(via John Wyszniewski at Blake Zidell & Associates)
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’S ORPHEUS DESCENDING, DIRECTED BY AUSTIN PENDLETON
Irene Glezos, Todd d’Amour and Beth Bartley Lead 16-Person Cast In One of Williams’s Most Dark And Complex Works
Preview Performances: April 23, 24, 28-30 at 7pm; April 25 at 8pm
Opening: Sunday, May 1 at 7pm
Regular Performances: May 2, 9 at 8pm; May 5, 10, 13, 14 at 7pm; May 7 at 2pm; May 8 at 3pm
St. John's Lutheran Church (81 Christopher Street, Manhattan)
A rare revival of Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams will run for a limited engagement, April 23–May 14, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, one of the oldest buildings in Greenwich Village. Directed by Austin Pendleton, the production features a 16-person cast lead by Irene Glezos, Todd d’Amour and Beth Bartley. Williams’s modern version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice opened on Broadway in 1957 and was revived in 1989 in a celebrated production directed by Sir Peter Hall and starring Vanessa Redgrave. It has rarely, if ever, been produced in New York since.
For director Austin Pendleton, Orpheus Descending “is a mythological play and a Christian play, and most of all, an utterly convincing evocation of small-town Mississippi in a desperate time and a beautiful, utterly original love story.”
Orpheus Descending centers on Lady Torrance (Irene Glezos), a Sicilian immigrant disenchanted with her unhappy 20-year marriage. She runs a dry-goods store in the Deep South in the 1940s, while her bigoted, tyrannical husband (Keir Dullea) lies bedridden with cancer upstairs. When a young, guitar-toting drifter Val Xavier (Todd d’Amour) shows up at her store, Lady begins an affair that not only causes a town-wide scandal, but also, and more importantly, awakens a long-forgotten passion that brings Lady deep solace.
Completing the 16-member cast are Beth Bartley as Carol Cutrere, Brenda Currin as Beulah Binnings, Mia Dillon as Vee Talbot, Keir Dullea as Jabe Torrance, Tom Drummeras Sheriff Talbott, Karen Lynn Gorney as Eva Temple, Jim Heatherly as Pee Wee, Lou Liberatore as David Cutrere, Skid Maher as Dog Hamma/Second man, David Pendleton as Uncle Pleasant/Conjure man, David Roby as Mr. Dubinsky/First man, Randi Sobol as Dolly Hamma, Michele Tauber as Nurse Porter and Penny Lynn White as Sister Temple.
The creative team includes Susannah Baron (lighting design), Carrie Mossman (set and prop design), Tony French (costume design), Dr. Annette J. Saddik (dramaturg),Duncan Becker (props), Logan Faust (props), Robert Neapolitan (production stage manager) Lefty Lucy (ASM/costume assistant), and Brooke Lynn Tibbs (associate producer/box office manager)
Performances of Orpheus Descending will take place April 23–May 14 (see schedule above) at St. John's Lutheran Church (81 Christopher Street, Manhattan). Critics are welcome as of April 28 for an official opening on Sunday, May 1 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at twptown.org/orpheusnyc.
This production of Orpheus Descending is presented by Beth Bartley and Irene Glezos in association with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.
About the Artists
Austin Pendleton has been most recently represented as a director in New York by the world premiere production of Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. And also by Hamlet, at CSC, which starred Peter Sarsgaard. And by Nora, Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll House, at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He is also an actor (most recently in New York in Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, at the Public Theatre), and a playwright, and a teacher of acting at HB Studio.
