OFF THE KING'S ROAD to Play Theater for the New City, 2/9-23

By: Jan. 13, 2013
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"Off the King's Road" is the first full-length theater production in New York for emerging playwright Neil Koenigsberg, who is well-known in the Hollywood community as a veteran publicist, producer and personal talent manager.

In the play, an elderly American businessman retreats to his beloved London for a respite in a small hotel in Chelsea, off the King's Road. His world turns upside down as his seven-day stay tumbles into an unexpected voyage of self discovery. Stefanie Sertich directs a cast headed by Jack Davidson as the man.

The cast also includes Amy Van Nostrand, Christopher Borg, Michela Mihut and Ethan Cohn. Incidental music is composed by Dana Rowe.

This will be playwright Koenigsberg's first full-length work to be presented in New York. Previously he had two one-acts that were produced as part of the Summer Shorts Festival at 59 E. 59 St. Theaters: "On A Bench" (2008) and "Fit"(2010). The NY Times (Wilborn Hampton) described "On A Bench" as "An excellent play with a surprising denouement..Funny and touching...The hightlight of the evening." Time Out (Diane Snyder) deemed it the standout work of the series, writing "With 'On a Bench,' Neil Koenigsberg joins Edward Albee as the kind of author who can wring urgency from the strangers-meet-in-a-park scenario." The subsequent play, "Fit," imagined a love triangle with an absurdly fitness-conscious couple and their masseur. The Times (Neil Genzlinger) called it "A daffy and diverting nugget." These two plays, as a double bill,went on to a production in 2011 at the San Francisco International Fringe Festival.

"Off the King's Road" was developed and read initially in a shorter one act version at the Playwrights /Directors Unit of The Actors Studio, NY. Subsequent readings of the full-length work were held at the Studio, the West Side Theater and the Road Theater Company.

Neil Koenigsberg, co-founder of the prominent film publicity firm PMK, sold his interest in the company to become a personal manager and film producer; he has, of late, been enlarging his professional interests into playwriting. Since the 1980s, he has managed a select group of actors, including Jeff Bridges, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Tony Goldwyn and Ally Sheedy, and packaged such independent films as "American Heart," "A Walk on the Moon," Pollock" and "High Art." He has always secretly nurtured his playwriting and relocated to New York in the past few years to be closer to the Theater. He is a member of the Playwrights/Directors Unit of The Actors Studio. He continues to write plays while producing films he is passionate about. These include his first documentary, PBS/American Masters' "Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides," which was released last year. Currently, he is in production on a documentary based on Tab Hunter's autobiography, "Tab Hunter: Confiential" and is co-producer (with Jeff Bridges and Nikki Silver) of "The Giver," based on Lois Lowry's novel for young people, starring Bridges. Koenigsberg writes, "I'm delighted to have 'Off the King's Road' presented by TNC. Crystal Field supports new plays on a steady basis and through the years I've seen many stimulating, innovative productions there, so I am looking forward to a fine production."

Director Stefanie Sertich has previously staged two productions at TNC: "Havana Journal, 2004" by Eduardo Machado and "Heathens" by Heather Hill. She was assistant director to Eduardo Machado on "Artf***ers," which was presented by TNC and Darly Roth 2nd Space.

Jack Davidson (Matt Browne) has for years been one of America's busiest actors, appearing on Broadway in Edward Albee's "Seascape," Mamet's "GlenGarry Glenn Ross" (with Alan Alda and Liev Schreiber), "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" with Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Dutton, "Morning's At Seven" with Elizabeth Franz and Estelle Parsons, Judgment at Nuremberg" (with Maximillian Schell), "Twelfth Night" (with Helen Hunt), Al, Wilderness" (with Craig T. Nelson), "The Price" (with Eli Wallach), "Anna Christie" (with Liv Ullman) and "Captain Brasshound's Conversion" (with Ingrid Bergman). Of late, he jokingly describes himself as "standby to senior stars," since he has understudied Ed Asner in "Grace" and Stacy Keach in "Other Desert Cities." He was a member of Circle Repertory for 20 years and also appeared prolifically in Off-Broadway, regional and stock. He also has appeared widely in TV and films. His sons are Adam Davidson (NPR's award winning Host and Co-Founder of Planet Money and weekly Columnist for the New York Times Sunday Magazine) and Eben Davidson (Paramount's Vice President of Aquisition and Production). He is a former Marine and a graduate of Boston University's School of Fine Arts. Currently, he is a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, NY.

The show will play February 9 to 23, 2013 at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street). Schedule: Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sun. Feb.10 at 3:00 PM
Feb. 12-23: Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 seniors and students. Box office (212) 254-1109; Runs two hours (with intermission). Critics are invited on or after Sunday, February 10.

Pictured: The American man (Jack Davidson, R) meets a woman who resides in the hotel (Amy Van Nostrand, C) as the hotel's concierge (Ethan Cohen, L) looks on. Photo by Adele Bossard.


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