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The New Group Presents 'MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA' 1/27-4/18

The New Group proudly presents Eugene O'Neill's epic drama Mourning Becomes Electra as the second production in its 2008-2009 season. Directed by Scott Elliott, this production will play a limited Off-Broadway run January 27 - April 18, with Official Opening Night on Thursday, February 19 at 6:00 PM. Headlining a standout cast are Lili Taylor as Christine Mannon, Jena Malone as Lavinia Mannon, Joseph Cross as Orin Mannon, Anson Mount as Brant, Mark Blum as Ezra Mannon, Robert Hogan as Seth. This production will play at The New Group @ Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street) Monday - Saturday @ 7:00 PM and Saturday at 12:00 PM (noon) and features original music by multi-Grammy® Award-winning jazz musician Pat Metheny.

Jealously, revenge, lust and longing are at the core of Mourning Becomes Electra, Eugene O'Neill's epic retelling of the Greek myth of Orestes. When General Ezra Mannon and his son Orin return home following years of fighting in the Civil War, they find their family in strife and the home they've been pining for torn apart. Matriarch Christine is engaged in a battle of schemes with her daughter Lavina, whose loyalty to her father drives her to protect him at any cost, while a web of secrets, deception and unsavory actions threaten to consume the family. A classic tragedy laced with Freudian themes, Mourning Becomes Electra is an unparalleled tale of adultery, obsession, murder and madness.

Mourning Becomes Electra premiered on Broadway in the midst of the Great Depression at the Guild Theatre in October 1931, where it enjoyed a successful run into the following year. Of the work, Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times proclaimed, "Magnificently wrought in style and structure... Mourning Becomes Electra is an occasion for great rejoicing. It is O'Neill's finest tragedy."

One of the most prolific dramatists of the 20th Century, Eugene O'Neill is the only American playwright to ever receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (1936). O'Neill's first Broadway production Beyond the Horizon impressed critics with its tragic realism and won O'Neill his first of four Pulitzer Prizes in Drama (with others following for Anna Christie, Strange Interlude and Long Day's Journey Into Night, which was produced posthumously).

Directed by Scott Elliott, this production features Carolyn Baeumler (Off-Broadway: Heddatron; TV: "Law & Order"), Lili Taylor (Film: Brooklyn's Finest, High Fidelity; TV: "Six Feet Under;" Off-B'way at The New Group: Aunt Dan and Lemon), Jena Malone (Film: Into the Wild, The Ruins, Saved!; B'way: Doubt), Joseph Cross (Film: Milk, Running with Scissors; Williamstown Theater Festival: Landscape of The Body), Anson Mount (Film: In Her Shoes, Crossroads; Off-B'way: Cymbeline at The Public's Shakespeare in the Park; Corpus Christi), Mark Blum (Broadway: Twelve Angry Men, A Thousand Clowns; Off-B'way at The New Group:The Music Teacher; TV: "Fringe"), Robert Hogan (B'way: Hamlet, A Few Good Men; Off-B'way at The New Group: The Accomplices; TV: "Law & Order," "The Wire"), Phoebe Strole (B'way: Spring Awakening; Film: Hamlet 2), Patrick Mapel (The Bacchae at the Moscow Art Theater American Studio), Therese Barbato (Off-B'way: Prometheus Bound), Geoffrey Bryant (NY: The Bride of Olneyville Square), Susan Goodwillie (TV: "ER," "Medium"), Mycah Hogan (Theater: The Wendy Complex), Sean Meehan (Film: The Taking of Pelham 1:23; Off-B'way: Sins of the Mother, Love's Labour Lost), John Wojda (Off-B'way at The New Group: Esctasy; TV: "Law & Order"). Set Design is by Derek McLane (B'way: Grease, I Am My Own Wife; Off-B'way at The New Group: Rafta, Rafta..., Aunt Dan and Lemon, others), Costume Design by Susan Hilferty (B'way: Wicked, Spring Awakening), Lighting Design by Jason Lyons (B'way: The Threepenny Opera, Nine; Off-B'way: Rock of Ages, numerous productions at The New Group including Rafta, Rafta..., Two Thousand Years) and Sound Design by Shane Rettig (Off-B'way at The New Group: Rafta, Rafta..., Rich Boyfriend).

Mourning Becomes Electra features original music by international jazz virtuoso Pat Metheny, whose work has earned him 17 Grammy® Awards across numerous categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, and Best Instrumental Composition. He has performed with a diverse range of artists including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Milton Nascmiento and David Bowie. Metheny writes with keyboardist Lyle Mays, with whom he has collaborated for more than 20 years.

Most recently, Scott Elliott directed the acclaimed U.S. premiere of Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta... at The New Group, where he is Artistic Director. In recent seasons at The New Group, he helmed Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years as well as the revivals of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Wallace Shawn's The Fever, Leigh's Abigail's Party, Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon and David Rabe's Hurlyburly. His Broadway credits include The Threepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, The Women, Three Sisters and Present Laughter.

The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director): The 2008-2009 season kicked off with the U.S. premiere of Kevin Ellyot's Mouth to Mouth. The company's 2007-2008 season featured the premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want directed by Ethan Hawke, Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years and Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta.... The 2006-07 season featured Jay Presson Allen's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Wallace Shawn's The Fever and Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award (Best Musical - Avenue Q).

Mourning Becomes Electra plays at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) as follows: Monday - Saturday @ 7:00 PM and Saturday @ 12:00 PM (matinee). Tickets may be arranged through Ticket Central at www.ticketcentral.com or (212) 279-4200, or at the Theatre Row Box Office (12:00-8:00 PM daily). Tickets are $61.25. For more information, visit www.thenewgroup.org.

 


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