CLOSED Oct. 2, 2013: “Siren’s Heart: The Marilyn Monroe Musical”

“Siren’s Heart: : The Marilyn Monroe Musical” by Walt Stepp opened  at Actors Temple Theatre on August 5, 2012 and closed on October 2, 2012 . It was directed by Lissa Moira and starred Louis Bradshaw.

About the play: “Siren’s Heart is not the familiar victim narrative about Marilyn Monroe. She is still a living icon in the hearts and minds of millions, but in her own time, Norma Jean was suffocated by the mask of Marilyn & the weight of living up to that impossible ideal of beauty, crushed her. Siren’s Heart, imagines another place where we see Marilyn, or Norma Jean, as she might have been; as she wanted to be: the well-rounded, unhaunted person she couldn’t be in her all-too-brief life.”

Sirens Poster Image

“Louisa Bradshaw is riveting! Her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, frozen in time, excites as I’ve rarely seen happen on stage. Lissa Moira’s direction & dramaturgy are stunning. It perfectly captures the thoughts of playwright Walt Stepp, on a side of Marilyn never expressed before.” – Joe Franklin, Bloomberg Radio

“The great success of the show is that Louisa Bradshaw presents Monroe as a rather ordinary woman who just cannot figure out why she became so famous. She looks at her from the outside & sees a plain & troubled woman hurled into a worldwide stardom that she could not handle.”– Bruce Chadwick, History News Network

“In Walt Stepp’s Siren’s Heart we witness a provocative, intelligent, soul-searching woman. Louisa Bradshaw gives a tour-de-force performance… she does not attempt to impersonate Marilyn; she embodies Norma Jean & shares her life with us. Lissa Moira directs with verve & purpose!”– Bill Bradford, Hi! Drama

“Caldi applausi a tutti!”
– Mario Fratti, Oggi

CLOSED July 20, 2013: “Rain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes”

“Rain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes” starred Rain Pryor and was produced by Edmund Gaynes in Association with Daryl Sledge/Mother’s Boy LLC.  Fried Chicken & Latkes  first preview date was July 21, 2012  and opened officially on August 6, 2012  at the Actors Temple Theatre .  It CLOSED on July 20, 2013. ( for information on future bookings please contact Gaynes Theatrical Booking )

About the Play: Fried Chicken & Latkes, written and conceived by Rain Pryor, is a hero’s journey from the standpoint of a person born into a world of “Us vs. Them” – but not quite an “us” and not quite a “them”. Told through heavy characterization and a few songs, the story takes us on a journey of racial identity, family, spiritual growth and love. She gives us a glimpse into the universe that was her childhood and is her life, morphing effortlessly, into the people around her, we all end up completely identifying with her story.

Rain Pryor grew up Black and Jewish in Beverly Hills. The year was 1969, the year was of shout and protest against mans inhumane spirit. Through hate, racism, fear, loss and love – Rain dives into her search for heritage and meaning by “becoming” her grandmother Bernice – discussing everything from her shana madel’s marriage to the black comedian Richard Pryor, to the fact that Jews have been Jews for six thousand seven hundred and sixty six year. She equally inhabits her other grandmother, Mamma – discussing “niggers”, white folk, and running a whore house in Peoria, IL, : these were two cultures that helped her to triumph over racial lines and stereotypes. Rain’s father, legendary actor/comedian, Richard Pryor, gave her a sharp sense of timing and character. Her mother imbued her life with political consciousness to stand up for what you believe in! Fried Chicken & Latkes, teaches us that living an authentic life is not about “where do I stand”- it’s about “ Here, I stand.” It will take you back in time and move you forward making you laugh, think and cry. [CLOSED]

CLOSED (11-15-14) Black Angels Over Tuskegee – Jets attendance featured in the New York Times!

To purchase tickets, click poster to go to Telecharge

Black Angels Over Tuskegee

Black angels for ATT website

ABOUT THE PLAY: Black Angels Over Tuskegee is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen told in narrative of six men embarking upon a journey to become pilots in the United States Army Air Forces. The play explores their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood. The play goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel, in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them.

