Retro Productions' The Baltimore Waltz Sets Special Talk Back Guests

In this humorous allegory for the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, Anna, an unmarried schoolteacher, is diagnosed with ATD (Acquired Toilet Disease). It's fatal and mysterious, so she and her brother Carl take off for a dream tour of Europe before the inevitable happens. As Anna drowns herself in the sensuality of food and sex, Carl becomes involved in a wild Third Mannish espionage scheme to find a cure for his sister. But the cracks in the story start to widen and soon the audience becomes aware that they are engaged in Anna's fantasy attempt at keeping her brother's spirit alive when she cannot save his life.

THE BALTIMORE WALTZ is Paula Vogel's most personal play, written in reaction to her brother's death from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1988. It is dedicated "To the memory of Carl - because I cannot sew." Vogel won an Obie award for The Baltimore Waltz in 1992. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive (1997). Other notable plays include The Mineola Twins and The Long Christmas Ride Home. Retro Productions will be donating 15% of their ticket sales to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The production stars Greg Oliver Bodine (Poe, Times Two at WorkShop Theater Co.), Heather Cunningham (The Runner Stumbles/Off Broadway) and Ricardo Rust (Little Shop of Horrors, Willows Theatre Co./SF).

The creative team includes set design by Jack & Rebecca Cunningham, properties design by Sara Slagle, slide design by Ben Philipp, lighting design by Lauren Bremen, sound design by Patrick Burks, costume design by Viviane Galloway and production stage manager Sarah Lahue.

All performances take place at the Underground Theater, 64 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue & Bowery), New York, New York, 10003. Running time: 90 minutes.

Tickets are $18.00 and are available at or by calling 866-811-4111.

Remaining Show Dates:

Friday, November 15th @ 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 16th @ 8:00 pm *talk back with Matthew J. Jones

Sunday, November 17th @ 3:00 pm

Monday, November 18th @ 8:00 pm *talk back with Dr. Jeffrey Laurence

Wednesday, November 20th @ 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 21st @ 8:00 pm

Friday, November 22nd @ 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 23rd @ 8:00 pm

More info at


Peter Zinn (Director) Off-Broadway: Rumspringa (45 Bleecker Street Theater), The Runner Stumbles (Retro Productions at the Arclight Theatre). Other Retro directing credits include Holy Days, Benefactors (2011 NYIT Award nomination for Outstanding Production), Women and War, and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. For HB Playwrights Foundation Theatre, Always, Overnight, Reike on the Plains, Found, Numbers, and It's Time. Also, So Long Lives This (American Globe Theatre) and Smile: A Country Rock Musical (Deane Center for Performing Arts in Wellsboro, PA). Peter has directed several workshop productions and staged readings of new plays including The Whaleship Essex (starring Tom Hanks) and Chip Off the Moon (starring Anne Meara). He recently directed his first film, Hypothetically (starring Vincent Pastore) which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival this summer. As an actor, he's performed with Steppenwolf Theater, The Milwaukee Rep, The Goodman Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, and others.

Matthew J. Jones (talk back guest on November 16th) is a PhD candidate in the Critical & Comparative Studies of Music program at The University of Virginia. His dissertation, How to Make Music in an Epidemic: Hearing AIDS, 1981-1996, explores the ways in which popular music and music video were used to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to represent people with HIV/AIDS. It includes the first musical-biography of singer, songwriter, author, and activist Michael Callen (1955-1993), whose life and works literally changed the way we think about AIDS. Matt is also an active pianist, singer, musical director, and is currently writing a musical revue about gay men, dating, and the perils social media. He lives in Charlottesville, VA with his cat, Joan Clawford.

Dr. Jeffrey Laurence (talk back guest on November 18th) is Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Director of the Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research at those institutions. He is also Senior Scientific Consultant for Programs at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, co-founded by Dr. Mathilde Krim and the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, and Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Patient Care and STDs, now in its 26th year.

Dr. Laurence received his B.A. Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Columbia University in 1972, and his M.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1976. He was elected a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford University in 1973. Deferring this honor, he accepted a Henry Luce Fellowship to Japan, where he worked as a research associate at the Institute for Cancer Research in Osaka.

In early 1983 Dr. Laurence was invited to the Institut Pasteur in Paris to collaborate with Drs. Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, now Nobel laureates for the discovery of HIV. Dr. Laurence was first author on their 1984 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine further documenting HIV-1 as the cause of AIDS, and identifying a carrier state for infection. Dr. Laurence has authored over 160 scientific papers related to HIV and related conditions.

About Retro Productions:

Retro Productions (Heather Cunningham, Artistic Director) was founded in 2005 with the mission to present works of retro theatre. Retro is defined as "involving, relating to, or reminiscent of things past (American Heritage Dictionary)." At Retro Productions we will strive to tell good theatrical stories which have an historical perspective -with an emphasis on the 20th century- in order to broaden our own understanding of the world we live in. We believe through stories of human lives and struggles, both dramatic and comedic, we can understand social history and culture and how it affects us today.

Retro Productions has received 18 New York Innovative Theatre Awards nominations since 2008 - including 1 win for Kristen Vaughan, Outstanding Actress in a Lead, Benefactors by Michael Frayn in 2011. Nominations include Outstanding Production of a Play for Benefactors in 2011 and The Desk Set in 2010, Outstanding Ensemble for Benefactors in 2011, as well as acting and design award nominations.

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