BY Brandon Voss
December 03 2014 4:15 PM ET
Maulik Pancholy to Make Broadway Debut in It's Only a Play
It's only a Broadway debut for Maulik Pancholy, who joins the star-studded cast of Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play beginning January 7, 2015.
Best known for his work on 30 Rock and Weeds, the Screen Actors Guild Award winner replaces Harry Potter star Rupert Grint as Frank Finger, the angsty young director of the backstage comedy's play-within-a-play.
Also as of January 7, It's Only a Play will welcome Tony winner Katie Finneran, who replaces Megan Mullally. As previously announced, Tony winner Martin Short will step in for the departing Nathan Lane. Original stars F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, and Micah Stock will remain with the production.
McNally's newly revised comedy, which premiered off-Broadway in 1986, marks the Tony-winning playwright's 21st Broadway production. Directed by out Tony winner Jack O'Brien, It's Only a Play officially opened October 9 at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre with Tom Kirdahy, McNally's husband, as a lead producer. Kirdahy recently produced McNally's Tony-nominated gay-themed drama Mothers and Sons.
Recently extended through March 29, It’s Only a Play will play the Schoenfeld through January 18 before moving to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre beginning January 23.
Pancholy's additional television credits include Whitney, Web Therapy, and Nickelodeon's Sanjay & Craig. His New York theater credits include Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Aunt Dan & Lemon, The Awake, India Awaiting, and The Happy Sad.
A 2013 Out100 honoree, Pancholy married longtime boyfriend Ryan Corvaia earlier this year. Active with a number of non-profit and social policy organizations, he was named to President Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
For tickets and more information visit ItsOnlyaPlay.com. ... See MoreSee Less
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Stage + Arts
Private lives laid bare in 'Cocktail Hour' at Guthrie
Article by: LISA BROCK , Special to the Star Tribune
Updated: December 2, 2014 - 11:24 AM
REVIEW: A son seeks his family’s blessing for his tell-all play. They are not all that supportive.
A simple play script occupies center stage throughout the Guthrie’s production of A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour.” It’s referred to, cursed at and criticized as it lies inanimate on a coffee table, but no one ever actually reads it. No one needs to, since the action the script details is taking place onstage all around it.
The onstage script around which Gurney’s wry and self-referential comedy of manners revolves is also entitled “The Cocktail Hour.” The playwright, John (standing in for Gurney himself), has brought it to his family because it’s semi-autobiographical and he would like their blessing before having it produced. His elderly parents are horrified at the thought that their privacy would be breached; his sister Nina is enraged at having only a minor role in the drama. Over the course of an extended cocktail hour, small family dramas and squabbles play out, culminating in the revelation of a closely-held secret.
The well-mannered echelons of WASP society are familiar Gurney territory, and the Guthrie’s production, under Maria Aitken’s direction, conjures this world with grace and humor.
Peter Thomson gives a vibrant and detailed performance as John’s father, Bradley, bringing plummy-voiced charm and good humored condescension to the role. His Bradley is clearly a man who’s comfortable with his sense of entitlement, but Thomson never allows the role to become a caricature.
After a tentative start, Kandis Chappell warms into her role as Bradley’s wife, Ann, providing some nice moments as she tries to convince her son to write a book instead of a play (“books aren’t quite so public”) and laments the shortage of good domestic help, all while downing several martinis. Charity Jones turns in a nicely modulated performance as older sister Nina, whose petulance covers a heartfelt yearning for a different life.
Rod Brogan tackles the most challenging role as John, in part because he’s a thinly veiled stand-in for Gurney himself and, as such, is as much an orchestrator of the action as he is a character. Brogan juggles this duality with skill, lending the role an acerbic edge tempered by honest affection for the family he’s intent on skewering.
Aitken keeps the pacing crisp as the play unfolds and adds some wry touches, such as pulling back the curtains at the end of the first act to reveal the mechanics of James Youmans’ beautifully realized box set.
All in all, it’s a well-honed production of a play that doesn’t offer earth-shattering revelations, but rather a pleasant, humorous and occasionally intriguing interlude from the everyday. Just as a good cocktail hour should do.
Lisa Brock writes about theater. ... See MoreSee Less
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Hollywood Comes to Dorset (Northfield News - December 4, 2014)
Christina Voros, Director of Photography and Theresa Rebeck, Writer/Director of a Hollywood film being shot in Dorset last week. Photo by Erin Holmes. Christina Voros, Director of Photography and Theresa Rebeck, Writer/Director of a Hollywood film being shot in Dorset last week. Photo by Erin Holmes. Hollywood descended upon the quaint village of Dorset in the weeks before Thanksgiving as Theresa Rebeck’s production company, hosted by the Dorset Theatre Festival, embarked on their first film shoot. The screenplay, Poor Behavior written by DTF Resident playwright Theresa Rebeck, is an adaptation of her play which was recently seen in NYC at Primary Stages. The cast for the production included Brian Dykstra, known to regional audiences for his work in DTF’s Good People; Alan Smyth, recently seen in the World Premiere of Zealot at South Coast Rep; Heidi Armbruster, whose credits include Time Stands Still on Broadway and Disgraced at Lincoln Center; and Katie Kreisler, seen on Broadway in Noises Off as well as the popular TV series The Good Wife. The project marked the film directing debut for Rebeck, renowned playwright and TV writer who owns a home in Dorset Hollow and is Resident Playwright at DTF. Director of Photography for the Indy film was Christina Alexandra Voros, Rachel Dengiz served as Producer, and Eric Holmes as Line Producer.
“The village has been so supportive, with many locals opening up their homes for the cast, the DTF Farmhouse Retreat putting up most of the crew, Billy Brownlee and the H.N. Williams Store cooking all of the daily meals for the cast and crew, the fantastic local cameraman Antonio Panetta, a resident of Dorset Village, helming the shoot as Camera Operator and even a cameo by Dorset Hollow’s own Skip Wickes. This is a great thing for the Village, and we hope this becomes an ongoing addition to DTF’s commitment to developing new work through our New Play Development Program, now in its 8th year,” said Dina Janis, DTF Artistic Director. ... See MoreSee Less
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