Sherie Rene Scott, Mary Testa Join Jason Alexander in John Patrick Shanley's THE PORTUGUESE KID at MTC
Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) are pleased to announce additional casting for Manhattan Theatre Club's world premiere of The Portuguese Kid, a new play written and directed by Tony, Pulitzer Prize, and Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley, appearing as part of MTC's upcoming 2017-2018 season.
Joining the previously announced Tony Award winner Jason Alexander (six-time Emmy Award nominee for "Seinfeld," Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Merrily We Roll Along) are Pico Alexander (Punk Rock, What I Did Last Summer), three-time Tony Award nominee Sherie Rene Scott (The Front Page, Whorl Inside a Loop, Everyday Rapture), and Drama Desk Award winner Mary Testa (The Government Inspector, First Daughter Suite, Queen of the Mist). Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The Portuguese Kid will begin previews September 19, 2017 ahead of an October 24, 2017 opening night at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street).
In Providence, Rhode Island, habitually widowed Atalanta (Sherie Rene Scott) pays a visit to her second-rate lawyer Barry Dragonetti (Jason Alexander). Intending to settle her latest husband's affairs, this larger-than-life Greek tightwad quickly becomes a nightmare for her cheesy, self-aggrandizing attorney. Add Barry's impossible Croatian mother (Mary Testa), a dash of current politics and a couple of opportunistic young lovers, and you have in hand a recipe for comic combustion.
This feisty romantic comedy could only come from John Patrick Shanley, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the MTC hits Doubt and Outside Mullingar, and the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Moonstruck.
The creative team for The Portuguese Kid features John Lee Beatty (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), and Obadiah Eaves (original music and sound design).
The Portuguese Kid marks MTC's 12th collaboration with Shanley, a partnership that spans over three decades. The play was developed at Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater season in 2016.
In addition to The Portuguese Kid, Manhattan Theatre Club's 2017-2018 season also includes the previously announced Broadway premiere of Prince of Broadway and the American premiere of The Children at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; the New York premiere of In the Body of the World at New York City Center - Stage I; and the New York premiere of Actually and the world premiere of Sugar in Our Wounds at MTC at the Studio At Stage II - Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series. Two additional 2017-2018 MTC season productions, one at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and one at Stage I, will be announced soon.
Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including six Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55thStreet). Renowned MTC productions include Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes; August Wilson's Jitney; Cost of Living by Martyna Majok; Vietgone by Qui Nguyen; Sell/Buy/Date by Sarah Jones; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingarand Doubt by John PatRick Stanley; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage;Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain't Misbehavin', the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
John Patrick Shanley (Writer, Director) is from The Bronx. His plays include Prodigal Son, Outside Mullingar (Tony nomination), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Savage in Limbo, Italian-American Reconciliation, Welcome to the Moon, Four Dogs and a Bone, Dirty Story, Defiance, and Beggars in the House of Plenty. His theatrical work is performed extensively across the United States and around the world. For his play, Doubt, he received both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the arena of screenwriting, he has nine films to his credit, most recently Doubt, with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis; Doubt, directed by Shanley, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films include Five Corners (Special Jury Prize, Barcelona Film Festival), Alive, Joe Versus the Volcano (which he also directed), and Live From Baghdad for HBO (Emmy nomination). For his script of Moonstruck he received both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In 2009, The Writers Guild of America awarded Shanley the Lifetime Achievement In Writing.
