CSC Announces Post-Show Events For THE CRADLE WILL ROCK
On May 14, legendary former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, author of the forthcoming Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor (Alfred A. Knopf, August 2019),and Stefanie Frey, national organizer for Actors' Equity, will discuss the history and current state of labor and union movements in relation to Cradle's timely and timeless themes.
On May 19, CSC'songoing new Classic Conversations seriesconcludes for the season witha singular celebration of its current production. While the first two Conversations featured Raúl Esparza (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) and Victoria Clark (director, The Dance of Death) respectively, the afternoon event-complete with champagne toast-will include the entirety of the Cradle cast in song and conversation with Doyle. Ken Barnett, Eddie Cooper, Benjamin Eakeley, David Garrison, Ian Lowe, Kara Mikula, Lara Pulver, Sally Ann Triplett, Rema Webb, and Tony Yazbeck will perform personal favorites from the musical theater canon, and share stories and memories from their wide-ranging and collectively acclaimed performance histories on the occasion of Cradle's closing performance.
Admission to the post-show Classic Perspectives conversation with Greenhouse and Frey is included with a ticket to the performance on Tuesday, May 14, at 7pm. Tickets for the Classic Conversation on Sunday, May 19 are $80 exclusively for the event and $125 for event plus a ticket to the 2pm final benefit performance of The Cradle Will Rock. Both events take place at Classic Stage Company (136 E 13th Street, New York) and can be purchased at classicstage.org or 212-352-3101 (or toll free at 866-811-4111).
A Depression-era indictment of rampant capitalism told almost entirely in song, The Cradle Will Rock maintains a twinkle in its eye while bearing sharp fangs. Of Doyle's current production, The Wall Street Journal raves:
"John Doyle, CSC's artistic director, is exceptionally good at staging small-scale musical revivals, and he knows exactly what to do with shows like this: His Cradle is performed by a 10-person cast, acted on a dirt-simple set of his own design, and accompanied, as was Orson Welles's now-legendary Broadway production, by an upright piano that is played in turn (and very well, too) by four members of the cast."
The 1937 premiere of this story of American class tensions-directed by Welles-was famously shut down on the eve of opening night by federal authorities over so-called "budget cuts," commonly considered a thin veil for fears of the play's pro-labor stance. The artists involved rebelliously circumvented its cancellation, making for one of the most memorable stories in theater history. While Blitzstein's libretto is very much a product of its own 1930s political context, The Cradle Will Rock pulses with immediacy in an era of expanding economic inequality and policy for purchase. CSC's 2018-2019 season began with The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Bertolt Brecht's allegory about the rise of fascism via a charismatic tyrant and closes, fittingly, with this all-American Brecht-and-Weill-inspired work; both productions exemplify the company's panoramic view of what constitutes a classic.