MTC Announces New Plays By Nottage, Shanley and Krieger.

Manhattan Theatre Club announced casting for two of its upcoming productions: ROMANTIC POETRY, the world premiere musical by John Patrick Shanley and Henry Krieger, and RUINED, a world premiere play by Lynn Nottage.

ROMANTIC POETRY will feature Ivan Hernandez (Zhivago, The Fantasticks), Mark Linn-Baker (Almost An Evening, "Perfect Strangers"), and Patina Renea Miller (Hair, "All My Children"). Additional casting for the musical will be announced in the coming weeks. Hernandez, Linn-Baker, and Miller all appeared in the NYS&F/Vassar developmental production of the piece.

The creative team for ROMANTIC POETRY will include: David Korins (scenic design), Laura Bauer (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Brian Ronan (sound design), Devanand Janki (musical staging), August Eriksmoen (orchestrations), and Howard Joines (Music Coordinator).

In addition, MTC is pleased to announce additional casting for the world premiere production of Lynn Nottage's RUINED. The cast will feature Quincy Tyler Bernstine (The Misanthrope at NYTW), Chris Chalk (MTC's Defiance), William Jackson Harper (Queens Boulevard), Chiké Johnson (The Crucible at Steppenwolf), Russell Gebert Jones (Our Lady of 121st Street), two-time Emmyâ Award winner Kevin Mambo ("The Guiding Light"), Tom Mardirosian (Wonderful Town, HBO's "Oz"), and Condola Rashad (Pearl at The Kennedy Center).

These cast members join the previously announced Adriane Lenox, who will be returning to MTC where she appeared in the world premiere of Doubt which subsequently transferred to Broadway and garnered her the 2005 Tony Award â for Best Featured Actress in a Play. The production will be directed by Kate Whoriskey (Fabulation).

The creative team for RUINED includes: Derek McLane (scenic design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), and Dominic Kanza (original music).

RUINED is a co-production with Chicago's Goodman Theatre (Robert Falls, Artistic Director; Roche Schulfer, Executive Director).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ROMANTIC POETRY

ROMANTIC POETRY will begin performances at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street) on Tuesday, September 30th. The limited engagement will open Tuesday, October 28.

From the Tony Awardâ and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Doubt and the two-time Tony-nominated composer of Dreamgirls comes this crackpot musical romance.

Connie of Woodmere has just married Fred of Newark, but her exes are back in the picture and not sure they approve of the union. Mary of Greenpoint climbs Frankie of Little Italy's fire escape with amorous erotic intent - but things go awry as she reaches for her dream.

They are all mad and they are all sane and they are all creating ROMANTIC POETRY. Genuine emotion and the excitement of living an ideal crisscross like a night of shooting stars. When you have the Academy Awardâ-winning author of Moonstruck writing the book and lyrics, and the two-time Grammyâ-winning composer of Dreamgirls collaborating, you know something delicious is coming from the kitchen.

BIOGRAPHIES

Ivan Hernandez previously appeared in the New York Stage and Film developmental production of Romantic Poetry. Off-Broadway credits include: The Fantasticks (El Gallo), The Most Happy Fella (Joey/NYCO), Yank (Mitch/NYMTF). Regional: The title role in Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse, Sweeney Todd (Anthony/Fifth Ave Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Proteus/Baltimore Centre Stage), Senor Discretion Himself (Mark/Arena Stage). Film/TV: "As The World Turns," "One Life To Live," "Guiding Light," "Chapelle's Show," "Watching and Waiting." Developmental: Mambo Kings, Zorro. Hernandez received his B.A. from San Diego State University.

 Mark Linn-Baker appeared in the developmental production of Romantic Poetry at New York Stage and Film. He most recently appeared in Ethan Coen's Almost An Evening which transferred to 45 Bleeker following a sold-out run at the Atlantic. Broadway: Losing Louie (MTC), A Year with Frog and Toad, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Face Value, Doonesbury. Encores!: Pajama Game. New York Shakespeare Festival: All's Well That Ends Well, Othello, Von Richthofen, Laundry Hour, Alice in Concert. Off-Broadway: Chesapeake (Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle nominations), A Flea in Her Ear, The Miss Firecracker Contest (MTC). Regional: Yale Rep, ART Cambridge, Arena, Center Stage. Film: Manhattan, My Favorite Year, Noises Off, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. He starred as "Larry Appleton" for seven seasons on the ABC series "Perfect Strangers" and for one season as "Alan Arnold" on the WB series "Twins." Other television includes: "Ally McBeal," "Law & Order," "Spin City," "Sesame Street," "Miami Vice," "Moonlighting." Linn-Baker is one of the co-founders and co-directors of the New York Stage and Film Company. As a director, credits include Christopher Durang's Baby with the Bathwater at ART in Boston, and John Patrick Shanley's Savage in Limbo at Vassar and Off-Broadway, Lewis Black's LA Freewheeling, two seasons of ABC's "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," as well as numerous series episodes for Lorimar and Warner Bros Television.