Irene Glezos (Lady) New York and regional theater credits include: Lady in Orpheus Descending (dir. Nick Potenzieri) at theProvincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and performances in Williams home state of Mississippi, Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s Master Class (Voice Theatre, dir. Shauna Kanter and MTC in Westport, dir. Kevin Connors for which she was Nominated Outstanding Leading Actress by the Connecticut Critics Circle 2014), Gertrude in Jane Bowles’ In the Summerhouse (dir. David Kaplan), Fairouz in Naomi Wallace's In the Heart of America (Long Wharf, dir. Tony Kushner), Joyce/Isabella Bird in Top Girls (Harold Clurman Theatre, dir. April Shawhan), Anna Prager in The Gift (dir. Shauna Kanter), Collette in Four Dogs and a Bone (dir. Ted Gregory), Anna in Ron Elisha’s Two (INTAR, dir. Bernice Rohret with Mark Hammer), Bo in Jane Martin’s Criminal Hearts (Stamford Theatre Works, dir. Susie Fuller), and Antigone in Antigone (dir. Suzanne Shepherd). She has also written and performed much of her own work including a solo play called Y, co-created and directed by Brad Calcaterra, about a woman who takes on the persona of Marilyn Monroe to cope with her own deep sense of loss. She has appeared in films including Deadly Obsessions and Woody Allen’s Celebrity and on numerous television series including Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury, Third Watch and Law and Order. She will playLady in New Orleans in Southern Rep’s production of Orpheus Descending directed by Jef Hall-Flavin in March, 2016.
Todd d’Amour (Val Xavier) made his Broadway debut in 2015 in Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Lisa D'Amour's Airline Highway. NYC credits: Empire Travel Agency (The Woodshed Collective), The Verge (PL115/Ontological), Ether Steeds (Fringe; Best Ensemble); The Confidence Man (The Woodshed Collective), Spain (dir. Shana Gold), Syphon (dir. Shana Gold), Orpheus - Orpheus & Eurydice, Jake - Lie of the Mind, Heracles - Women of Trachis (Target Margin), Stanley - Stanley (dir./co-created Lisa D’Amour), Colin Clement in Red Tide Blooming (dir. Taylor Mac), Bill - Major Barbara (Company OBIE), Mr. Interviewer - Nita & Zita (OBIE). Regional: Detroit (Kenny – TheatreWorks – Colorado Springs), Airline Highway (Steppenwolf Work Shop – dir. Joe Mantello), Stanley - A Streetcar Named Desire (SMT), A Perfect Ganesh (NET), Charlie Chaplin - Silent Lives (NET). Todd starred in the feature film Wendell and the Lemon, which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival in 2015 and just recently showed at San Fran Indie Fest this month. He won the Best Actor Award for this role in NYC VisionFest in 2015. He also starred in the short film The Heart Wants What it Wants (dir. Paavo Hanninen), whichpremiered at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2014. Heis from New Orleans and attended Syracuse University (B.A. Psych) and AADA (NY – 2000). Todd was Horace Wells in NUMB, an original piece created with his company, Goat in the Road. Todd was also Thomas in Southern Rep’s Venus in Fur, opening in New Orleans (first regional production) then touring to GEVA Theatre (Rochester). Todd just wrapped production of his first film as producer, Get Out Fast. The film was shot in and around Southern Louisiana and New Orleans and will be premier in NYC in May.
Beth Bartley (Carol Cutrere), a graduate of The Juilliard School, performed on Broadway in Fortune’s Fool, which starred Alan Bates, and wasdirected by film legend,Arthur Penn, the production received multiple Tony nominations and awards. She made her NY Producing debut in 2013 with Tennessee Williams’ The Mutilated, which was nominated for a Drama League Award. In 2015, she played Catherine Holly in 3 different productions of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer: first in New Orleans at Southern Rep, directed by Aimee Hayes (Artistic Director is Southern Rep), running concurrent with the New Orleans Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in March, then in Williams' birth town of Columbus, MS with director Augustin Correro for the Tennessee Williams Tribute, and finally, at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in September. She will play Carol Cutrere in New Orleans this spring in the Southern Rep production of Orpheus Descending with director Jef Hall-Flavin and Grace in Something Unspoken with Brenda Currin directed by Paul Willis.
Press Contact: John Wyszniewski at Blake Zidell & Associates
fellow philosopher who raves to them about a new conceptual framework from Berlin called Phenomenology. "You see," he says, "if you are a phenomenologist you can talk about this cocktail and make philosophy out of it!"