Preview: The New Group Announces 2016-2017 Season

May 18, 2016 | News, Off-Broadway, Previews | Tags:
Preview: The New Group Announces 2016-2017 Season
Preview by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited

The New Group has announced four productions for its 2016-2017 Season.  The company’s new season begins in Fall 2016 with the musical “Sweet Charity,” with choreography by Joshua Bergassedirected by Leigh Silverman and featuring two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster in the title role.  The New Group’s season continues in January 2017 with the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn’s “Evening at the Talk House,” directed by Scott Elliott; followed by the world premiere of “All the Fine Boys,” a new play from writer and director Erica Schmidt.  In Spring 2017, The New Group presents the world premiere of “The Whirligig,” by Hamish Linklater, directed by Scott Elliott, featuring Zosia Mamet and Golden Globe winner Maura Tierney.

Productions in The New Group’s 2016-2017 Season take place at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street.

Subscriptions and memberships for The New Group’s 2016-2017 season are available now.  For subscription purchases and season info, please visit www.thenewgroup.org.  Subscriptions can also be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).

Fall 2016:

“Sweet Charity.”  Book by Neil Simon; Music by Cy Coleman; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields.  Choreography by Joshua Bergasse.  Directed by Leigh Silverman.  Featuring Sutton Foster in the title role.  Additional casting to be announced.  Previews begin November 2016 in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre (480 West 42nd Street).

Timed to the 50th Anniversary of the classic musical Sweet Charity, this production stars two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster (“Younger,” ‘Violet,” “Anything Goes”) as Charity Hope Valentine, the sassy, diehard romantic dancehall hostess whose naivety and overeager embrace of every man she meets keeps getting her in hot water.  Performed in an intimate setting with original choreography by Joshua Bergasse (“On the Town”), this production of “Sweet Charity” will be given a fresh, modern perspective by director Leigh Silverman (“Violet,” “Well”).

“Sweet Charity” is presented by The New Group in association with Kevin McCollum.

“Sweet Charity” premiered January 29, 1966 at the Palace Theatre; it was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning one for Bob Fosse’s choreography.  The film adaptation, directed by Fosse, premiered in 1969; it was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation).  A Broadway revival opened at the Minskoff Theatre on April 27, 1986; it won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival.  The 2005 Broadway revival opened at the Al Hirschfield Theatre on May 4 of that year; it was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.  A London revival opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory on November 21, 2009 before opening at the West End’s Haymarket Theatre on May 4, 2010; it received three Olivier nominations, including Best Musical Revival.  The most recent major revival took place in 2014 in Sydney, Australia, as the first production of the Hayes Theatre Co.; this critically-acclaimed production transferred to Playhouse in the Sydney Opera House, where it opened January 15, 2015.

“Sweet Charity” is based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Plaiano.  Originally produced for the Broadway stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris.  Conceived, Staged and Choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Winter 2017:

“Evening at the Talk House” by Wallace Shawn.  Directed by Scott Elliott.  Casting to be announced.  Previews begin January 2017 in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre (480 West 42nd Street).

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of a flop play, the playwright joins the old gang to reminisce at their former haunt, The Talk House.  Most haven’t been there, or even seen each other, in years, and the gossip and nostalgia are mixed with questions and accusations.  Why does a washed-up old actor keep getting beaten up by his friends?  Where does a failed actress-turned-waitress disappear to for months at a time?  Wallace Shawn’s “Evening at the Talk House” is a biting, yet affectionate skewering of artists grasping to find their place in a world in which art has no currency and terror has become an accepted part of life.  Scott Elliott directs.

This new production of “Evening at the Talk House,” a U.S. premiere, reunites Wallace Shawn and director Scott Elliott, whose previous collaborations for The New Group include Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever and Marie and Bruce.  Evening at the Talk House premiered in November 2015 at the National Theatre.

Winter 2017:

“All the Fine Boys” written and directed by Erica Schmidt.  Casting to be announced.  World Premiere production begins previews February 2017 in the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre (480 West 42nd Street).

It’s suburban South Carolina in the late ’80s and fourteen year-old best friends Jenny and Emily are ready to make their first serious attempts with boys.  Emily chooses her senior crush from the high school play, and Jenny a man she’s seen at her family’s church.  With parallel stories that take tricky and terrifying turns, “All the Fine Boys” dives deep into the fascinations and fears of sexual awakening and the first painful gasps of maturity.

Spring 2017:

“The Whirligig” by Hamish Linklater.  Directed by Scott Elliott.  Featuring Zosia Mamet and Maura Tierney.  Additional casting to be announced.  World Premiere production begins previews May 2017 in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre (480 West 42nd Street).

When, after much time away, Kristina (Maura Tierney) is back in Berkshire County, word spreads fast that she and her ex-husband are caring for their estranged, ailing daughter Julie.  Broken-hearted and giddy with love and confusion, surprising visitors from Julie’s complicated past, including her childhood best friend Trish (Zosia Mamet) and her former drug dealer, practically trip over each other to reach the young woman they thought they’d lost years before but still feel so deeply connected to.  Heartfelt and compassionate, Hamish Linklater’s “The Whirligig” spins a tale of a fractured community weaving a circuitous route back to one another.  Scott Elliott directs.