Producer credits include: Bad Girls, by Joyce Carol Oates, featuring Merritt Wever, Kilt starring Tovah Feldshuh; The Passion of Frida Kahlo featuring Priscilla Lopez; and Bat Boy: The Musical.

Press Opening is Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:00 PM; Friday at 8:00 PM; Saturday at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; and Sunday at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Please note, there are no 7:00 PM performances on Sunday, May 27 and Sunday, July 1. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $60 for regular performances; $45 for preview performances ($42 for regular performances and $32 for preview performances for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.


BroadwayWorld Shop
Shop BroadwayWorld

Shop this season's new musicals! Get dressed up for a night at the theatre, or just a night at home, with merch from some of Broadway's biggest hits including SOME LIKE IT HOT, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, and more!

Start Shopping



Related Stories

More Hot Stories For You


Meet Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter & More at a BTU Event Through CharitybuzzMeet Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter & More at a BTU Event Through Charitybuzz
February 3, 2023

You can now bid on the opportunity to join Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and more at a private Black Theatre United event! See details about the event.

Paolo Montalban, Victoria Frings & More to be Featured on CLICQUOT: A REVOLUTIONARY MUSICAL Studio Cast RecordingPaolo Montalban, Victoria Frings & More to be Featured on CLICQUOT: A REVOLUTIONARY MUSICAL Studio Cast Recording
February 3, 2023

CLICQUOT: A Revolutionary Musical – Studio Cast Recording, which features highlights from the sweeping and romantic new stage musical, will be released on Friday, April 14.

John Dossett, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, and William Youmans Join WICKED This SpringJohn Dossett, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, and William Youmans Join WICKED This Spring
February 3, 2023

Wicked will welcome new cast members to the Gershwin Theatre this spring. Tony Award-nominee John Dossett will take over the role of The Wizard, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, last seen on Broadway in Girl from the North Country, will assume the role of Nessarose, and William Youmans, the original Dr. Dillamond, will reprise his role and return to the halls of Shiz University.

HADESTOWN Original Broadway Cast Recording Will Release Limited Edition Transparent Green Vinyl Box SetHADESTOWN Original Broadway Cast Recording Will Release Limited Edition Transparent Green Vinyl Box Set
February 3, 2023

A limited-edition transparent green vinyl box set of the Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown will be released on Friday, March 17 in celebration of the Tony Award winning Best Musical's upcoming 1000th performance on Broadway.

Sutton Foster Returns to Cafe Carlyle This SpringSutton Foster Returns to Cafe Carlyle This Spring
February 3, 2023

Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and dancer, Sutton Foster, returns to Café Carlyle with her all new show this Spring. Performances will take place May 23 – June 3 at 8:45pm.