Blumberg's Murder in America Envisions 21st Century Nightmare, OB Feb. 23-March 7

News   Blumberg's Murder in America Envisions 21st Century Nightmare, OB Feb. 23-March 7
 
America is in a great depression. Government is accepting money from corrupt, international criminals and the states are in fear of a huge Bolshevik uprising. Welcome to the 21st century in the eyes of new playwright Allen Blumberg.
l-r: Dan Grimaldi, Jeff Jerome
l-r: Dan Grimaldi, Jeff Jerome

America is in a great depression. Government is accepting money from corrupt, international criminals and the states are in fear of a huge Bolshevik uprising. Welcome to the 21st century in the eyes of new playwright Allen Blumberg.

Murder in America, a new play opening at the McGinn/Cazale theatre Feb 23, presents a stark view of what the future holds for the United States.

Blumberg wrote the piece more than a year and a half ago. Murder in America premiered at the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA. "I wanted the script to be a surprise to the New York audience," Blumberg told Playbill On-Line. "The script is so unique, I did not want everyone knowing the theme coming in."

Murder in America focuses on racism in the future. "When times are good we tend to sweep problems under the rug," Blumberg said. "Racism is still a big problem, and we tend to ignore it." By using the future American society as a metaphor, Blumberg says he wants to show how races are "not on steady grounds yet."

Though a novice playwright, Blumberg is no stranger to the script writing genre. His movie, "Mortal Sins," starred Brian Benben from the HBO series "Dream On" and Tony award winner Anthony LaPaglia from A View from the Bridge. Blumberg said he avoided playwriting until he felt he had absolutely the right theme.

Director David Hutchman helped Blumberg bring the show in to fruition. Hutchman is the founder and guest director of the Brick Playhouse. He directed both workshop readings of Murder in America in December and November. After receiving positive audience reaction, Hutchman and Blumberg decided it was time to move the piece to New York.

The show stars four of the original cast members, Jeff Jerome, Samuel F. Reynolds, Rocco Rosanio and Harum Ulmer Jr. The show also stars Broadway actress Aleta Mitchell from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Spike Lee's "Malcom X."

Previews for Murder in America began Feb 9, for an opening Feb 23 and a limited four week engagement to March 7. Blumberg hopes the show will eventually continue its run on Broadway, but he will settle to see the show produced in more small Off-Broadway houses.

For tickets and information call (212) 279-4200.

-- by Rebecca Heller

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