Patina Renea Miller appeared in the developmental production of Romantic Poetry at Vassar and is currently appearing as Dionne in Hair at the Delacorte. Theater: Kay-T in Sister Act: The Musical at Pasadena Playhouse/Alliance Theatre; Mixed Company (at New York Stage and Film at Vassar); Pennywise in Urinetown (CMU); and Billy Porter's upcoming Being Alive (Philadelphia Theatre Company). Patina plays 'Pam' on "All My Children" and received a BFA in Acting and Musical Theater from Carnegie Mellon University.

Prior to coming to MTC, RUINED will open in Chicago on Monday, November 17 at the Goodman's Owen Theatre. After the Chicago run, the production will come to MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street) where the limited engagement will begin previews on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 and open Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

From Lynn Nottage, the Obie Award-winning author of such plays as Fabulation and Intimate Apparel, comes this haunting, probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi (Tony Awardâ winner Adriane Lenox), a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?

BIOGRAPHIES

Quincy Tyler Bernstine. NY Theater: The Misanthrope (New York Theatre Workshop); Chicken (Studio Dante); A Small, Melodramatic Story (The Public Theater/LAByrinth); 'nami (Partial Comfort Productions); (I am) Nobody's Lunch, The Ladies, Paris Commune, Gone Missing (all with The Civilians); Matt & Ben (P.S. 122 and National Tour); The Trail of Her Inner Thigh (LAByrinth); The Train Play (Clubbed Thumb), among others. Regional Theater: Woolly Mammoth (Stunning by David Adjmi, world premiere), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Sundance Theatre Institute, Berkeley Rep, The Alliance, Long Wharf, La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Chautauqua Theater Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Virginia Stage Company, and others.  Television/Film: Dancing With Shiva (Jonathan Demme, dir.), "HBO Voyeur Project," "Babylon Fields" (pilot), "Life in Flight," "Chappelle's Show," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "All My Children," numerous voiceovers for television, radio, and audio books. Training: Brown University (BA), UC San Diego (MFA). Member: The Civilians, Partial Comfort Productions, LAByrinth Theater Company and a NYTW Usual Suspect.

Chris Chalk returns to MTC after appearing in the hit production of John Patrick Shanley's Defiance. He most recently was seen in the Roundabout's production of The Overwhelming at the Laura Pels. Other credits include: Gem of the Ocean, directed by Timothy Douglas, Children of Herakles, directed by Peter Sellars & The Hasty Heart (Keen Company). Film and TV credits include: Then She Found Me, Before The Devil Knows Your Dead, Rent, Carlito's Way: Rise To Power, "Rescue Me," "Law & Order," and "Law & Order: SVU." Chris is a member of LAByrinth Theatre Company.

William Jackson Harper will be making his MTC debut in RUINED. Last season, he appeared in the Signature's production of Queens Boulevard (the musical). Other New York credits include: The Children of Vonderly, Dance of the Holy Ghosts, Neglect, The Sound In The Throat, 100 Most Beautiful Names, and Full Bloom. His regional credits include: Hamlet (at both Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Shakespeare Festival), The Drawer Boy, Shakespeare's R&J, and Waiting For Godot.

CHIKÉ JOHNSON will be making his New York and Manhattan Theatre Club debut in RUINED. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the past two and half years he has made Chicago his home where he has been a part of the Chicago theatre community. Some of his past theater credits include: Willard in The Crucible and Soldier One in The Unmentionables at Steppenwolf Theatre; a revival of The Unmentionables at Yale Repertory Theater; Lincoln in Topdog/Underdog at Renaissance Theaterworks; Duke of Cornwall in King Lear at Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Jim in Steppenwolf's Theater For Young Adults production of Huckfinn. His TV credits include: the 'Bucket Guy' for Verizon High Speed Internet commercials, "Prison Break" and the films The Machinist and El Traje.

