The New Group's STEVE, Directed by Cynthia Nixon, Opens Tonight Off-Broadway

The New Group's STEVE, Directed by Cynthia Nixon, Opens Tonight Off-Broadway

The New Group presents the world premiere of STEVE, a new play by Mark Gerrard. Directed by Cynthia Nixon, this production features Ashlie Atkinson and Francisco Pryor Garat, and as announced, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Malcolm Gets and Matt McGrath. A limited Off-Broadway engagement plays now through December 27 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street), with Official Opening Night set for tonight, November 18.

As Steven, a failed Broadway chorus boy turned stay-at-home dad, celebrates yet another birthday, he finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty. Is Stephen, his partner of 14 years, cheating on him? Why is one of his best friends dying of cancer? And what, exactly, has he done with his life? A portrait of a group of longtime, theater-loving friends as they navigate the many facets of midlife and mortality, Mark Gerrard's STEVE is a biting and bittersweet comedy about relationships and the unavoidable consequences of aging and the passage of time.

STEVE features Matt McGrath as Steven, Malcolm Gets as his partner Stephen, Mario Cantone as Steven's best friend Matt, Jerry Dixon as Matt's partner Brian, Ashlie Atkinson as Steven's best friend Carrie, and Francisco Pryor Garat as Esteban.

This production features Scenic Design by Allen Moyer (Rasheeda Speaking and This is Our Youth for The New Group), Costume Design by Tom Broecker ("Saturday Night Live," "House of Cards"), Lighting Design by Eric Southern (Pocatello, Buyer and Cellar), Sound Design by David Van Tieghem (Rasheeda Speaking for The New Group, Heisenberg), and Projection Design by Olivia Sebesky (The Spoils and Sticks and Bones for The New Group). Music Coordinator is Seth Rudetsky (Host of "Seth Speaks" and "On Broadway"). Valerie A. Peterson is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Judy Henderson, CSA.

STEVE, Mark Gerrard's New York debut as a playwright, was developed through The New Group's New Group/New Works reading series. With this production, director Cynthia Nixon returns to The New Group, where she made her directorial debut last season with the hit production of Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, which received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. In 2006, she starred in The New Group production The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

The New Group's 2015-2016 Season launched with the Off-Broadway premiere of Philip Ridley's Mercury Fur, directed by Scott Elliott, a Critics' Pick in The New York Times. Following STEVE, the season continues with Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child, featuring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, directed by Scott Elliott (Performances begin February 2016).

Productions in The New Group's 2015-2016 Season take place at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street. Two-Show Subscriptions & memberships for The New Group's 2015-2016 Season available now. For more, please visit www.thenewgroup.org. Subscriptions can be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).

Tickets to STEVE, on sale to the public October 6, may be arranged at www.thenewgroup.org, or through Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily). Tickets $25 - $95.

STEVE plays now through December 27 as follows: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm. Additional performances on Wednesday, November 25 at 2:00pm; Wednesday, December 16 at 2:00pm; and Wednesday, December 23 at 2:00pm. No performance on Thursday, November 26; Thursday, December 24; Friday, December 25.

The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. While constantly evolving, the company strives to maintain an ensemble approach to all its work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its productions. In this way, The New Group seeks a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly "now," a true forum for the present culture. The New Group celebrated its 20th Anniversary during the 2014-2015 Season, which began with David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, directed by Scott Elliott and featuring Richard Chamberlain, Nadia Gan, Holly Hunter, Morocco Omari, Bill Pullman, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman, followed by Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, featuring Patricia Conolly, Darren Goldstein, Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest, helmed by Cynthia Nixon, and the world premiere of Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, directed by Scott Elliott and featuring Erin Darke, Jesse Eisenberg, Kunal Nayyar, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Zegen.

The company's 2013-2014 season included the New York premiere of Beth Henley's The Jacksonian, directed by Robert Falls, featuring Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan, Bill Pullman and Juliet Brett; the world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw's Intimacy, directed by Scott Elliott; and the New York premiere of Sharr White's Annapurna, directed by Bart DeLorenzo, starring Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. Other notable productions include Ecstasy, This is Our Youth, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Hurlyburly, Abigail's Party, Rafta, Rafta..., The Starry Messenger, A Lie of the Mind, Blood From a Stone, Marie and Bruce, and many more. The company has received nearly 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). In 2011, The Kid received five Drama Desk nominations and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. That year, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a Drama Desk Special Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."

The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and Signature Café and Bar, open to public from noon-midnight Tuesdays-Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.

