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Following Onstage Collapse, Peter Land Departs RUTHLESS! Off-Broadway


RUTHLESS! The Musical's leading man, Peter Land, collapsed onstage at the top of the second act on Friday evening, July 17th. EMT's arrived on the scene and Mr. Land was transported to the hospital where he received emergency surgery for a tear in the aorta. His recovery is going extremely well and he was even discharged from the hospital earlier this week. Paul Pecorino has assumed the role of Sylvia St. Croix and Mr. Land hopes to return to the show in the near future. Author Joel Paley bravely filled in for several performances in the week following the accident (triumphantly, according to all eyewitnesses).

RUTHLESS! opened Off-Broadway July 13th to unanimous rave reviews led by Entertainment Weekly which called the show, "Uproarious! A mash-up of The Bad Seed, Gypsy, All About Eve, plus the films of Douglas Sirk and John Waters!" Book and lyrics are by Joel Paley with music by Marvin Laird. Paley also directed the original production of RUTHLESS! as well as productions in L.A., South Beach and the record-breaking concert event starring Bernadette Peters. He once again serves as director of the new production, with Marvin Laird on board as music supervisor as well.

When The Bad Seed meets Gypsy it's fun for the whole dysfunctional family! Tina Denmark is a pretty, charming and diabolical eight-year-old who "was born to entertain." With the encouragement of slick and overbearing potential agent Sylvia St. Croix, Tina will do anything to play the lead in her school play. The question is, where does such remarkable talent and unstoppable ambition come from? The answer is shocking in this award-winning Stage Mother of all musicals.

RUTHLESS! first appeared Off-Broadway 23 years ago at the Players Theatre, winning both the Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Most notably, the production featured a few young girls in the role of Tina including Britney Spears, Natalie Portman and Laura Bell Bundy. The show continues to be a favorite among regional theaters and productions are continually being staged around the globe.

But make no mistake - this is not your mother's RUTHLESS! This is no mere revival, but a newly imagined meditation on narcissism, talented tykes and stage mothers in a world that has since been introduced to such gems as "Toddlers & Tiaras" and 'Honey Boo Boo.'

Peter Land debuted on Broadway in the RSC's All's Well That Ends Well directed by Trevor Nunn with Margaret Tyzack, but originally at Stratford Upon Avon with Dame Peggy Ashcroft. Peter's other RSC roles include Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Dion/Polixenes in A Winter's Tale. West End: the Alan Jay Lerner-directed My Fair Lady (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Cabaret (Cliff) and The Phantom of the Opera (Andre). Royal National Theatre: John Dexter's production of Life of Galileo, Sung and Unsung and To Those Born Later. He has been married to Dame Gillian Lynne since 1980.

Paul Pecorino appeared Off-Broadway in Devil Boys From Beyond, The Crumple Zone and Making Porn. He starred as Frank 'N' Furter in the international tour of The Rocky Horror Show. His popularity in recreating the Sweetest of Transvestites throughout Europe led him to record a tribute Solo CD entitled Perfectly Frank in collaboration with author Richard O'Brien.

Also featured in the cast of RUTHLESS! are Kim Maresca (Westport's Twelfth Night), Rita McKenzie (Ethel Merman's Broadway, RUTHLESS L.A.), Andrea McCullough (Urinetown, Grease), Tracy Jai Edwards (Hairspray, Legally Blonde), and introducing Tori Murray (Paper Mill's New Voices of 2014: Oh, What a Night!)

Author/lyricist/director Joel Paley was an original member of the notorious Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, dancing as Bertha Vinayshinski. This gig led him to Laird who was musical directing a Shirley MacLaine TV special featuring the "Trocks," prior to their sold-out Broadway engagement at the Palace Theatre.

Composer Marvin Laird has written dance and vocal arrangements for over two dozen Broadway and West End shows, including the award-winning production of Annie Get Your Gun and the 2003 Broadway revival of Gypsy, both starring Bernadette Peters. He has been Ms. Peters' personal music director for more than 40 years.

RUTHLESS! is produced Off-Broadway by Maxine Paul, Evan Sacks and Ken Schur. The playing schedule is Mondays at 8 PM, Thursdays at 7 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, and Saturdays at 1:30 PM at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46 Street (just west of Eighth Ave.) Tickets are available through or by calling 212-239-6200.

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