BENEDICTUS to Play Theater for the New City Beginning 5/30

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Life imitates art, as Pope Benedict XVI's historic resignation makes headlines around the world and Theater for the New City and its Executive Director Crystal Field announce that Tom Attea's BENEDICTUS, a play written two years ago, about a pope who resigns, is slated for an off-Broadway run May 30 - June 16, 2013 at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue). Mark Mercante will direct the production with incidental music by Arthur Abrams.

Pope Benedictus has visions that command him to follow a new calling. Convinced the visions are real, he reveals his intention to resign to influential cardinals, who become alarmed about the consequences and decide his mind must be in decline. As they conclude that he must be sent into forced retirement and a new pope must be elected, what will they do with him? Will Benedictus determine his visions were illusions and return to being the conservative pope he has been - or real and escape to do what his visions have told him he must?

BENEDICTUS is the 9th collaboration of playwright and lyricist Tom Attea, Director Mark Mercante and Arthur Abrams, who is providing incidental music. While BENEDICTUS is a drama of wit with serious intent, seven of the shows the collaborators have done have been musicals. The Village Voice reviewed a recent musical the team did, saying, "Naturally wholesome but nonetheless hilarious, Living in a Musical is plain and simply charming." Reviewing the first play, Life Knocks, Kessa DeSantis wrote in PunchIn International, "Great humor and ebullience ... good, genuine laughs ... Attea's talent as a playwright is evident."

Tom Attea was awarded a TNC/Jerome Foundation emerging playwright grant and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Mark Marcante is the Production Director of Theater for the New City, and Arthur Abrams is the Music Director of the theater.

Performances of BENEDICTUS will be Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM; Sundays at 3 PM from May 30th through June 16th.

Tickets at the Box Office or at SmartTix. Visit for more information.

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