Russell Gebert Jones has been a member of LAByrinth Theatre Company since 1995. Theater: originated roles in A View from 151st Street at The Public Theater, Our Lady of 121st Street at Union Square Theater, God, The Crackhouse and The Devil at La Mama, The Death of Don Flagrante Delicto, at The Greenwich Street Theater and In Arabia We'd All Be Kings at Center Stage New York. Television: "Law & Order," "Law & Order CI," "Spin City." Film: Traffic (SAG award Best Ensemble), Squeeze, The Saint of Avenue B, Companions, and Turntable (2006 Best Actor, San Diego Noir Festival).

Adriane Lenox has been seen on Broadway in A'int Misbehavin', Dreamgirls, Kiss Me Kate, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Caroline or Change, Chicago as well as Doubt for which she received the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actress in a Play. She received the Obie and Audelco awards for her performance in Dinah Was... She is also the recipient of a Helen Hayes Award and a Bay Area Theater Critics award nomination. Other Off -Broadway/Regional credits include Cavedweller; Miss Evers Boys; Spunk; The America Play; Blithe Spirit and The Color Purple. Her TV appearances include "Law & Order" and "Law & Order SVU;" "Third Watch;" "Shark;" and a recurring role ('Marva') on the recently renewed NBC show "Lipstick Jungle" starring Brooke Shields. Her film credits include Black Snake Moan opposite Samuel L. Jackson; Where God Left his Shoes with John Leguizamo; Alvin and the Chipmunks; and My Blueberry Nights with Grammyâ winner NOra Jones.
 
Kevin Mambo was awarded two Emmyâ Awards for his portrayal of Marcus Williams on CBS' long-running daytime drama, "Guiding Light." His numerous New York theatrical credits include Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theater), Blackout, and Paradise is Closing Down. In addition, he has appeared in productions of West Side Story, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, and GlenGarry Glen Ross. His other television credits include "One Life To Live," "Soul Food," "Deadline," "Spin City," and "Family Matters."

Tom Mardirosian has appeared on Broadway in Wonderful Town, Happy End, The Magic Show, Cuba and His Teddy Bear, and My Favorite Year. Off-Broadway, he has originated roles in Gemini, Passione, The Good Coach, Cliffhanger, Losing Time, Grand Magic, Cap and Bells, The Butter and Egg Man, and others. For the Public/NYSF he did The Normal Heart, Largo Desolato, Henry IV Part I, and two different productions of Measure For Measure and The Taming of the Shrew. He's appeared in over a dozen films, most notably Presumed Innocent with Harrison Ford. Tom has guest starred on numerous television shows including "Law & Order," "NYPD Blue," "Cosby," "New Amsterdam," and "Miami Vice." He was a series regular on the HBO series "Oz" as inmate 'Agamemnon Busmalis' and the Fox series "The Bedford Diaries." Tom is also a successful playwright having had two plays produced at New York's prestigious Playwrights Horizons: Saved From Obscurity (Drama Desk nomination) and Subfertile.

Condola Rashad will be making her New York theatrical debut in RUINED. Her regional credits include the Kenny Leon helmed production of Tabourines To Glory at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, Pearl at The Kennedy Center which was directed by her aunt Debbie Allen, and The Gingham Dog at the Coffeehouse Theater which she also directed. She appeared in the Jonathan Demme-directed film of Toni Morrison's Beloved starring Oprah Winfrey. Rashad received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

INFORMATION ON MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB

As previously announced, MTC will be renaming its Broadway house, the landmarked Biltmore Theatre, the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in recognition of the pioneering Broadway publicist. The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) will be dedicated prior to the start of the 2008-2009 season. In addition to its Broadway theatre, MTC operates two theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street), its Off-Broadway home since 1984.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. MTC productions have earned a total of 16 Tony Awards and five Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. Renowned MTC productions include Top Girls; From Up Here; Come Back, Little Sheba; The Receptionist; LoveMusik; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Kimberly Akimbo; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Sylvia; Four Dogs and a Bone; Putting It Together; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain't Misbehavin'.

In 2003, MTC reopened Broadway's landmark, long-neglected Biltmore Theatre, soon to be renamed the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, following a two-year, $35 million capital campaign. In addition, MTC operates two theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street), its Off-Broadway home since 1984.

During Meadow's sabbatical this season, Daniel Sullivan, a close associate of MTC and director of several Manhattan Theatre Club productions (Rabbit Hole, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, Proof, Psychopathia Sexualis), has been serving as Acting Artistic Director. Meadow will resume her full duties as artistic director in September and is consulting on the planning of the 2008-2009 season.

For more information including ticketing please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.org

Photo of Mark Linn-Baker by Peter James Zielinski 

Photo of Adriane Lenox by Walter McBride/ Retna Ltd.



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