Origin Presents Marco Calvani's BEAUTIFUL DAY WITHOUT YOU Off-Broadway Starting November 1
Origin Theatre Company, the city's only theatre company devoted to presenting the American premieres of new works by Europe's brightest contemporary playwrights, presents the world premiere of the acclaimed Italian-born playwright Marco Calvani's new play "Beautiful Day Without You," beginning Thursday November 1. Directed by Erwin Maas, "Beautiful Day Without You" features a cast of three that includes Dan Butler ("Bulldog" on TV's Frasier and last season's "Travesties" on Broadway), Richarda Abrams and Anne Son.
A dark comedy that boldly delves into a number of hot-button issues with an incandescent theatricality and humor steering clear of easy polemics, "Beautiful Day Without You" plays a limited, four-week Off-Broadway engagement at The West End Theatre, 263 West 86th Street, from Thursday November 1 at 8pm to Sunday November 25 at 3pm. The opening is set for Wednesday November 7 at 8pm. Tickets go on sale on Thur Oct 4 and will be available by phone at 866-811-4111 or online at www.origintheatre.org
In "Beautiful Day Without You" two neighbors in a Chicago suburb housing project are brought together by a deadly encounter involving their dogs. One of the neighbors, Bob, is a cynical middle-aged white man, who owns a large Doberman, while his neighbor -- an out-of-work African-American nurse -- owns a much smaller dog whom she claims was attacked and killed by the Doberman. An oddly co-dependent relationship develops as the nurse, Janet, pursues legal action, and Bob becomes mysteriously ill. Investigating the dog attack is Rachel, an animal control officer of Asian descent who finds plenty of clues but very few answers. As the action unwinds, the play teeters precariously on the cutting edge of gender and race in America, often pushing the play's bright naturalism to the limit.
The production designers are Guy Delancey (sets, lights and costumes), and Fan Zhang (sound). Miriam Hyfler is the production stage manager.
An Origin Theatre Company commission, "Beautiful Day Without You" is Calvani's first full-length play written in English. A well-known actor, director, and playwright in Italy, Spain and France, Calvani has collaborated on several occasions with Neil LaBute, who directed the premieres of two of his plays: "Things of This World" (Spoleto Festival, Fringe Festival Madrid and subsequently at La MaMa Theatre with Estelle Parsons and Larry Pine), and "The Second Time" (Biennale Venice, and also at La MaMa). His "Strong Hands," written in Italian, was his first play to be produced to wide acclaim across Europe. Awards include the Calcante Prize, and the 2011 S.I.A.E. Prize for Best Playwright, and 2013 Outstanding Playwright at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards. Commissions have come from The Phoenix Theatre of London; Kunsthaus Tachheles of Berlin; Théatre de la Ville of Paris; Teatro di Roma; Grec Fundaciò of Barcelona, and La MaMa. He is the official translator - from English and French to Italian - of playwrights Theresa Rebeck, Bernard-Marie Koltès and Bryony Lavery. His last play seen in New York was the one-act "After the Dark," directed by Marta Buchaca at La MaMa in 2017 starring Margaret Colin. He is currently working in Paris on his first feature film. His short film "The View from Up Here" (2017) - a French-American co-production - stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo and César winner Leïla Bekhti.
This is Origin's first full-length play commission. The company has commissioned more than a dozen short plays from European writers, especially through the auspices of its Origin's 1st Irish Theatre Festival, for New York productions. Origin also produces the "European Month of Culture NYC" in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in May, an event that showcases the diversity of viewpoints and cultural perspectives emanating from across Europe today.
Previously for Origin, Maas, who is Origin's director of programming, directed the NY Times Critic's Pick "Poison," by Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans (2016-17 season), and "The Hundred We Are" (2015-16 season) by the internationally acclaimed Swedish novelist and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Both North American premieres were were hailed for bringing notable, high-impact contemporary European plays to New York, to which local audiences would otherwise not be exposed.
Maas also directs Origin's annual site-specific parlor performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Adapting Dickens' little-used original performance text in new ways every season, the solo version of the classic novel, which starred Elmore James last season, returns with a new star in December. Casting for this uniquely immersive holiday experience that boldly juxtaposes the happiness and hardship of the season will be announced soon.
Since its founding in 2002, Origin Theatre Company (George C. Heslin artistic director) has introduced works by over 200 playwrights to US audiences, from such countries as Sweden, Romania, Macedonia, Norway, The Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom. A year-round theatre company based in New York, Origin also produces the annual Origin's 1st Irish Festival, the city's only all-Irish theatre festival, the 11th edition of which takes place this January. For information on Origin visit www.origintheatre.org.
Origin Theater is grateful to the following season supporters: Bank of Ireland, Blooms Tavern, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, The Ireland Funds, Italian Cultural Institute, the Government of Ireland, McVicker Higginbotham, Mutual of America, Northern Ireland Bureau, and Tourism Ireland. Origin Theatre also receives support from NY City Council Member Daniel Dromm, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Special thanks to Origin's Board of Directors, Gala supporters, and our individual members for their generosity!
"Beautiful Day Without You" plays 21 performances from Thursday Nov 1 at 8pm through Sun Nov 25 at 3pm, with an opening on Wednesday November 7 at 8pm. Performances are Tues through Sat at 8pm, and Sun at 3pm with no performances on Wed Nov 21 and Thurs Nov 22, and an added performance on Saturday Nov 24 at 3pm. For tickets, which range from $35 to $65, call 866-811-4111 or visit www.origintheatre.org