New Jersey Stage

Thursday, April 14, 2011

George Street Playhouse Closes 2010-11 Season With Tony Award-Winning Comedy GOD OF CARNAGE

(New Brunswick, NJ) -– The kids may be all right, but what about the parents?  Yasmina Reza's  (with a translation by Christopher Hampton) Tony Award-Winning Broadway smash God of Carnage is the final offering of George Street Playhouse's 2010-11 season.  The cast includes three GSP veterans:  Betsy Aidem (from Jolson Sings Again) and Christopher Curry (from Sight Unseen) and James Ludwig (Ctrl + Alt + Delete); they are joined by Ann Harada (Avenue Q) comprising the two couples meeting to reconcile their children's altercation.  God of Carnage, helmed by GSP Artistic Director David Saint, begins its run Tuesday, May 10 and runs through Sunday, June 5.  Official opening night is set for Friday, May 13.

"I am so excited to be bringing this outrageous – and dare I say – explosive – comedy to the George Street stage," said Artistic Director Saint.  "In addition, I am truly fortunate to have such a talented cast to work with – they are sure to make this an unforgettable night in the theatre."

Creating the world of God of Carnage will be scenic designer James Youmans, lighting designer Joe Saint, costume designer Michael McDonald and sound designer Christopher J. Bailey.

Tickets are now on sale through the George Street Playhouse Box Office 732-246-7717, or via the Playhouse website:  Groups of 10 or more are entitled to a discount – the larger the group, the larger the discount.  For more details contact the GSP Group Sales Department at 732-846-2895, ext. 134 or 155.  George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district.

Betsy Aidem has New York credits that include The Metal Children and Mary Rose (Vineyard Theatre), Crooked (Women's Project), Celebration (Atlantic Theater Company), Stone Cold Dead Serious (Edge Theater), Good Thing (The New Group), The Butterfly Collection (Playwrights Horizons), The Triple Happiness (Second Stage), Luminescence Dating (Ensemble Studio Theatre), as well as runs in Balm in Gilead, Steel Magnolias, and A Lie of the Mind. Regional highlights include Circle Mirror Transformation (Huntington Theatre); The Sugar Syndrome and Sweet Bird of Youth (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Jolson Sings Again (George Street Playhouse); 1000 Airplanes on the Roof (American Repertory Theater and Europe); the international tour of Seven, and Ivanov, Platanov, The Seagull, and The Cherry Orchard at Lake Lucille. Television and film credits include Rescue Me, Law & Order, The Oranges, and Margaret. She received the 2007 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

Christopher Curry was last seen on the George Street stage in Donald Margulies' Sight Unseen.  Before moving to California, he did a number of plays in New York – among his favorites - the Broadway productions of All My Sons (with Richard Kiley) and the Crucifer of Blood (at the Ahmanson as well), and the off-Broadway original productions of The Foreigner, Kennedy at Colonus, Strange Snow, Life Class, The Promise, and When you Comin' Back, Red Ryder. He has worked in regional theatres all over – i.e.the Long Wharf, Seattle Rep, Buffalo Studio Arena, Geva, Pittsburgh Public (where he worked with director David Saint). In Los Angeles he was in the West Coast premiere of Other People's Money (with Kevin Conway), and most recently with the Circus Theatricals Co. where he played Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and the lead in Shem Bitterman's which also enjoyed a recent move (and brief run in the run-up to the presidential elections) to the 45th Street Playhouse in NY.
       He has guest-starred in dozens of television shows, the more recent examples being: Huff, Without a Trace, Strong Medicine, Crossing Jordan, West Wing, NYPD Blue. He has also been featured in more than twenty movies, some of his favorites having been Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Fathers, Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, Home Alone Three, Matt Dillon's City of Ghosts, and the cult classic C.H.U.D. He lives in Venice, California with his wife Mary Portser.

Ann Harada is well known to many theatergoers as the hilarious Christmas Eve in the musical Avenue Q.  Other Broadway credits include the casts of 9 to 5, Les Miserables, Seussical and M. Butterfly.  Off-Broadway shows include the recent musical The Kid, as well as Love, Loss and What I Wore.  She recently participated in readings of two exciting projects: Christine Toy Johnson's Internal Bleeding and Slow Dance With A Hot Pick Up by John Pielmeier (Agnes of God).  Ms. Harada has also been seen in the feature films Smile, Homework, Feel, Happiness and Hudson River Blues as well as appearances on the television series The Electric Company, Lipstick Jungle, Cashmere Mafia, Sex and the City and New York News.

