Special Events Announced for MTC's BELLA BELLA
MTC announces events following select performances of Bella Bella, written and performed by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Casa Valentina, Torch Song, Hairspray) and directed by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced, The Niceties), now in previews at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Opening night is set for Tuesday, October 22.
Fierstein returns to MTC taking on New York City's very own political firebrand, Bella Abzug, in his new raucous, heart-rending and absurdly humorous solo show. Set in 1976, on the eve of her bid to become New York State's first female Senator, Bella Bella finds this larger-than-life, truth-slinging, groundbreaking, hat-wearing icon squirreled away in the bathroom of a midtown hotel awaiting that night's election results while a coterie of family and celebs await her entrance. Directing is Kimberly Senior (The Niceties).
Bella Bella's creative team includes John Lee Beatty (Scenic Design), Rita Ryack (Costume Design), Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Design), Jill BC Du Boff (Sound Design), and Caite Hevner (Projection Design).
BEYOND THE STAGE SERIES - BEGINNING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
Manhattan Theatre Club will partner with the New York Civil Liberties Union to offer free talkbacks following select performances of Bella Bella as part of Beyond the Stage, a post-show discussion series led by experts in the field. All talkbacks will be hosted by a member of the NYCLU unless otherwise noted. Audience members are invited to engage in conversation with special guests, which explore and discuss the show's themes and inspiration. More guests for the series will be announced at a later date.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11 FOLLOWING THE 8:00PM PERFORMANCE - "Working with Bella: Inspiration for Political Activism"
CONGRESSWOMAN Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat representing New York's 12th district in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Roosevelt Island, is a national leader on women's rights and equality. She is a champion of the Equal Rights Amendment, pushing for - and winning - its first Congressional hearing in 36 years. She authored the Debbie Smith Act - called the "most important anti-rape legislation ever" - and has led the fight on issues like breastfeeding rights, equal pay, and breast cancer research. Her bill to create a Smithsonian Women's History Museum on the National Mall currently has 293 co-sponsors in the House and will soon head to the floor for a vote. This year, she passed the permanent re-authorization of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law, and her 2009 Credit Card Act has saved consumers over $100 billion since its passage.
Harold Holzer is director of The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, a post he assumed in 2015 after 23 years as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of ART. He served as Bella Abzug's press secretary in Congress; during her race for U. S. Senate in 1976; and for her campaign for Mayor of New York in 1977. A historian of Abraham Lincoln, he won the 2015 Lincoln Prize and was a 2008 recipient of the National Humanities Medal. He also won the "Bella Fella" Award from the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 FOLLOWING THE 2:00PM PERFORMANCE - "Women's Leadership and Activism"
Featuring Ruth Messinger, former New York City political leader, New York City Council member, Manhattan borough president, public schools advocate and President and CEO of American Jewish World Service.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1 FOLLOWING THE 8:00PM PERFORMANCE - "Growing Up with Bella"
Featuring Liz Abzug - Bella Abzug's daughter, and Founder and President of the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 FOLLOWING THE 7:00PM PERFORMANCE - "Standing up for Civil Rights"
Featuring Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 FOLLOWING THE 7:00PM PERFORMANCE - "Women in Politics"
Featuring Patricia Russo, Executive Director of the Women's Campaign School at Yale University, and Letty Pogrebin, author, activist, and national lecturer.
LGBTQ+ NIGHT CROSSOVER EVENT - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
Audiences from Bella Bella and MTC's Stage II production of The New Englanders can enjoy complimentary drinks in the lobby post-show, in celebration of National Coming Out day.
VOTE EARLY NY - BEGINNING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
Manhattan Theatre Club, in conjunction with LetNYVote.org, will have Vote Early NY materials available in the lobby, beginning October 11. In January 2019, New York State began modernizing the election law, expanding voter access by enacting a flexible in-person "Early Voting" period, which takes effect statewide for the November 2019 general election and all primary, run-off primary, special, and general elections thereafter, so that all eligible New Yorkers have reasonable and convenient opportunities to participate in elections (Chapter 6 of the 2019 Laws of New York).
TOUCH TOUR - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12 FOLLOWING THE 2:00PM PERFORMANCE
Manhattan Theatre Club continues its partnership with TDF to offer Touch Tours for audience members who are blind or have low vision. Prior to attending a TDF audio-described performance, the theatregoers are taken onstage and afforded tactile interactions with the set and props in advance of the performance to help enhance their experience of the production.
Following the October 12 matinee performance of Bella Bella, audiences will be invited to attend a post-show talk-back. An additional Touch Tour of MTC's current Broadway production of The Height of the Storm is scheduled for Saturday, Nov 9.
Tickets for Bella Bella can be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org, by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212, or by visiting the New York City Center box office (131 West 55th Street). New and renewing subscribers can join MTC's 2019-2020 season now by calling The MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050. For more information, please visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com.
To sign up for MTC's "30 Under 35" program, offering $30 tickets for theatregoers age 35 and under, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under35/.