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My View: Opening Night…”peerless” at Primary Stages

My View: Opening Night…”peerless” at Primary Stages

PRIMARY STAGES (Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Shane D. Hudson, Executive Director; Casey Childs, Founder) and 59E59 Theaters (Val Day, Artistic Director; Brian Beirne, Managing Director), in association with Jamie deRoy, presented peerless, last night at 59E59’s Theater A  by 2019/20 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo) and directed by Margot Bordelon (…what the end will be)

Check out the opening night photos:

BENNY WAYNE SULLY, SASHA DIAMON, SHANNON TYO, MARIE BOTHA, ANTHONY CARSON

peerless began previews at 59E59’s Theater A (59 E 59th Street) on September 24, 2022, and opened October 11 for a limited run through November 6, 2022. 

A darkly comedic twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the cutthroat world of elite college admissions, Jiehae Park’s clever and incisive adaptation, peerless, is a comedy…until it’s not. This new version of the classic story centers on M and L, twin Asian-American siblings who have given up everything to get into The College. When another classmate claims what they feel is rightfully “their spot,” the twins decide they have only one option: murder. 

The cast of peerless includes Marié Botha (“Dickinson”) as “Dirty Girl/Preppy Girl,” Anthony Cason (Oklahoma!) as “BF,” Sasha Diamond (Teenage Dick) as “M,” Benny Wayne Sully (My First Native American Boyfriend) as “D/Brother” and Shannon Tyo (The Chinese Lady) as “L.” 

peerless features scenic design by Kristen Robinson (Oratorio for Living Things), costume design by Amanda Gladu (The Jury), lighting design by Mextly Couzin (Which Way to the Stage), compositions and sound design by Palmer Hefferan (The Skin of our Teeth), fight direction by Michael Rossmy (These Paper Bullets), and props supervision by Sean Sanford (Sanctuary City). Vickie Ramirez is the Cultural Consultant, Megan Schwarz Dickert is the Stage Manager, Malie Fujii is the Assistant Stage Manager, and Tameishia Peterson is the COVID Safety Manager. Casting is by Stephanie Yankwitt, CSA, of TBD Casting and Tanis Parenteau is the Casting Assistant. 

The performance schedule for peerless is as follows: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:00pm and Saturday – Sunday at 2:00pm. Exceptions: there will be no performances on Tuesday October 18, Tuesday October 25 or Friday October 28. 

Tickets to peerless begin at $25 and are available now at 59e59.org/shows/show-detail/peerless. 

peerless is made possible, in part, through the generous support of The Tow Foundation, public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

peerless was developed during Jiehae Park’s 2019-2020 Tow Playwright Residency at Primary Stages. Previous production and development include the world premiere produced by Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT (James Bundy, Artistic Director and Victoria Nolan, Managing Director); developed by the Cherry Lane Mentor Project (Angelina Fiordellisi, Artistic Director); originally developed in the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab (Sarah Benson, Artistic Director and Cynthia Flowers, Executive Director).

PRIMARY STAGES  PEERLESS

Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director & Shane D. Hudson, Executive Director

ABOUT PRIMARY STAGES 

Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, producing. and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 135 new plays, including Theresa Rebeck’s Poor Behavior and Downstairs; Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice and Little Women; Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live; Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist and Olive and the Bitter Herbs; Sharon Washington’s Feeding the Dragon; Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This; In Transit by James-Allen-Ford, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth (on Broadway in 2017); Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home, The Day Emily Married, Harrison, TX, and Dividing the Estate (two Tony nominations); Donald Margulies’ The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives’ Lives of the Saints and All in the Timing (original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Informed Consent; Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy; Tanya Saracho’s Fade; Michael McKeever’s Daniel’s Husband; A.R. Gurney’s Black Tie; Terrence McNally’s Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams and The Stendhal Syndrome; Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter’s In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright’s U.S. debut). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics’ Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk Awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), Creative Access Grants, the Echoes Writers Group, the Free Student Matinee Program, and the Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important—and often transformative— connections within the theater community.

Jamie DeRoy & Richard Maltby Jr.

JAMIE deROY started producing theater by accident…which has led to 10 Tony Awards and credits on 100+ Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including Leopoldstadt, The Piano Lesson, Death of a Salesman, Ohio State Murders, The Lehman Trilogy, Hangmen, TINA, Ain’t Too Proud, Company, The Inheritance, Beetlejuice, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Play That Goes Wrong, among others. For Primary Stages, Jamie has co-produced 25 shows, including Downstairs, Dividing the Estate, Feeding the Dragon, and Exit Strategy (Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best Play), among others. Additional awards include nine MAC Awards, nine Drama Desk awards, two Audience Choice Awards, 10 Drama League Awards, three GLAAD Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, numerous Telly Awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been honored by Theatre Works/USA, Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement, The Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award, and Primary Stages – twice! A frequent presence on the New York night scene, Jamie has produced nine CDs for the Jamie deRoy & friends series on Harbinger and PS Classics. Her long-running variety shows have benefitted The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) and she also hosts a TV variety show which has been on the air for over 30 years. Onstage, she appeared with René Auberjonois in The Threepenny Opera and The Drunkard with musical direction by Barry Manilow. Other producing credits include Jamie deRoy & friends, CityArts including the Emmy nominated “The Biggest Little Operas in Town,” and the documentaries “Broadway: The Golden Age” and “Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age.” Jamie has also produced two short films: Wish on the Moon (16 Film Festivals) and Daddy’s Girl, just released.

59E59 Theaters

ABOUT 59E59 THEATERS

59E59 Theaters was established by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation in 2004 to grant professional space and expertise to non-profit theater companies premiering their work in New York City. Under the leadership of Val Day, Artistic Director, and Brian Beirne, Managing Director, 59E59 Theaters presents a year-round curated program of Off Broadway plays and musicals that are nurtured and supported through highly-subsidized rental rates as well as production, ticketing, FOH, marketing, and press support.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT

WWW.PRIMARYSTAGES.ORG

ANTHONY CARSON, MARIE BOTHA, BENNY WAYNE SULLY, SHANNON TYO, SASHA DIAMOND

ANTHONY CARSON, SASHA DIAMOND, SHANNON TYO

ANDREW LYENSE, MARGOT BORDELON SUSAN SOON HE STANTON

SHAYNE HUDSON, MARY BORBA, MARLA PERSKY, ANDREW LEYNSE

SHANE HUDSON, JAME DEROY, JIEHAE PARK, MARGOT BORDELON, ERIN DALEY, ANDREW LEYNSE

CECILLIA LIN, RICHARD MALTBY JR, JAMIE DEROY

JIEHAE PARK, PERSON, MARGOT BORDELON

JASON KRAVITS & JAMIE DEROY

CHRISTINE DELISLE, KEN KLEIN, JAMIE DEROY

ADAM GWON

 

JIEHAE PARK & EILEEN WISEMAN

TED SNOWDON & JAMIE DEROY

MARY BACON

REHANNA ALMESTICA & ANDRIES BERENDSEN

PAUL KATZ & friend

KATE HAMILL & ERIN DALEY

JIEHAE PARK & JAMIE DEROY

JIEHAE PARK & RICHARD MALTBY JR.

MARSI GARDINER & JASON KRAVITS

SASHA DIAMOND & SHANNON TYO

DANIEL DUNLOW & EDA SOROKOFF

 

 

Columns

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

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