Jason Alexander (Barry Dragonetti). Aside from his performances on stage, screen, and television, he has worked extensively as a writer, composer, director, producer, and teacher of acting. His Broadway debut was in the original cast of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, directed by Harold Prince. He continued starring on Broadway in the original casts of Kander and Ebb's The Rink, Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, Rupert Holmes' Accomplice, and his Tony Award-winning performance in Jerome Robbins' Broadway. Alexander also authored the libretto for that show which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. Most recently, Jason returned to Broadway to star in the Larry David comedy Fish in the Dark. After moving to L.A., Jason continued working in the theater, notably serving as the artistic director for the Reprise Theatre Company and for the hit West Coast production of Mel Brook's The Producers in which he starred along with Martin Short. His many films include: Pretty Woman, Jacob's Ladder, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dunston Checks In, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Shallow Hal. In addition, he directed the feature films For Better or Worse and Just Looking. He is also a distinguished television director, overseeing episodes of "Seinfeld," "Til Death," "Everybody Hates Chris," "Mike and Molly," "Criminal Minds," and "Franklin and Bash." He won the American Country Music Award for his direction of Brad Paisley's video "Cooler Online." Currently in production, Jason is starring and producing a new original comedy series called "Hit the Road" for AT&T Audience Network. He also starred in the television films of Bye Bye Birdie, Cinderella, A Christmas Carol, and The Man Who Saved Christmas. Additionally, his voice has been heard most notably in "Duckman," "The Cleveland Show," "American Dad," "Tom and Jerry," and the upcoming children's animated series, "Kody Kapow." For his depiction of 'George' on "Seinfeld," Jason garnered six Emmy nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, an American Television Award, and two American Comedy Awards. He won two Screen Actor Guild Awards as the Best Actor in a Television Comedy despite playing a supporting role, and in 2012 he was honored to receive the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Actor's Fund.
Pico Alexander (Freddie) next stars in the upcoming feature Home Again opposite Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, and Lake Bell, for writer/director Hallie Meyers-Shyer and producer Nancy Meyers. He is currently shooting the lead in Ed Burn's new film In The Summertime. Pico most recently, co-starred in Indignation, the directorial debut from Academy Award-nominated writer James Schamus; Focus Features picked up the film at Sundance 2016 where it was met with rapturous reviews. He can currently be seen in David Michod's War Machine, opposite Brad Pitt and Will Poulter in the much-anticipated film produced by Plan B for Netflix. Pico was previously seen in J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, opposite Oscar Isaac. A rising star of the New York stage, Pico starred last year in A.R. Gurney's What I Did Last Summer (Signature Theatre) and in Simon Stephens' critically acclaimed Punk Rock (MCC Theater).
Sherie Rene Scott (Atalanta). Actor: The Front Page; co-author with Dick Scanlan/actor: 2015's critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Whorl Inside A Loop; co-author with Dick Scanlan/actor Everyday Rapture (Tony nominations - Actress and Book; Drama Desk and Lortel nominations - Musical, Actress and Book); Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Drama Desk nomination); John Guare's Landscape Of The Body (Obie Award, Lortel Award); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (dir. Jack O'Brien; Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations); Disney's The Little Mermaid (Outer Critics Circle nomination); Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Derwent Award); The Last Five Years (Drama Desk nomination); Randy Newman's Faust; Kander & Ebb's Over and Over (Helen Hayes nomination); can be heard on numerous recordings; co-founder of the multiple Grammy-winning Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records from 2000-2014; authored Piece of Meat performed with Todd Almond; producer of 2015 film The Last Five Years; advisory board Neighborhood Playhouse; writer in residence with Second Stage.
Mary Testa (Mrs. Dragonetti). Two Tony nominations, two Lucille Lortel nominations, five Drama Desk nominations, two Drama League nominations, an Obie Award for her performances in From Above and On the Town, and a special Drama Desk award celebrating Queen of the Mist and 'Three Decades of Outstanding Work.' Broadway: Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Xanadu, Chicago, 42nd St, Marie Christine, On the Town, ...Forum, The Rink, Marilyn, Barnum. Opera: Anna Nicole/BAM. Off-Broadway includes The Government Inspector, Orange Julius, First Daughter Suite, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Queen of the Mist, Love Loss..., Regrets Only, See What I Wanna See, First Lady Suite, String of Pearls, A New Brain, Tartuffe, On the Town, In Trousers. Films include: Big Stone Gap, The Mother, Eat Pray Love, The BounTy Hunter, The Out-of-Towners, Sleepers. Much television including recurring on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and "Whoopi" and guest spots on "Bull," "Difficult People," "Two Broke Girls," "White Collar" and "Nurse Jackie." Featured on twelve original cast albums, Mary's album with Michael Starobin, Have Faith, is available now on Sh-K-Boom Records, iTunes and Amazon.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride