This revival of comedy Buffalo Heights is an official selection of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity on the Lower East Side this June 15-30. We sat down with our incomparable stage manager, Erin Cohen, to get her thoughts on the show, which opens June 15 @ 7 PM!
Have you ever been to Buffalo?
Nope! I used to go to camp up in the Adirondacks and I have family friends up in Syracuse but no experience with Buffalo. I'd love to go and see what it is they eat there. I've heard cheese curds are big. Sounds like my kind of place...
Meatballs or sticky buns?
What type of question is that?! Meatballs AND sticky buns.
Speak any French?
I took French in high school!
I always thought the word drôle was a funny one. It means funny, but it sounds so boring. I appreciate the irony.
Venue: LATEA Theater @ the Clemente Center, 107 Suffolk Street, 2nd Floor, NYC
Trains: F, J, M, Z to Delancey/Essex Stations
Get your $18 tickets below:
6 shows (90-min run time, no intermission)
Thur 6/15 @ 7 PM
Sat 6/17 @ 1:15 PM
Mon 6/19 @ 9 PM
Sat 6/24 @ 3:30 PM
Sun 6/25 @ 9:30 PM
Fri 6/30 @ 7:15 PM
Production team & cast: written by Adam Harrell, directed by Jake Lipman, stage managed by Erin Cohen, scenic design by Michael Lounsbery, sound design by Philip Rothman, featuring Lori Funk*, Jake Lipman*, Brittany Anikka Liu*, Maria Maloney*, Jordan P. Schroeder, and Patrick Truhler*
Themes: LBGTQ rights, freedom of speech, justice, election politics
TIC is thrilled to be holding auditions and callbacks this week for its upcoming revival of Buffalo Heights by Adam Harrell, which is an official selection of the 2017 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
The show was first developed by a group of actors, artistic director Jake Lipman, and playwright Adam Harrell in 2014, culminating in its workshop premiere in May 2014, for which notices were very positive.
Since then, Jake and Adam have updated the show and trimmed it to a zippy 90 minutes. We are seeking 5 actors to join the cast for this revival, with the following breakdown:
[MIKE HOBBES] (Late 30s.) Well-intentioned by dim security guard at Buffalo Heights High.
[CONNER SMITH] (Actor must be 18 or older, plays high school student.) Popular, smart, but laid-back stoner.
[JEAN WASHINGTON] (Late 30s.) Tightly-wound high school principal. Must be comfortable with a same-sex kiss.
[DIANE MATTHEWS] (Mid-40s-50s.) Mother of PIPER MATTHEWS, straight-shooting Republican Congresswoman.
[PIPER MATTHEWS] (Actress must be 18 or older, plays high school student.) Daughter of DIANE MATTHEWS, hell-bent on winning student class president election, and any other honor.
Synopsis: When lesbian FRAN (CAST) goes through a bad break up and leaves France, her old friend from college, now a high school principal, JEAN, offers FRAN a job teaching French at Buffalo Heights High. When FRAN accidentally crosses congresswoman DIANE MATTHEWS and her ambitious daughter, PIPER, things get goofy. FRAN finds herself embroiled in an election scandal involving a hapless security guard, MIKE, a bright stoner, CONNER, forcing FRAN to face the rumors, with a little help from the metaphysical plane. Scandal, intrigue, improper bodily searches, and alternative facts -- just an average day at Buffalo Heights High.
Please submit through Actors Access only.
Tonight is our final performance of Rapture, Blister, Burn, and I am going to be sad to see this beautiful and funny production close.
While we are sold out, you are welcome to try your luck at the door of the theater tonight (many standby have gotten in to other performances). We are playing at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor and curtain is at 7:30 PM.
Favorite line from the play?
Alice says, "You know what they say: your life begins when your mother dies." and later, her daughter, Catherine, says, "I've lived my life alone because I've never been alone."
To me, these lines sum up what is both humorous and heart-wrenching about this story and its character's conflicts.
Favorite feminist (icon)?
Again, I'll pick two:
My mother. She was very engaged and involved in politics and believed in civil service. She instilled me a sense of independence and a strong moral code.
Ruth Simmons. She was the president of Smith College when I went there, and she went on to be the first African American (male or female!) to run an Ivy League university, Brown. She was born in Texas, was one of twelve children, and her father was a sharecropper! I had to opportunity to talk with her a few times when I was a student, and she struck me as a very thoughtful person, intelligent and warm but quietly powerful. She's the coolest.
As a little girl, I remember going to dinner with my family at formal restaurants with white tablecloths and I loved nothing more than ordering Shirley Temple after Shirley Temple. I wasn't big on eating anything, just plowing through a few Shirleys and conking out at the table when the sugar wore off.
