Dinelaris-Estefan Reading At Barry; New FAU Pro Show Sked; Dramaworks Gains Anderman; City Theatre Pubs Book

comtrag2lgAlex Dinelaris, Gloria Estefan and Danny Aiello in Local Play Reading

A starry public reading of a play in development Still Life by Barry University alumnus and Academy Award-winning Alexander Dinelaris will be held Jan. 30 on the college campus with a cast headlined by Miami’s Gloria Estefan and Academy Award nominee Danny Aiello Jr.

Dinelaris won the screenwriting Oscar for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and is the book writer for On Your Feet, the biographical musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan currently playing on Broadway.

The reading to be directed by Dinelaris and Barry associate professor John Manzelli will also feature actor Matthew Rauch (of Cinemax’s Banshee) and local actresses Betsy Graver and Tanya Bravo.

The play centers on a photographer, Carrie Ann, who inexplicably shuts down at the pinnacle of her career. Lost, and afraid to even pick up her camera, her sudden descent is interrupted by an unexpected romance with Jeff, a trend analyst who becomes determined to help her move on, even while facing his own uncertain future.

The reading is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday Jan. 30 slated at Barry University’s Shepard & Ruth K. Broad Performing Arts Center, 11300 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami Shores. Admission is $10 for Barry faculty and staff. General admission tickets are $20. VIP tickets, which include a reception with the cast, are $100. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.barry.edu/75/still-life/

In addition to the reading, Barry has invited high school students and drama teachers from throughout South Florida to take part in an Inside The Actors Studio-style forum and workshop with Dinelaris on January 29. The workshop will be presented by Barry University faculty Hugh Murphy and Manzelli.

FAU Theatre Lab Announces Winter-Spring Schedule

The FAU Theatre Lab project, which began last fall staging readings of new plays under Louis Tyrrell’s leadership of professional casts, has slated a full slate of offerings this season.

Saturday, Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2 p.m.
A vaudeville musical based on the works of Eugene Ionesco. Conceived by Robert Allan Ackerman, with music and lyrics by Boca Raton resident Mildred Kayden, this zany trip through the mind of the absurdist playwright of The Bald Soprano and Rhinoceros features mime, farce and parody, all balanced on the edge of madness.

Saturday, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m.
Selections From Three Plays by John Guare
Peter Sagal will conduct a post-performance discussion of his Guare’s and career in writing and radio.

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Halftime With Don by Ken Weitzman
Retired NFL player Don Devers has had over 30 surgeries, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on a blizzard of yellow Post-It notes to offset his ravaged memory. When a longtime fan appears at his doorstep, Don seeks to salvage his life with a single act of heroic self-sacrifice.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Mall America by Peter Sagal
Allison was feeling weird so she hopped a bus to the mall. A man on the bus was also feeling weird. But he had a gun… and lots of ammunition. Written by Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Molly’s Hammer by Tammy Ryan
Molly Rush was focused on the endgame- save the world, protect her family. But what would she have to sacrifice? In 1980, the Pittsburgh housewife and mother of six walked into a General Electric plant and took a hammer to a nuclear warhead to protest the buildup of America’s nuclear arsenal. Based on the true story of the Plowshares Eight, Molly’s Hammer is the account of one woman’s unwavering beliefs and her family’s desperate attempts to protect her from infamy.

Saturday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 6, 2 p.m.
Fulfillment Center, a new play by Deborah Zoe Laufer
After a life of misanthropy, Bari is finally finding light and love and joy! But what if the source of that newfound happiness is also killing her? A neurological comedy. Join an in-depth conversation with Laufer on her process and experiences as a highly produced and acclaimed playwright.

Wednesday, March 16
The P-Word by Israel Horovitz
Teenagers of a small Massachusetts town make a ‘pregnancy pact,’ and their parents are forced to confront their own past and the repeated mistakes of generations.

Wednesday, March 23
On Clover Road  by Steven Dietz
At an abandoned motel on a desolate American road, a distraught mother waits. Having hired an experienced but cruel private investigator, she believes she will be reunited with her runaway daughter. What happens instead in this smart, harrowing, edge-of-your-seat thriller is something that will shock her to the core. How far can you push the bonds of family? And how far will you go to bring them back?

