CSC Debuts Ives' Play 'New Jerusalem' with Easton & Strong 12/28

Classic Stage Company will present Tony Award-winning actor Richard Easton and Jeremy Strong in the world premiere of New Jerusalem, a new play by David Ives, directed by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie, for a limited engagement from Friday, December 28 through Sunday, February 3 at Classic Stage Company (136 East 13th Street).  The official press opening for New Jerusalem is Sunday, January 13, 2008.  Also featured in the cast of New Jerusalem are Fyvush Finkel, David Garrison, Jenn Harris, Michael Izquierdo and Natalia Payne.

"Focusing on the 1656 interrogation of the noted philosopher Baruch De Spinoza by the Jewish community of Amsterdam for his controversial ideas, New Jerusalem examines the clash between religion and modernity that Jews, Christians and Muslims are still, some 350 years later, struggling to reconcile," explain press notes.

New Jerusalem features set design by Tony Award-winner John Lee Beatty, lighting by Tony Award-winner Ken Billington and costumes by Anita Yavich.

Richard Easton (Mortiera) appeared last season in the highly acclaimed, Tony Award-winning production of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater.  In 2002, he received the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Stoppard's The Invention of Love.  Other recent New York stage appearances include the title role in Henry IV and The Rivals, both at Lincoln Center and Noises Off on Broadway. 

Jeremy Strong (Spinoza) most recently appeared at Playwrights Horizons' in Richard Nelson's Frank's Home and John Patrick Shanley's Defiance at Manhattan Theater Club.

David Garrison (Van Valkenburgh) has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Titanic, Torch Song Trilogy, Bells Are Ringing and A Day In Hollywood/A Night In Ukraine, for which he received a Tony nomination.  On television, he starred in "Married With Children", and guest-starred on such shows as "Law & Order," "The Practice,"  "Without a Trace" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," among many others.

Fyvush Finkel (Ben Israel) is one of the legendary performers of the New York Yiddish theater movement, performing at various venues on the Lower East Side for more than four decades through the 60's.  In 1970, he assumed the role of Tevye in the Broadway production of Fiddler On The Roof.  In 1992, David Kelly cast him as attorney Douglas Wambaugh on the acclaimed CBS series "Picket Fences," for which he received an Emmy Award in 1994.  He has most recently been seen in CBS's "Boston Public."

David Ives (Playwright) worked with CSC last season as the translator on the highly successful production of Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, which starred Zoe Caldwell and Denis O'Hare. His translation of Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear won a 2006 Jefferson Award in Chicago.  His original plays include the popular collections of one-act comedies All in the Timing and Time Flies; Polish Joke; Canvas and Saint Freud.  He has adapted more than 30 classic musicals for the acclaimed NY City Center Encores! Series.  He is represented on Broadway this fall with his adaptation of Mark Twain's Is He Dead?

Walter Bobbie (Director) received the Tony Award as Best Director of A Musical for the current revival of Chicago, now in its 11th year on Broadway.  His other Broadway directing credits include the recent revivals of Sweet Charity and Twentieth Century, and the original musicals High Fidelity and Footloose.  He was formerly the Artistic Director of the NY City Center Encores! Series, where he worked extensively with New Jerusalem playwright David Ives.

New Jerusalem will be performed Tuesday through Fridays at 8:00; Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 and Sundays at 3:00, from December 28 through February 3, 2008. For tickets and information, visit www.classicstage.org or call (866) 811-4111, or (212) 352-3101, or visit the CSC box-office at 136 East 13th Street, Monday through Friday 12 pm to 6 pm.  Tickets will go on sale as of November 26.

Richard Easton: Photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd

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