James Ludwig   James' Broadway and Vegas credits include Lancelot in Monty Python's Spamalot, directed by Mike Nichols.  He was an original company member of Spamalot on Broadway.  Other Broadway credits include Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Jerry Zaks.  James has performed off-Broadway as a member of Blue Man Group and De La Guarda, and on various other New York stages including Playwrights Horizons, the York Theatre, the Guggenhiem, Carnegie Hall and the Lamb's, where he was the original john in the now cult classic musical john & jen.  Regionally, James has appeared at storied theatres around the country including the Guthrie, Cleveland Playhouse, the Ford's, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, Arena Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.   James' Film and Television work includes Ghost Town, Lipstick Jungle, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Chappelle's Show, and One Life to Live, as well as the films Ghost Town, The National Actor's Draft, They Came to Cordura, The Crackle Box!, Bury the Evidence, and The Happy Hour Guys.

Yasmina Reza is a French playwright and novelist, based in Paris, whose works have all been multi-award-winning, critical and popular international successes, produced worldwide and translated into 35 languages. Her plays include Conversations After a Burial, The Passage of Winter, Art, The Unexpected Man, Life X 3, A Spanish Play and God of Carnage. Her novels include Hammerklavier, Une Desolation (Desolation), Adam Haberberg, Dans la Luge d'Arthur Schopenhauer, Nulle Part and L'Aube, le Soir ou la Nuit (Dawn, Dusk or Night).  Her films include Le Pique-Nique de Lulu Kreutz, directed by Didier Martiny, and Chicas, written and directed by the author.

Christopher Hampton's plays, musicals, and translations have garnered three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard Awards, and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award. Prizes for his film and television work include an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, a Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix Italian and a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His plays for the Royal Court include Treats, Savages, The Philanthropist, Uncle Vanya, Total Eclipse, Marya and When Did You Last See My Mother? Other plays include Embers, Three Sisters, Art, Sunset Boulevard, The Talking Cure, Alice's Adventures Under Ground, White Chameleon, Tales From Hollywood, Don Juan Comes Back From the War, Tales From the Vienna Woods, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, Life X 3, Tartuffe, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Unexpected Man, and Conversations After a Burial.  Hampton's plays have been performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Almeida, the Royal National Theatre, and both on West End and Broadway. His television credits include The Ginger Tree, Hotel du Lac, The History Man, and Able's Will. He has written the screenplays for Atonement, Imagining Argentina, The Quiet American, The Secret Agent, Mary Reilly, Carrington, Total Eclipse, Dangerous Liaisons, Wolf at the Door, The Good Father, The Honorary Consul, Tales from the Vienna Woods, and A Doll's House.

David Saint Now in his thirteenth season at George Street Playhouse, Artistic Director David Saint has directed twenty-eight mainstage productions, most recently the world premiere of Joe DiPietro's Creating Claire; Boyd Gaines, Rachel Dratch, Kathleen McNenny and Stephen De Rosa in A.R. Gurney's Sylvia; Marlo Thomas and Keith Carradine in Arthur Laurents' New Year's Eve; Matthew Arkin in Donald Margulies' Sight Unsee;, Jack Klugman and Paul Dooley in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys; William Finn's landmark musical Falsettos, the film noir musical Gunmetal Blues, Inspecting Carol, the world premiere of Arthur Laurents' 2 Lives, The Last Five Years, Lend Me a Tenor, the world premiere of Charles Evered's Celadine starring Amy Irving and Jonathan Larson's tick, tick…BOOM!.  Mr. Saint's time in New Brunswick has been marked by collaborations with such artists as Uta Hagen, A.R. Gurney, Arthur Laurents, George Grizzard, Chita Rivera, Eli Wallach , Frances Sternhagen, Anne Meara, Dan Lauria, Stephen Sondheim and Jack Klugman.

An ardent advocate for new work, Mr. Saint created the Next Stage Festival of New Plays at George Street where the recent Broadway hit and Tony Award-winner Proof by David Auburn was developed before moving on to Manhattan Theatre Club and Broadway, becoming the longest-running play in two decades and the most produced play in the nation during the 2002-03 season.  Another success story emerging from the Festival is The Spitfire Grill, which won the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for New American Musicals and was produced under Mr. Saint's direction at Playwrights Horizons in New York, winning Drama Desk, Drama-League and Outer Critics Circle award nominations, before becoming one of the most produced plays in the nation during the 2004-05 season, generating more than 100 productions across the country.  Another new work which began its life at George Street Playhouse is The Toxic Avenger, the musical by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan that moved to New York, won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, and has gone on to multiple productions worldwide.

Mr. Saint was recently a panelist for the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative for the Pew Charitable Trust, has taught at Bennington College, and directed the short film Celebrity. He is the recipient of the Alan Schneider Award, Helen Hayes Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, and several Drama-Logue Awards.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists.  Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.  In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 60,000 students annually.   This production of Ken Ludwig's The Fox on the Fairway is made possible in part through the generosity of The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.  George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by its lead season sponsor Johnson & Johnson.  Continental Airlines is the official airline of George Street Playhouse.