This December, Park Avenue Armory will round out its 2019 season with the world premiere of a new adaptation of Ödön von Horváth’s 1937 play Judgment Day, an ambitious work that explores morality, responsibility, and the guilt of a small-town’s train stationmaster and his community. The adaptation, commissioned by the Armory and penned by Obie Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Christopher Shinn, is staged by famed British theater director Richard Jones, who returns to the Armory to helm this gripping moral parable following his critically acclaimed, eight-time Drama Desk–nominated production of The Hairy Ape at the Armory in 2017. With much of the narrative centered around an ill-fated train depot, Judgment Day and its vast set will take on special resonance in the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of the great nineteenth century train sheds of Europe, with its vaulted ceiling and raw industrial design. The production runs December 5, 2019 through January 11, 2020.
Starring in Judgment Day, Luke Kirby, best known for his Emmy Award-winning performance of Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel , plays the leading role in the production, which is the first ground-up theater production for the Armory.
Kirby will be joined by a brilliant group of seasoned actors including: Susannah Perkins (Network; The Wolves) as Anna, Alyssa Bresnahan (Network; 27 Dresses) as Mrs. Hudetz, and Henry Stram (Junk; The Elephant Man) as Alfons; Alex Breaux (Hustlers; Red Speedo), Charles Brice (Homeland; The Punisher), Cricket Brown, Gina Daniels (Network; Orange is the New Black), Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie – Tony Award; Desperate Housewives), Maurice Jones (Lifespan of a Fact; 30 Rock), Andy Murray (The Seafarer; The Emperor Jones), Tom McGowan (LaBête – Tony Award; Wicked), George Merrick (Beetlejuice; South Pacific), Jason O’Connell (Happy Birthday Wanda June; Pride and Prejudice), Joe Wagner (Tales of the City), and Jeena Yi (Network; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).
In his return to the Armory after his award-winning production of The Hairy Ape (2017), acclaimed theater director Richard Jones leads the cast of 16.
Ödön von Horváth’s penultimate play is a hybrid of theatrical genres: part moral fable, part sociopolitical comedy, part noirish thriller. Having witnessed first-hand the rise of Nazism, von Horváth’s plays often explore popular culture, politics, and history, with a particular focus on fascism and its dangers. Written on the eve of WWII, Judgment Day has been seen as an allegory for the indoctrination of Nazi ideology. Its themes of identity and power, societal polarization, and the force of mob mentality remain incredibly relevant today.