Drama Dept. Offers Holiday Special with Hairspray's Hoffman

News   Drama Dept. Offers Holiday Special with Hairspray's Hoffman Drama Dept., the Off-Broadway theatre company now located in Tribeca, will present two one-night-only evenings before the end of the year.
Jackie Hoffman
Jackie Hoffman

On Nov. 24, the company, whose members include Billy Crudup, Cynthia Nixon, Amy Sedaris and B. D. Wong, will offer a "Thanksgiving Special." Hosted by Artistic Director Douglas Carter Beane, the evening will feature performances by Mary Birdsong, Mary Bond Davis and Kristine Zbornik, among others.

On Dec. 15 Hairspray star Jackie Hoffman will entertain with "Jackie Hoffman's Chanukkah Special." Hoffman plays a host of characters in the Tony-winning musical at the Neil Simon Theatre, including Prudy Pingleton, the gym teacher, a jail matron and a denizen of Baltimore. Tickets for both shows will go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Although the company will not present any new plays or musicals this fall, managing director Michael S. Rosenberg told Playbill On-Line that the company will mount a production in the spring, although he was unable to provide any details on the show or its cast. When asked why the company — founded in 1994 — was not presenting anything new at this time, Rosenberg explained that finances and availability both played factors. "Our company members and many of the directors we wanted to work with this fall are all busy. [For example], Kathleen Marshall's doing Wonderful Town."

There are also very tentative plans for the Drama Dept. to team with other downtown theatre companies to present a theatre festival at some time in the future. "We're just part of a whole group of people south of 14th Street that realize there's a problem [getting an audience] and realize the only way to solve it is to work together. So, we did talk to Tribeca [Film Festival] because nobody has been more successful at bringing people south of 14th Street than the Tribeca Film Festival. But to say that there's going to be a Tribeca Theatre Festival — it's just way too early to talk about any of that."

For more information about the Drama Dept. or to purchase tickets to the upcoming special evenings, call (212) 633-9108. Visit www.dramadept.org for more information.