Winner 2009 NAACP Award “Best Ensemble”
Winner 2009 Artistic Achievement Award “Best Play”

“Uplifting! Inspirational! This show is also tough to resist. By the end, when the pilots overcame their obstacles and finally got up into the air to the swelling of music,
tears welled up in my eyes.” – New York Times

“Dynamite performances!” – Time Out NY

“The characters are so realistic that the audience can’t help but be thoroughly moved!” – Associated Press

“Excellent ensemble acting keeps Black Angels Over Tuskegee soaring.
Some plays teach, others celebrate, and a few simply entertain.
Black Angels Over Tuskegee manages to do all three and one thing more:
It inspires.” – Back Stage

“Stunning!” – Curtain Up

After Cameo on Cable, Jets Hit Broadway

By BRUCE WEBER

JETS-popup

The police stopped rush-hour traffic at Eighth Avenue and West 47th Street on Wednesday so the buses could pass through and their passengers, burly men in jackets and ties, could make the curtain. These were the Jets, en route to the off-Broadway Actors Temple Theater. It was just before 9 a.m., earlier even for actors than for professional athletes.

“Last time I did a 9 a.m. show I was in the third grade,” said Layon Gray, who wrote, directed and performed in the play “Black Angels Over Tuskegee. “I was a tree.”

But the Jets had a luncheon scheduled and then they were off to Philadelphia, where they will play the Eagles Thursday night in their final preseason game. If they were going to see the show and absorb its message about comradeship and loyalty and pride, it had to be early. Everyone was there (well, not Darrelle Revis), including Coach Rex Ryan and the team owner, Woody Johnson.

It was an odd scene, a parade of huge, well-dressed guys filing quietly and obediently into the tiny theater, where several took up more than one seat apiece. A bystander prompted a sizable lineman: “Better than practice, right?”

“I’d rather be practicing,” he responded.

How did this come to pass? Serendipitously.

The play, part history and civics lesson, part inspirational narrative, concerns half a dozen men who during World War II were among the United States’ first black military aviators, known popularly as the Tuskegee Airmen, and who cohere into the proverbial band of brothers. It has been running since February to modest reviews — “an agreeable drama,” The New York Times called it — and one day last spring Ray Anderson, the N.F.L.’s executive vice president for football operations, was walking after dinner with his wife, Buffie, passed by the theater and decided to buy tickets.

Afterward, taken by its themes, its historical poignance and its relevance, racially speaking, to a league whose players are overwhelmingly black, the Andersons were thrilled, and Buffie suggested to her husband that he take his staff to see it. He did, and he subsequently issued a statement extolling the play as “a dynamic teambuilding experience.”

He added, ‘Black Angels’ is a must-see.”

(Anderson could have more use for his skills as a drama critic in a few weeks when “Lombardi,” a new play about the Green Bay Packers coach, opens on Broadway, with the N.F.L. as a producer.)

Buffie Anderson also sent her friend, Sara Hickmann, to the show. Hickmann, formerly director of the N.F.L.’s player assistance services, is now a Jets staff psychologist.

“And the entire time I was watching it, I was thinking, ‘I have to figure out way to get the team to see this,’ ” Hickmann said. “It was so relevant to what they’re trying to do, coming from all walks of life and maybe not always loving everyone on the team, needing to be away from family and friends, experiencing life tragedies. There were similarities in terms of the kind of banter the characters engage in, in terms of being educated and having role models.”

Hickmann took her idea to the Jets’ general manager, Mike Tannenbaum, who approved it, and the league also approved the outing as part of the life-skills program that each team is required to provide for its players. At first, the Jets talked about inviting the performers to their training camp, but Hickmann wanted the players in the theater.

“There’s something about the humility of the building when you walk in,” she said.

The players were a respectful, attentive audience, and a reasonably appreciative one, though there was some confusion about how long to applaud, and the actors’ curtain call concluded in silence. Still, they were murmuring approval on the way out and several asked to purchase T-shirts, though there was a limited supply in size XXXL.

“The play was as good as advertised,” Ryan said. “The message was outstanding, about teamwork, the way you have to take care of each other, the way you have to go through adversity and still go out and function on a high level.”

Jason Taylor, the linebacker signed from the Miami Dolphins, saw the play as being about “guys coming together and not letting someone else tell you what you can’t be.”

He acknowledged that some of his teammates may have initially rolled their eyes at the idea that watching a play together might be beneficial. But he thought the majority found it both relevant and moving.

“I found myself getting emotional at times,” he said. “You can sit in a room full of testosterone and big tough guys. But if you let your guard down and let your guard down and be a true man, you’ll find something in it for you.”

As for the actors, they were delighted, too.

“We saw a few tears shed by those big fellas,” said Thom Scott II, who plays Abraham, a voluble but sensitive young man who has the added burden of looking out for his brother, who is prone to fits.

