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Chloe Sevigny will star off-Broadway in the world premiere of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s Downtown Race Riot.
Directed by Scott Elliott, the new play sees Sevigny as Mary Shannon, a strung-out, freewheeling single mom whose son Pnut and his Haitian best friend Massive wrestle with their obligation to join the 1976 riot in Washington Square Park. The boys, torn between loyalty to each other and to the neighborhood, grasp for ways to keep the violence from destroying their friendship
The production, which begins performances at the Pershing Square Signature Center in November, will launch the New Group’s 2017-18 season. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Also part of the season is the off-Broadway premiere of Jerry Springer — the Opera, with music by Richard Thomas, book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Thomas. Directed by John Rando with choreography by Joshua Bergasse, the musical stages the iconic Jerry Springer Show with passionate arias, soaring ballads and giant production numbers, as a pair of bickering guests fight and curse in front of a studio audience, complete with Jerry’s trickiest guest ever, Satan.
The show originally debuted in London in 2003 and is described as “an outrageous celebration of our national ritual of public humiliation and redemption.” It was staged in a concert version at Carnegie Hall in 2008, with Harvey Keitel in the title role. Performances of the New Group production begin in January, with casting details to come.
The season also includes the New York premiere of Good for Otto, directed by Scott Elliott and written by David Rabe. Ed Harris and Amy Madigan will star as doctors at a rural Connecticut mental health center. Inspired by a real clinic, the play was first seen in Chicago in 2015 and begins off-Broadway performances in February.
The season will close with the world premiere of Lily Thorne’s Peace for Mary Frances, directed by Lila Neugebauer. Lois Smith will star as Mary Frances, a 90-year-old woman who has lived a good life. Born to refugees fleeing the Armenian genocide, her last wish is to die peacefully at home surrounded by her family, but three generations of explosive women flood her small New England house to battle for their family’s legacy. Previews are set to begin in May.
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