Austin Pendleton and cast of “Orson’s Shadow.” Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The Theater for the New City proudly presents the 25th Anniversary production of “Orson’s Shadow” by Austin Pendleton, and, for the first time, the play is directed by the author himself (the first time he has directed his own work).  The favorite show is a poignant exploration of the complex interplay between theatrical luminaries Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, and Vivien Leigh.

Performances run from March 14 to 31 at TNC, offering audiences a window into the tumultuous world of theatrical icons.  Set in 1960s London, the play delves into the backstage turmoil during a theater production, unraveling the intricate tapestry of egos, insecurities, and artistic pursuits.

Critically acclaimed since its inception, “Orson’s Shadow” examines the clash between stage and screen, the complexities of artistic ambition, and the profound impact of interpersonal dynamics on creative endeavors.

Featuring a stellar cast including Brad Fryman, Ryan Tramont, and Natalie Menna, supported by a talented creative team, this production promises to captivate audiences with its insightful portrayal of theatrical history and human drama.

WHERE AND WHEN: March 14 to 31, 2024; Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street) Presented by Theater for the New City in association with Oberon Theatre Ensemble and Strindberg Rep. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM. Wednesdays at 7:30: March 20 & 27. $25 general admission, $15 seniors & students. Pay what you can Thursdays. Box office (212) 254-1109, Runs two hours with intermission. Opens March 17.

Press: Jonathan Slaff

(Written with ChatGPT)


  1. Miriam Boland

    Love Austin Pendleton! Met him at his production at Hedgerow Theatre. Definitely will see this one!
    MY QUESTION — is anyone currently doing any show versions of IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE? Google keeps bringing ones from years ago, nothing at present.

  2. Bob Shuman

    Thank you so much for writing to Stage Voices. I have not heard anything about a revival of IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE. Should information about one be forthcoming, we will make a point of posting it on the blog.

    Thank you for much for writing to Stage Voices.

    Of course, we’re fans of Austin Pendleton, too!

    Bob, Stage Voices


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