“I think this play offers a lot that can help them for their Super Bowl run; I’m rooting for them now,” Scott said after admitting he has always been a Steelers fan.

To see the original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/sports/football/02jets.html?ref=sports

CLOSED- November 2, 2014 – Honestly Abe The Musical

To purchase tickets, click poster to go to Telecharge

La Muse Venale, Inc. presents Robert L. Hecker’s,” Honestly Abe”, a musical tale of dreams, possibilities and heartbreak, shining a light on a little-known early chapter in the life of President Abraham Lincoln. Directed by M. Stefan Stozier

ABOUT THE PLAY: Set in Indiana in the late 1820s, and based on historical fact, “Honestly Abe” presents the young Abe Lincoln as a lanky, prankster boy who loves to read and who can tell a yarn with the best of them. Close to both his mother and sister, while never quite seeing eye-to-eye with his father, Abe dreams of the day he can quit the family farm, leave his life of “rail-splitting” in the past and become a riverboat pilot. But family tragedies, a desire for revenge and the advice of a close friend will cause him to change his plans, setting him on the path toward the law and politics, but not before leaving someone very special behind.


For more information, go to www.lamusevenale.org

CLOSED Sept. 15, 2012: “Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte”

The Alloy Theatre Company’s off-Broadway production of “Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte” opened on  Aug 1, 2012 at Actors Temple Theatre and closed on September 15, 2012 due to the recent pregnancy of the solo show’s star, Maxine Linehan. Written by William Luce and directed by Timothy Douglas, Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte played 21 performances at the Actor’s Temple at the time of closing.


ABOUT THE PLAY: William Luce wrote Brontë first as a radio play for Julie Harris to perform on Masterpiece Radio Theatre, Elinor Stout directing. Entitled Currer Bell, Esquire (Charlotte’s nom de plume), this production won three broadcasting awards: The Peabody Award, Columbia University’s Armstrong Award and the Ohio State Award. Miss Harris next recorded the play for Caedmon Records, directed by Ward Botsford. With the new title of Brontë, the play’s third presentation became Irish Television’s movie version, directed by Delbert Mann and filmed on location in the moor country of County Wicklow. The film premiered in Lincoln Center, followed by Public Television presentations in North America and the UK. Brontë‘s final incarnation was Luce’s current stage version with Harris being directed by Kristoffer Tabori and subsequently by Charles Nelson Reilly. Brontë has had theater productions throughout the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, South America, Europe and Japan. [CLOSED]


CLOSED July 29, 2012: “Tin Pan Alley: The Original i Tunes”

Edmund Gaynes, in association with David Gersten presented “Tin Pan Alley (The Original iTunes)” which will officially opened at Actors Temple Theatre March 19, 2012 and closed on July 29, 2012. ( For information on future bookings please contact Gaynes Theatrical Booking )

ABOUT the PLAY: “The original iTunes, TIN PAN ALLEY is a stroll down musical memory lane, featuring classic song-and-dance tunes, a winning cast and a sunny vibe that helps make the production feel fresh. With hits that have become ingrained in our collective memory like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “It Had To Be You,” and “Give My Regards to Broadway,” don’t be surprised if you catch yourself singing along with the cast. Filled with great songs and toe-tapping dance numbers, TIN PAN ALLEY is one street on which you’ll want to stay for an evening of musical enjoyment.”

Gene Castle and Karla Shook
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

“…the real thrill of the evening is Castle’s choreography. It’s expert and beautifully executed. Tap dancing and marvelous moves like this don’t grow on many stages.” -Peter Filicia

Loni Ackerman, Gene Castle, Karla Shook and Brad Bradley
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

CLOSED May 3, 2012 : “Innocent Flesh”

INNOCENT FLESH is a haunting one-act play written by KENYETTA LETHRIDGE about teen prostitution and human trafficking in America presented by MZL LLC in association with Diana C. Zollicoffer, Michael Mann and Kenyetta Lethridge. INNOCENT FLEAH made its Off-Broadway premiere at Actors Temple Theatre on March 15, 2012 and CLOSED May 3, 2012.

ABOUT THE PLAY: Innocent Flesh is a stage play that follows the lives of four teenage girls as they experience and expose the hardship and realities of the sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children in America. Innocent Flesh is written in a multi-layered style that uses poetry, dance, and a modern take on the classic Greek Chorus to express the many struggles and obstacles that young girls face. Lethridge unveils the secrets of how girls from all walks of life can find themselves on the streets, their bodies being sold to men.”

“It is vital that we take notice and not turn our backs on what is ugly.”