These days, I tend to order a glass of bubbly -- basically adult soda. I'm still very much that girl who loves a sweet drink with bubbles. And I still conk out when the sugar wears off.
Thank you to our talented cast, crew, and the wonderful audiences who have come to see our show!
We have 3 shows left to our 9-show run of Rapture, Blister, Burn at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios (244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC). While we are officially sold out, standby patrons nearly always get in. Note that it is a 7:30 PM curtain.
Our director, Molly Ballerstein, answered our Q&A about the show... read on!
Favorite line from the play, and why.
Tongue In Cheek Theater produces thought-provoking comedies and my favorite line from this play goes along with that. Every read of the play as well as every time I hear Brittany Anikka Liu as Avery say, "You can't like sex AND campfires?" I laugh.
The line may be masked in comedy but it strikes at a question most humans struggle with at one point in their lives and the characters in this play are no different. Some, such as Avery, are having these thoughts for the first time while others, Alice and Catherine, have been discussing this question for twenty-five years. For me, really what Avery's question is asking is, "Can't we find love/a relationship/a partner (however you chose to define or not define romance and sex in your life) that fulfills us sexually and meets our long-term needs?" That mixed with a little, "How do we define when is too early for sex between two partners?"
If you could swap lives with another living person, who would it be, and why?
For a large chunk of my years as a child and pre-teen, I dreamed of becoming the first female President of the United States. At this moment in time I would absolutely swap lives with Hillary Clinton so I could (knock on wood) experience that dream. To be the woman that really has that moment in the United States when we show American girls that they should dream of being politicians just as much as artists, teachers, lawyers, and CEOS, when we show the world that we too can be lead by a woman, can have the face and voice of the nation be female would be absolutely amazing.
Favorite specialty cocktail? How's it made?
A Dark 'n' Stormy.
2 ounces Dark Rum
4 ounces Ginger Beer
Combine rum and ginger beer in an old-fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Serve with a lime wedge.
Tonight is opening night of Rapture, Blister, Burn, TIC's 33rd thought-provoking comedic production.
Get your tickets here: www.tictheater.com and 1-800-838-3006.
We have 9 shows, Oct. 26-Nov. 5 @ 7:30 PM, The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC.
We asked the devilishly charming Patrick Daniel Smith a few questions about the production... read on!
Your character, "Don," drinks a lot. What's your favorite drink?
This is a deceptively complex question, masked as simple small talk. The right alcohol can improve (or destroy) a meal, social situation, or life.
Take, for example, dinner with friends. Most (not all, but most) will be swilling American light beer while trying to enjoy a medium-rare filet at a $400-a-plate restaurant.
On the other end of things, most will not break out a $200 bottle of of wine while rooting for the Jets on a Sunday afternoon, as they finish out their inevitable 6-10 season, destined to watch the playoffs from their couches.
Taking a bottle of George Dickle to your friend's kid's 6th birthday party is probably not the best idea in the world, while white wine spritzers are not really going to cut it at the Tao Club at the Vegas Venetian.
The point is, one's favorite drink should be as flexible as life is varied. That said, a glass of Delirium Tremens can never do you wrong.
What do you have in common with your character?
I like to think I don't have this in common with Don, but to be honest, the more we have worked through the show, the more it scares me that I do. Maybe we all do.
I'm scared by the idea that we see embodied by Don, that you can just become complacent, either out of apathy or the realization that nothing you do matters, and essentially stop trying. At life. Not that Don is a lesser person because of this.
His marriage is slightly below league average, but he appears to be an attentive father. And being a dean of a college, even a less reputable one, is no small feat. But as evidenced by his dynamic with Catherine, he is capable of more.
Getting into this character has caused me to think about what choices I've made, what could have been done differently... it's led to all sorts of internal speculation. ARGH.
What's the most formative book you read in college?
A People's History by Zinn. The idea of looking at the U.S. Civil War from the point of view of Irish immigrants or to stop thinking of Rockefeller and Carnegie as patron saints and look at them as who thy really were (robber barons exploiting the labor force and government), was so different from the reading I did in high school.
For the first time, it made me question the dogmatic faith I had put in other historical texts I had read before. This was a time before pervasive internet content, so one had to actively seek out dissenting voices. Zinn helped me develop a lifelong habit (for better or worse) of looking to question authority, to question commonly-held beliefs as not necessarily accurate or right.
Second choice: Watchmen. Because... awesome.
We open in 2 days, and would love to have you see our production of Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo, starring Tracilyn Jones, Brittany Anikka Liu, Jake Lipman*, Patrick Daniel Smith*, and Rochelle Slovin*, directed by Molly Ballerstein and stage managed by Angeline Nortz.