BIOGRAPHIES:

Ashlie Atkinson (Carrie) was introduced to New York audiences as Helen in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig at MCC - a role for which she won a Theatre World Award as well as Lortel and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Since then, she has been a constant presence on TV ("Louie," "Rescue Me," "The Good Wife," "Bored to Death," "30 Rock," "Elementary," "Boardwalk Empire," "Blue Bloods," "Nurse Jackie" and the "Law & Order" trifecta, among others) and film (credits include The Wolf of Wall Street, Compliance, Inside Man, Eat Pray Love, The Invention of Lying, All Good Things, My Best Day, Another Gay Movie, and the upcoming films Bridge of Spies, The Lennon Report, Blood Stripe, and the Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project). Stage credits include The Butcher of Baraboo for Second Stage, The Ritz for Roundabout, the Geffen production of Fat Pig, Arena Stage's The Book Club Play, Long Wharf's January Joiner, and both As You Like It and The Tempest for Sam Mendes' year-long, world-spanning Bridge Project. Ashlie has also had an enduring web presence in series like "Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews," "High Maintenance," "F to 7th," "The Actress," "Be Here Now-ish," "Stuck on A," as well as portraying the glitzy MTV fan favorite Chunky Pam. Ashlie has also co-written three award-winning plays with her writing partner Lesley Dancer. Last summer, she directed the NY Fringe 2015 show Stockholm Savings, which went on to win Best Ensemble Show.

Mario Cantone (Matt) earned critical acclaim with his Tony-nominated one-man show Laugh Whore (Broadway: Cort Theatre; Showtime special). He also starred in the Tony-winning Assassins by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Both shows were directed by four-time Tony winner Joe Mantello. Cantone appeared on Broadway as "Buzz" in Terrence McNally's award-winning dramatic comedy, Love! Valor! Compassion! And as "Stephano" in Shakespeare's The Tempest at the Public Theater. He starred in Sony's animated film, Surf's Up, and appeared in The Aristocrats. On television, Cantone can currently be seen as Anthony, Charlotte's wedding-planner-with-attitude, now that HBO's Sex and the City is in syndication on TBS, E! and other stations, and in the Sex and the City movie franchise. On Comedy Central, Cantone's performances have been featured on The USO Comedy Tour, Chappelle's Show, and various other network specials. Cantone has performed his irreverent stand-up comedy at a wide range of venues including Carnegie Hall, where he warmed up jazz great Shirley Bassey, to performances at Atlantic City's Borgata and Atlantic Club, headlining at Gotham Comedy and Caroline's on Broadway. His routines have included musical parodies of Judy Garland, Jim Morrison, Peggy Lee, Bruce Springsteen and Liza Minnelli. Cantone got his start hosting the local New York children's show Steampipe Alley, where the comic slipped in sly pop culture innuendo that adults could enjoy. Other television credits include Late Night with David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Oprah, Martha, The Today Show, and throughout its 15 year run, multiple appearances on ABC's The View.

Jerry Dixon (Brian): Broadway Original: If/Then (Stephen), Once on This Island (Daniel), Five Guys Named Moe (Nomax). Off-Broadway Original: tick, tick... BOOM! (Jane St. Theatre); Bright Lights, Big City (New York Theatre Workshop); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Playwrights Horizons); newyorkers and Romantic Poetry (Manhattan Theatre Club). Television and Film: "Law & Order," "Everwood," "Peace Maker," "As The World Turns," "Guiding Light." Regional: Ragtime (Coalhouse, White Plains PAC), Dreamgirls (Curtis, Long Beach CLO), and Thunder Knocking On The Door (Jaguar, Yale Rep). Jerry has been a concert soloist with the Belgian National, Kalamazoo, Taiwan, and Singapore symphony orchestras. Directing: Show Boat; tick, tick...BOOM!; Barnstormer; Bernarda Alba; Crowns; Ain't Misbehavin'. Writing: CBS, VH1, Comedy Central, Guess Who's Coming for Chitlins? and original music for Laugh Whore, on Broadway & Showtime.

Francisco Pryor Garat (Esteban) makes his Off-Broadway debut in STEVE. Francisco was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the descendant of many immigrants from many different countries, and moved to the U.S at age sixteen. In his first year of college he decided to take an acting class for extra credit, and hasn't stopped pursuing acting since. He played Picasso in an adaptation of STEVE Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Vasquez in John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Francisco has also done Shakespeare in the park in Sonoma County, California. He received his MFA in Acting from USC.

