Stars of A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 and ANASTASIA Headed to THEATER TALK This Week
Cast members and writers of two new Broadway shows are featured on THEATER TALK this week - Chris Cooper, Laurie Metcalf and playwright Lucas Hnath, all Tony Award-nominated for A Doll's House, Part 2 at the Golden Theatre; and Christy Altomare, Ramin Karimloo and librettist Terrence McNally representing Anastasia, now at the Broadhurst Theatre. Co-hosts of THEATER TALK are Michael Riedel of the New York Post and producer Susan Haskins.
A Doll's House, Part 2 - with a total of 8 Tony nominations - is a provocative update to Henrik Ibsen's classic play that ends with the heroine Nora Helmer slamming the door as she abandons her husband and their children. Hnath's play begins 15 years later with Nora returning to the household having had some financial success. Based on his analysis of Ibsen's play, Hnath says in the original drama, the couple tiptoed around their problems. In the sequel, "They need to have it out."
Anastasia is a stage musical based on the popular 1997 animated film, focusing on a young woman with amnesia (played by Altomare), who comes to believe she is the surviving child of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Imperial Russia who was executed along with the rest of his family in 1918 during the Communist Revolution. The animated version includes singing animals and other fanciful creatures, but librettist McNally - when invited to rewrite the work for the stage with the film's composing team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty - declared, "I don't do chipmunks." He created, instead, a more serious work factoring in real events during and after the revolution - along with what happens to the young woman who may be the last living member of the ruling family as she flees from St. Petersburg to Paris with the Bolsheviks (represented by Karimloo) in pursuit, and attempts to find her possible grandmother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Altomare and Karimloo talk not only about the history behind the spectacular production, but the intricacies of working on a show with such elaborate scenic effects.
This week's A Doll's House, Part 2 / Anastasia episode of THEATER TALK premieres Friday, May 26 (2017) on PBS station Thirteen/WNET at 1:30 AM (Saturday morning) and repeats there on Sunday 5/28 at 11:30 AM; it re-airs on CUNY TV* Saturday 5/27 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 5/28 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 5/29 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM; and also airs on WLIW/21 on Monday 5/29 at 5:30 PM and on NYCLife/25 on Thursday 6/1 at 11 PM.
THEATER TALK is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV & Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 100+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The CUNY TV Foundation, and The Friends of THEATER TALK.
*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast in the NYC metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3 and cablecast in the city's five boroughs on Ch. 75 (Spectrum & Optimum/Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). THEATER TALK episodes are available online anytime at www.cuny.tv and www.theatertalk.org and via iTunes.