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The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble to Present a Staged Reading of Peter Danish's LAST CALL (AT THE HOTEL SACHER WIEN)

The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble to Present a Staged Reading of Peter Danish's LAST CALL (AT THE HOTEL SACHER WIEN)

For half a century Leonard Bernstein and Herbert Von Karajan were the worlds most celebrated classical music figures. Both men where huge cultural icons and celebrities that transcended music into the worlds of art, fashion and politics. Bernstein, an American Jew and fervent Zionist, and Von Karajan, an Austrian and member of the Nazi party, became heated rivals, competitors, enemies. In 1989, after 50 years of hate and vitriol, the two men happened to cross paths for the first time in decades, (and sadly for the final time, as both died shortly thereafter). Karajan was conducting his final performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, and Bernstein was in Vienna to receive the key to the city and be named an honorary Austrian.

Playwright Peter Danish learned of the encounter from the actual waiter in the Sacher Hotel Vienna who served Bernstein and Karajan that night. After half a century of intense competition and enmity, what would these two giants of the 20th century discuss? It's a tale of art, integrity, choices, values, and the complex nature of forgiveness. A story we desperately need to hear today.

The play is set late one night in the ravishing Blaue Bar of the legendary Sacher Hotel, the oldest and grandest hotel in all Europe. It takes place in real time, in one evening (duration: 75-80 minutes).

Peter Danish (Playwright) is a #1 Best Selling author and the Classical Music Editor for His play "Final Days of Wolfe Tone," won "BEST PLAY 2016" BROADWAYWORLD.COM regional theater. His play "The Blind Date" was chosen by Manhattan Repertory Theater for its "BEST SHORT PLAYS 2016," and has been made into a film currently selected by over 20 major film festivals, winner of over a dozen awards. His novel "The Tenor," was winner of Reader' "BEST HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK 2014," and runner up "BEST HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK 2014" by the New England Festival of Books. His play "Medjugorje" was selected by White Plains Performing Arts Center for a staged reading in its "First Look Series." His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Crain's Business, AD AGE, and MediaWeek. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, The Author's Guild of America and the American Association of Theater Critics.


Craig Smith (Herbert Von Karajan) Craig Smith was an ensemble member of New York's prestigious Jean Cocteau Repertory where he made his artistic home for more than 3 decades appearing in over 200 productions from Stoppard to Shakespeare and Sophocles to Williams. Mr. Smith has been called "One of New York's most consistently fine actors" by The New York Times, "Undoubtedly one of the best comic actors in New York" by Time Out, and "A downtown theatre legend" by Mr. Smith is the recipient of the President of the Borough of Manhattan's Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts and Community Service.

Gus Kaikkonen (Leonard Bernstein) Mr. Kaikkonen's Off Broadway production of Hindle Wakes was nominated for the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival. He has translated and directed Jules Romains' Dr. Knock and Donogoo for the Mint Theatre in New York, Berlioz's Lélio for the New Jersey Symphony at NJPAC, and Moliere's Tartuffe for the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire, where he has been Artistic Director for 24 years, directing over 85 productions. He made his Broadway acting debut in the original cast of Equus.

Matt Stapleton's Phoenix credits include: Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth; The Gambler; Skylight; Suddenly Last Summer; Antigone. He has also worked with Emerging Artists Theatre Company, HERE Arts Center, Berkshire Theatre Festival, New York State Theatre Institute, among others. Acting training at Matthew Corozine Studio and Sarah Lawrence College. He is also a regular contributor to the Irish traditional music community in New York City as a session guitarist.

Elise Stone (Director) is the Artistic Director of New York's award-winning Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Directing credits include Sartre's No Exit, Pirandello's The Man with the Flower in His Mouth, the world premiere of Eric Bentley's The Unseen Woman, the New York premiere of Sonja Linden's "I Have a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rawanda". Selected as one of's people of year Ms. Stone was singled out as "one of New York's most highly regarded and compelling artists." With Phoenix she was most recently seen as Nora in The Cult Play, Elmire in Tartuffe, Kath in Entertaining Mr. Sloane, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Tekla in The Creditors.


The reading stars: Craig Smith, Gus Kaikkonen, and Matt Stapleton.
Jan 8th 3pm
The Dramatist Guild of America
The Mary Rodgers Room
1501 Broadway # 701, New York, NY 10036

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