Saturday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m.
13 Things About Ed Carpolotti
Book, Music and Lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, Based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
Virginia Carpolotti is a devoted widow with loving memories of her recently-deceased husband. Though her love endures, her confidence in him flounders, as one shady character after another comes calling for the debt that Ed put in her name, and things really heat up when a mysterious $1 million ransom note appears.

Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m.
Red, White, Black And Blue, a new play by Michael McKeever
A national tragedy sets the stage as Lenora Waters finds herself about to become the first black female president of the United States. Cut-throat opposition and demons from her own family’s past ensure her journey will be a rocky one. Part political thriller, part jet-black satire, Red, White, Black and Blue examines the upside-down world of modern American politics and one woman’s struggle to secure her place at the top, without losing her humanity. A discussion with the playwright follows immediately.

Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.
By And By by Lauren Gunderson
Steven, a leading genetic scientist in the arcane world of human cloning, is forced to reveal his best-kept secret: his daughter Denise. By And By wrestles with the dilemmas posed by full human cloning. But the compelling twist in Lauren Gunderson’s play is that it focuses on human emotions in a very recognizable world, rather than confecting some science fiction fantasy of the material.

Saturday, April 30, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.
Uptown Swing! by Wilkie Ferguson
This musical revue, facilitated by a 10-piece big band and a cast of 8, reinvents songs we all know and love, transporting you to the middle of the Harlem Renaissance. The whole evening is wrapped in tuxedos, cocktails, elegance and mischief! Welcome to Uptown Swing! This hot spot club is unlike any other. Using 1930s big band jazz arrangements, we take a musical journey through classic rock. Mega hit songs like Don’t Stop Believing, Livin On A Prayer and Another One Bites the Dust, as performed in a swinging jazz club in Harlem, 1932. It’s Postmodern Jukebox meets Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

General admission is $20. Student admission is $10 (cash only) with student ID at the door or at the FAU box office. For tickets click below or call 800-564-9539.  Tickets available at the door upon availability.

Dramaworks Delays Journey; Gains Anderman

Palm Beach Dramaworks’ production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night had delayed its opening a week, but it has gained a marquee name to play the drug addicted mother Mary Tyrone – acclaimed Broadway actress Maureen Anderman.

The Eugene O’Neill classic slated to open this weekend instead will have previews Feb. 2 and 3 with set for opening night Feb. 4.

Anderman, who lives part of the year in Palm Beach County with husband actor Frank Converse, has been a supporter of the local theater for years and starred in Dramaworks’ production of A Delicate Balance in December 2012. Her lengthy credits on and off-Broadway include several plays by Edward Albee.

Reportedly, director William Hayes offered her the role a few years ago, but turned it down as “too dark.” She performed scenes from the work with Brian Dennehy in a fundraiser for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in 2001.

She replaces Joy Franz who “withdrew for personal reasons,” according to a Dramaworks news release.

Other cast members are Dennis Creaghan (James Tyrone), John Leonard Thompson (James Jr.), Michael Stewart Allen (Edmund) and Carey Urban (Cathleen).

The show is scheduled to close Sunday, March 6. The play is long, so all evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and all matinees are at 1:00 p.m.

City Theatre Is On The Page As Well As The Stage

City Theatre, the Miami-based company that has produced Summer Shorts and the programs for two decades, has published The City Theatre Anthology 2015, a collection of new works by 51 playwrights to commemorate the company’s 20th anniversary.

The book which was offered at the recent Miami Book Fair will be featured Jan. 25 at The Drama Book Shop in New York City in an evening of readings from the publication performed by the Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab. The event will also feature a talk back with City Theatre staff and the New York-based playwrights, book signings and a reception starting at 250 West 40th Street.

Unlike other anthology play collections, it focuses on the stages of the playwriting development process, specifically for the short form genre. The Anthology opens with the scripts produced during the 2015 Summer Shorts Festival, followed by the finalists submitted for the 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest, and concludes with the original or “Unplugged” section of works created by playwrights during the CityWrights Professional Weekend for Playwrights conference.

Reflecting the earliest part of the playwriting process, “Unplugged” is comprised of monologues, scenes and short plays, workshops with playwright teaching masters Leslie Ayvazian, Cusi Cram, Michael Bigelow Dixon and Deborah Zoe Laufer.

Copies can be bought at Books & Books, through the City Theatre website and on Amazon at http://bit.ly/CityTheatreAnthology

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