Malcolm Gets (Stephen): New York: Allegro; Irma La Douce; Macbeth; The Vigil; The Story of My Life; Amour (Tony & Drama Desk nominations); A New Brain; The Molière Comedies; Merrily We Roll Along (Drama Desk nomination, Obie Award); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Obie); Hello Again; Boys and Girls; Finian's Rainbow; Polish Joke; Juno; The Boys From Syracuse; Bash and The Apple Tree, both for the Encores! series. Regional: Little Miss Sunshine at La Jolla Playhouse; also productions at Williamstown, The Kennedy Center, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, ACT, Goodspeed and Westport Playhouse. He was Richard, the tortured artist, on NBC's "Caroline in the City." Other TV credits include "The Good Wife;" "Blue Bloods;" "Law & Order;" "Remember Wenn;" "Incredi-Girl: Leaps and Bounds" and "South Beach." Films include Outliving Emily, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Love in the Time of Money, Adam and STEVE, Sex and the City, Mrs. Parker & The Vicious Circle, A Flash of Green and HBO's Grey Gardens. Gets sings on many original cast CDs, including Barbara Cook's Mostly Sondheim, his Carnegie Hall debut. His first solo CD, The Journey Home, is available from PS Classics on iTunes and Amazon.

Matt McGrath (Steven) is currently appearing Off-Broadway in The Legend of Georgia McBride. He has appeared at SCR in Putting it Together, Ridiculous Fraud and Raised in Captivity. He recently appeared in Verite by Nick Jones at LCT3 (Lincoln Center Theater), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), and The Rocky Horror Show (The Old Globe). He starred in The Black Rider at Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Sydney. His Broadway credits include Cabaret (Emcee) and A Streetcar Named Desire. His Off-Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch; A Fair Country (Lincoln Center Theater); Collection/A Kind of Alaska by Harold Pinter, Minutes from the Blue Route and The Dadshuttle (Atlantic Theater Company); Fat Men in Skirts; The Old Boy; Life During Wartime; Amulets Against the Dragon Forces and Dalton's Back (Drama Desk nomination). His regional appearances include Romance, Japes and Bell, Book and Candle (Bay Street Theatre); Caroline in Jersey and Loot (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Loot, His Girl Friday (La Jolla Playhouse); Distant Fires (LA Weekly Award) and Snakebit. He appeared in the films Full Grown Men, Boys Don't Cry, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Anniversary Party, The Broken Hearts Club, The Impostors; and on television in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Little Britain U.S.A.," "Cruel Doubt" and "Modern Family."

Mark Gerrard's short play Andy Cohen Has a Big D*** was a finalist for the Theater Masters Festival in Aspen, Colorado. As an actor, Mark has appeared in "Law & Order," "The Big C," and "The Comeback" on HBO. He earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of Chicago and is currently entering his final year of the MFA in Dramatic Writing Program at NYU/Tisch. Member, Dramatists Guild of America.

Cynthia Nixon, Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winner, made her film debut at 12 in Little Darlings, and her Broadway debut at 14 in The Philadelphia Story, for which she won a Theatre World Award. At 16 she appeared as Mozart's terrified maid-turned-informant in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus. In 1984 she famously juggled two roles on Broadway - in the first act of David Rabe's Hurlyburly and in the second act of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, both directed by Mike Nichols. She has appeared in plays and films by such varied and distinguished directors as Sidney Lumet, Alan J Pakula, Milos Forman and Robert Altman. Beginning in 1998, Cynthia starred as Miranda Hobbes in HBO's celebrated series Sex and the City, a role that garnered her the first of her two Emmy Awards. She then went on to co-star in the two wildly successful SATC films. Nixon earned her first of her three Tony Award nominations for her work in Indiscretions in 1995. She has appeared in over 40 plays, 10 on Broadway. Roles include Harper in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Mary Haines in the Roundabout's revival of The Women (directed by Scott Elliott) and Becca in David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole, for which she won a Tony Award. In 2012 she played John Donne scholar Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson's Wit, for which she was again Tony-nominated. Cynthia was awarded the 2009 Best Spoken Word Grammy for her recording of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. She can currently be seen in Richard Loncraine's comedy 5 Flights Up opposite Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. A film she appeared in, written and directed by Nikole Beckwith entitled Stockholm, Pennsylvania, has just premiered on Liftetime. For this project, Cynthia received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series. This fall she will be seen in Josh Mond's James White opposite Christopher Abbott, a film that won The Best of Next Audience Award at Sundance 2015. Upcoming is also Pamela Romanowsky's The Adderall Diaries playing James Franco's long-suffering book editor. In fall 2014 she appeared on Broadway in Sam Gold's production of The Real Thing playing the mother of the character she created on Broadway thirty years ago. This past winter Cynthia made her directorial debut at The New Group with Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking. That production marked a return to The New Group, where she starred in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 2006. Rasheeda Speaking received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations and cast member Tonya Pinkins won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play.

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