Transport Group's creative artistic director Jack Cummings III and producing artistic director Robyn Hussa announced that the centerpiece of the company's fourth season is one of the largest off-Broadway projects in recent memory. Conceived and directed by Cummings and developed with Adam Bock, the show boasts numerous writers and a cast of 26 actors, playing audience members who are watching a Broadway musical.
Performances play the Connelly Theatre at 220 E. Fourth Street. Opening is set for April 10.
"With multiple storylines and original songs, The Audience is written by 19 playwrights and 22 composers and lyricists—each storyline and song written by a different team—and features a cast of 46 actors," according to Transport Group, producer of the Drama Desk Award-nominated revival of First Lady Suite.
" The Audience takes place on a rainy spring Friday night when one audience ventures to a Broadway theatre to see a new musical," according to notes. "The show starts and with it so do a multitude of tensions: Will the audience like it? Will they leave at intermission? Will they kill the lady who unwraps a sourball for what seems like an eternity? Will they be changed in any way by the time of the curtain call? Will they take anything of value away from the experience or will they forget it all and just go about their lives as before? Did they really turn off their cell phones?"
The show promises to examine "the creation of community and the struggle to come together in an ever more complex world, as well as the role theatre, entertainment, and art play in that process and in our everyday lives." The book, music, and lyrics for The Audience are by Yvonne Adrian, Steven M. Alper, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Adam Bock, Joe Calarco, Mark Campbell, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, John Cariani, Brian Crawley, Ellie Devers, Ed Dixon, Lewis Flinn, Jennifer Gibbs, Jenny Giering, Daphne Greaves, Jeff Hardy, James Hindman, Matt Hoverman, Keith Byron Kirk, Sarah Knapp, Tom Kochan, Michael John LaChiusa, Michele Lowe, Steve Marzullo, Vincent G. Palumbo, David Pittu, Nancy Shayne, David Simpatico, Cheryl Stern, Lee Tannen and Ellen Weiss.
The 46-person cast of The Audience is Dean Alai, Mark Aldrich, Leslie Alexander, Barbara Andres, Mary Ellen Ashley, Becca Ayers, Nicole Bocchi, John Braden, Donna Lynne Champlin, Marta Curro, Jack Donahue, Robert DuSold, Matt Farnsworth, Thursday Farrar, Eamon Foley, Jenni Frost, Rita Gardner, Jonathan Hammond, Dee Hoty, MaryAnn Hu, Robyn Hussa, Tina Johnson, Cassandra Kubinski, Herndon Lackey, Duke LaFoon, Sondra Lee, Tom Ligon, Kim Lindsay, Rosemary Loar, Sean MacLaughlin, Gerry McIntyre, Matt Nowosielski, Joanna Parson, Shannon Polly, Michele Ragusa, Jaime Rosenstein, Tracy Rosten, Monica Russell, Mika Saburi, Katie Scharf, Celia Tackaberry, Yuka Takara, Natalie Toro, James Weber, John Wellmann and Craig Wells.
The scenic design is by John Story; the costume design is by Kathryn Rohe; the lighting design is by R. Lee Kennedy. The musical supervisor is Mary-Mitchell Campbell; musical director is Barbara Anselmi; orchestrations are by Alden Terry; casting is by Nora Brennan Casting. The production stage manager is Wendy Patten.
The Audience plays Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM through April 23 at the Connelly Theatre.
Tickets are $19 and are available by phoning (212) 352-3101.
There is no performance on April 5 and no matinee on April 2. There is a special performance on April 4 at 8 PM and a gala performance on April 2. For more information about Transport Group, visit www.transportgroup.org.
The famed 1931 Dietz and Schwartz Broadway revue The Band Wagon offered a view of a musical from the audience's perspective, in a song called "It Better Be Good."
Likewise, Act Two of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Me and Juliet opened with theatregoers in a lounge expressing themselves about the show they had just seen, in a song called "Intermission Talk."