400 YEARS IN MANHATTAN Extends United Solo Run
400 Years in Manhattan, the rollicking "multimedia monologue" in which New York storyteller Noah Diamond leads the way through four centuries of history, is extending its run in the 2019 United Solo Theatre Festival. After selling out its first two performances, a third has been added, on November 6 at 9:00 pm.
Diamond, best known for his performance as Groucho Marx in the Off Broadway revival of I'll Say She Is, made his New York debut narrating double-decker bus tours in the 1990s. 400 Years in Manhattan, directed and produced by Amanda Sisk, weaves the story of the city together with recollections from Diamond's experiences as a tour guide.
"He's put this together in a way that you can really get a sense of what's happened on this island over the last four hundred years," Sisk explains, in a recent interview for the performing arts website Vaudevisuals. Describing their work on an earlier version of the show, workshopped at HERE Arts Center in 2007, Sisk recalls, "It was a lot smaller at the time." Despite the simplicity of solo performance, the 2019 incarnation of 400 Years in Manhattan doesn't seem small; in addition to Diamond's narration, the epic sweep of the city's history is conveyed through more than a thousand sounds and images.
Discussing the show on the Maxamoo theatre podcast, Diamond remembers that "in 2007, in the subtext, 9/11 was a constant presence, as everything seemed to be about 9/11 in those years . . . And now, against a different current events backdrop, [400 Years in Manhattan] is presenting New York as a model of American unity, an example of the kind of resilient togetherness that we all need." The show, he says, emphasizes "the importance of robustly inclusive and welcoming immigration policy to The American Project-New York as the exclamation point at the end of that sentence about inclusion."
Diamond is the author of Love Marches On: A Saga of Broadway and Gimme a Thrill: The Story of I'll Say She Is. He can be heard monthly on The Marx Brothers Council Podcast.
400 Years in Manhattan, after selling out its September 30 and October 4 performances, will be seen in the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row on November 6 at 9:00 pm. Additional performances may be scheduled, based on ticket sales. Further information is available at 400yearsinmanhattan.com.
UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL is an annual international festival for solo performances held at the Theatre Row in the heart of the New York City theatre district on 42nd Street, currently in its 10th anniversary season. Fiona Shaw called United Solo "the mecca of the solo shows in the world." Over 120 participants from six continents will present their shows every day from September 19 until November 24, 2019. Through its mission, United Solo presents renowned artists as well as new talents, discovers original stories, connects artists with their audiences, exchanges diverse perspectives, fosters a dialogue for change, entertains, and now also educates through its professional training program led by distinguished artists and cultural icons. Artists and companies interested in being presented at The United Solo Festival in 2020 are now welcome to submit their applications online at unitedsolo.org starting September.