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Photo Flash: To Be Or Not to Be at Manhattan Theatre Club

Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer) will celebrate opening night for their upcoming world premiere production of Nick Whitby's TO BE OR NOT TO BE. The play, based on the 1942 motion picture To Be or Not To Be, is directed by three-time Tony Awardâ nominee Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone, Monty Python's Spamalot).

The production features Peter Benson (The Pajama Game), Robert Dorfman (The Drowsy Chaperone), Steve Kazee (Monty Python's Spamalot), Tony Awardâ nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Jan Maxwell (Coram Boy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Peter Maloney (Almost An Evening, Dinner At Eight), Michael McCarty (Mary Poppins), two-time Obie Award winner Kristine Nielsen (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, MTC's Our Leading Lady), Brandon Perler (Broadway debut), David Rasche (Burn After Reading, MTC's Regret's Only) Rocco Sisto (Iphigenia 2.0), Jimmy Smagula (Damn Yankees at Encores!), and Marina Squerciati (MTC's Beauty of the Father).

TO BE OR NOT TO BE is the first production of Manhattan Theatre Club's 2008-2009 season. The limited engagement began previews at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) on Tuesday, September 16 and will open on Tuesday, October 14.

At the Polski Theatre in 1939 Warsaw, Josef (David Rasche) and Maria Tura (Jan Maxwell) are about to open yet another smash with their theatrical troupe. As the German invasion gets underway, the theatre is closed by the censors, forcing the troupe to face desperate times. But when a handsome young bomber pilot enlists their help to catch a spy, what is a group of actors to do? This hilarious black comedy is an ingenious commentary on the World War II era and an inspired tribute to the timeless joys of the theatre.
The creative team for TO BE OR NOT TO BE will include: Anna Louizos (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design), Wendall and Zak (projection design), Josh Marquette (hair design), and David Caparelliotis (casting).

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. MTC productions have earned a total of 16 Tony Awards and five Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. Renowned MTC productions include Top Girls; From Up Here; Come Back, Little Sheba; The Receptionist; LoveMusik; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; Kimberly Akimbo; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Sylvia; Four Dogs and a Bone; Putting It Together; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain't Misbehavin'.

This season, MTC's Broadway stage was renamed the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). The landmarked theatre has been the institution's home on Broadway since 2003 and was rehabilitated by MTC following a two-year, $35 million capital campaign. In addition, MTC operates two theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street), its Off-Broadway home since 1984.

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Photos by Joan Marcus


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