Tickets are $18 at www.tictheater.com and 1-800-838-3006, and the show runs Oct. 26-Nov. 5 @ 7:30 PM at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC.
In the role of "Avery" we are thrilled to have the luminescent Brittany Anikka Liu, who is making her NYC stage debut (although truth be told, she has a very impressive resume, including lots of Shakespeare!).
We asked the brilliant Brittany a few questions about being in this production.
Tell us about "Avery" and what you have in common with her (or not)!
Avery is the outspoken, opinionated student I was always afraid of in college. I was more of a listener in class and usually too nervous to ever disagree. She's very blunt, assertive, and willing to debate others (to fight for what she believes), but at the same time she's quite compassionate and ready to help a friend in need.
On paper, we're similar in that I also went to a liberal arts college where I actually took a course on feminist theory! I believe we also share an intellectual curiosity and love of the F word.
Favorite book you read in college?
I mistakenly read On the Road my sophomore year of college, which sparked my rebellious side, making me want to drop out of school every finals period and live as a nomadic beatnik. I romanticized living on the road, broke, filming a documentary, and seeing the stars at night from every angle. I mean, I still do... It's never too late!
What under-developed talent do you fantasize about resuming?
I've been playing drums since I was little... meaning the numerous times I asked my parents to take me to Guitar Center and all the house parties I attended, I would sneak away to play the drum set.
I've never trained until I took up lessons my last semester of college. My dad just got a free drum set from a neighbor! I'm trying to figure out how to ship it from Cincinnati and make it fit in a "cozy" NYC apartment!
Tongue in Cheek's 33rd production opens in exactly a week, on Wed, Oct. 26 @ 7:30 PM and we'd love it if you caught one of our 9 performances!
Dates: Wed-Sun Oct. 26-30 and Wed-Sat Nov. 2-5 @ 7:30 PM
Venue: The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC
Tickets: $18 at www.tictheater.com or call 1-800-838-3006
The show is about three friends from grad school who reunite in their forties, and latent desire and drinking make for an interesting brew between them. Actress Tracilyn Jones plays the show's star, Catherine Croll, whose academic career is the envy of all her friends. We asked the talented Traci a few questions about being a part of this production.
What, if anything, do you and Catherine have in common?
Initially, I thought Catherine and I were nothing alike.
I can say in 5 words what takes her 100. I like to simplify rather than elaborate. Granted, my thoughts might be a novel, but most of the time, I say very little. The word "Feminism" is not in my lexicon. Not that I don't care, it's just not my go-to subject. I hate horror films. I think they're stupid.
But, on the flip side, every role I've done finds me at the right time in my life, and the more I delve into Catherine's life and work ethic, I see some overlap.
As a self-portrait artist, if I were to paint Catherine, our organs would be the same colors: royal blue, gem tones, and red. Red is always easy to work with as a painter because it conjures up pain, blood, and the opposite, LOVE. I am drawn to her passionate preparation for a lecture; it's the same as my staying up all night adding high gloss shine to an art piece with a toothpick. In this way, we are two peas in a pod, swimming--maybe drowning--in our life's work.
Favorite line in the play?
Don says to Gwen, "Go get happy."
This reminds me of my favorite spoken words of all time, by Morgan Freeman's character in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
He says, "Get busy living, or get busy dying. Goddamn right!"
Most every character in this show drinks, A LOT. Favorite cocktail?
Here's my Bad Ass Margarita recipe. (It's like a crime scene, it's so bad. Like CSI-David Caruso-Miami crime scene!)
1.5 oz Casadores Tequila
.5 oz Grand Marnier
2 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz agave syrup
.5 oz orange juice
2 slices muddled jalapenos
(Shake hard in a metal tin and strain into a sea salt rim martini glass.)
Thanks, Traci! Get your tickets now!
We are pleased to announce that $18 tickets for the 9 performance-run of Rapture, Blister, Burn are now on-sale through the ticketing agent Brown Paper Tickets.
Here's the online link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2604821
Or call: 1-800-838-3006
Performances run October 26-November 5, 2016 at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios (244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC).
Thank you to all the talented actors who submitted, auditioned, and attended callbacks this last week for Rapture, Blister, Burn.
We are thrilled to announce our cast!
Tracilyn Jones in the role of "Catherine"
Jake Lipman* in the role of "Gwen"
Brittany Anikka Liu in the role of "Avery"
Patrick Daniel Smith* in the role of "Don"
Rochelle Slovin* in the role of "Alice"
*Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association
Stay tuned for our ticketing link, press release, and more this fall!