On April 19 Molina and Ripley will perform Standup Shakespeare at the 45 Bleecker Street Theater at 7 PM. The evening will feature a mix of song and story that "plays fast and loose with Shakespeare's verse — timeless language set to jazz, baroque, samba and gospel rock." Ray Leslee has composed the music for the benefit with a book by Kenneth Welsh. Casey Biggs directs.
Alfred Molina, who is currently playing Tevye in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Minskoff Theatre, made his Broadway debut in Art; he received a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award for his work in that Tony-winning play. For his performance in the Roundabout's production of Molly Sweeney, he received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk nomination. Molina was nominated for Olivier Awards for his work in Oklahoma! and Speed the Plow. His screen credits include "Frida," "Chocolat," "Raider of the Lost Ark," "Prick Up Your Ears," "Boogie Nights," "Anna Karenina" and "Enchanted April."
Alice Ripley, who headlined a production of Tell Me On a Sunday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, earned a Tony nomination for her performance as conjoined twin Violet Hilton in the musical Side Show. She has also appeared on Broadway in The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce's The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, The Who's Tommy, Les Misérables and in the City Center Encores! production of Li'l Abner as well as the concert run of King David. Ripley starred in the Kennedy Center's production of Company and reprised her role as fearful bride Amy on TV's "Kennedy Center Honors." Ripley's non-show recordings include two discs with Side Show co-star Emily Skinner — "Duets" and "Unsuspecting Hearts" — and a recording of her own compositions, "Everything's Fine." Ripley's recent theatrical credits include Ken Ludwig's Shakespeare in Hollywood, a regional production of The Fabulous Invalid and the Off-Broadway hit Five Flights.
Tickets for Standup Shakespeare are priced $40 and $65 and are available by calling (212) 258-3111. A reception with the cast and the director will follow the performance.
* The Acting Company was founded in 1972 by Margot Harley and John Houseman. In its 30-plus years, the company has produced 100 plays, and its 300 members include such Broadway favorites as Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline, Harriet Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Hewitt, Frances Conroy and Jesse L. Martin.