Friday, December 16, 2011

ROBIN'S SHOW RECOMMENDATION: STANDING ON CEREMONY

Producers Joan Stein and Richard Frankel announced recently that the Off Broadway premiere production of Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays will play its final performance at the Minetta Lane Theatre on Sunday, December 18th. The show will have played 7 preview performances and 41 regular performances. The producers plan to take the play, which opened to enthusiastic response from critics and audiences alike on November 13th, to markets where marriage equality is not yet a reality, in an effort to help invigorate audience members in battleground states and raise money for marriage equality organizations.

Responding to one of the defining issues of our day -- the on-going battle for marriage equality throughout the United States -- some of America’s most illustrious and Award-winning playwrights, including Obie Award winner Mo Gaffney, Heideman Award winner Jordan Harrison, Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman, Tony Award nominee Neil LaBute, Sundance Jury Prize winner Wendy MacLeod, Obie Award winner José Rivera, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Paul Rudnick, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright, have created a hilarious and poignant 90-minute evening of short plays that celebrates the courage to be in a relationship – any relationship.  The writing is top notch, and there is much to celebrate in this production!

Conceived by Brian Shnipper and directed by Stuart Ross, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays features a cast that includes Theatre World Award winner Craig Bierko (The Music Man), Daytime Emmy nominee Mark Consuelos (“All My Children”), Emmy Award nominee Polly Draper (“thirtysomething”), Tony Award winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Emmy Award-winner Richard Thomas (“The Waltons”). The acting is stellar!  It was a real treat to see this ensemble peformance.  In particular, Harriet Harris is a delicious, quirky hoot in My Husband by Paul Rudnick, playing a mom who plants a fake NY Times wedding announcement for her son Mark Consuelos, in an effort to keep up with the Jones.  Richard Thomas delivers a poingnant monologue in the piece London Mosquitoes by Moises Kaufman, celebrating the life of his deceased mate.

For its Off Broadway premiere, Standing on Ceremony partnered with Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, and has donated a percentage of all ticket sales to these and other organizations promoting marriage equality.

To launch its Off Broadway run, Standing on Ceremony joined with Tectonic Theater Project (Moisés Kaufman, Artistic Director; Greg Reiner, Executive Director) for Standing on Ceremony: The National Event, to help take the play’s message across the country (and the globe). For one night only on Monday, November 7, more than 50 participating theaters across America and beyond presented their own productions of the play to raise awareness and funds in support of marriage equality. Audience members across the country watched a live streaming introduction and post performance Qand A, and submitted questions via Twitter in real time.

Tickets for the Off Broadway run of Standing on Ceremony are on sale via Ticketmaster.com and at the Minetta Lane box office (18 Minetta Lane).  See it while you can in NYC and keep an eye out for it at a theatre near you.

Standing on Ceremony is produced Off Broadway by Joan Stein, Richard Frankel, Annette Niemtzow, Fakston Productions, Harley Medcalf, Jon Murray, Harvey Reese, in association with Diana Buckhantz and Niclas Nagler; Associate Producers, Luigi Caiola, Rebecca Falcon and Mary C. Solomon and Executive Producer, Joe Watson.

Visiti http://www.standingonceremony.net/.

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