Mint Theater Co. To Present Revival Of YOUTH By Miles Malleson
Mint Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank today announced that before Mint presets the World Premiere pairing of Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories, adapted for the stage by Miles Malleson (playwright of the acclaimed Mint productions Conflict and Yours Unfaithfully), Mint will present a staged reading of Malleson's first full-length play Youth, for one night only on Monday October 28th at 7:30pm at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer Avenues). Matt Dickson directs a cast featuring Kate Abruzzese, Donald Corren, Margaret Daly, Christian DeMarais, Andrew Fallaize, Michael Frederic, Alex Mandell, Brenda Meaney, Ned Noyes, and Tommy Schrider.
Diving head first into Malleson's life-long obsessions, sex and social justice - Youth, first published and produced in 1916, is a backstage comedy; the story of a young playwright's first theatrical endeavor-and first love. Youth is charged with passion and rides on a wave of breathtaking prose and Youthful energy.
In Youth, audiences will see what drew Malleson to Chekhov's story of the artist who questions the value of art and beauty. You can also see Malleson becoming the playwright who would write Yours Unfaithfully and Conflict.
Beginning January 23rd Mint will present Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories, a program of short plays adapted from stories by two of the world's greatest authors, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. These dramatic adaptations come from one of Mint's favorite playwrights, Miles Malleson. Mint introduced theatergoers to Malleson with the acclaimed, New York Times Critic's Pick productions of Conflict and Yours Unfaithfully. The New York Times described Yours Unfaithfully as "A bit like a sex farce with real sorrow instead of slammed doors, and something like a drawing room comedy with moral conundrums peeking out beneath the cushions." Mint's production will be the first-ever pairing of Malleson's Russian gems, co-directed by Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank and his longtime collaborator, Jane Shaw. Performances for Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories begin January 23rd at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer Avenues) for a limited engagement through March 14th only. Tickets may be purchased online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office.
Miles Malleson (1888-1969) is remembered, if at all, as a character actor on stage and screen "who had a line in nitwits in which he was unrivalled," such as the Sultan in The Thief of Bagdad (which he also wrote), the hangman in Kind Hearts and Coronets (with Sir Alec Guinness, 1949) and Rev. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest (with Edith Evans, 1952). But as the author of numerous plays charged with the passion of reform, he never enjoyed the kind of popular success he had as an actor. The Stage and Television Today published a warm testimonial at his death in 1969: "Malleson was an actor of distinction, an artist of imagination and depth, whose best characterizations, especially in Shakespeare, were among the treasures of our theatre for many years...He excelled in comedy that came from guileless but not silly men. His nit-wits had souls as well as stupidities. What might have been merely grotesque was never so, it was lit by human feeling. His work in the theatre spanned nearly sixty years, from the time he made his debut at Liverpool Playhouse under Basil Dean in 1911, in Justice. He worked with Granville Barker and J.B. Fagan, with Playfair, Gielgud and Olivier, at the Old Vic in London and Bristol; in the West End and in the provinces. His acting, within its range, was unrivaled for effect, interest and significance, and he contributed valuable work as a translator of Moliere, as a writer, notably with The Fanatics and Six Men of Dorset-with H. Brooks-and as an influence for all that was intended to be of value to the theatre, irrespective of profit or fame.""Thank heaven for the unwavering commitment of Jonathan Bank, the theatrical archaeologist whose Mint Theater Company unearths long-forgotten plays and imbues them with new life," declared The New York Times in response to a recent Mint production. Terry Teachout writing about Mint's production of Conflict in The Wall Street Journal said "I've reviewed 13 Mint productions since 2005, each one a gem-but it's still worth saying yet again that no New York-based theater company has a better batting average. The invisible hero of Conflict is, of course, Jonathan Bank, the Mint's producing artistic director. It's a wonder how he manages to track down so many plays that both deserve and richly re-pay a second hearing. Mr. Bank is one of a handful of theater artists in America whose name is an absolute guarantee of quality, and Conflict is further proof of his perfect taste." Mint Theater was awarded an OBIE Award for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition" and a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."
For more information visit minttheater.org.