Ground Up to Present The Optimist at Off-Broadway's Abingdon; Alexander Directs

News   Ground Up to Present The Optimist at Off-Broadway's Abingdon; Alexander Directs Off-Broadway's Ground UP productions will stage the world premiere of Jason Chimonides' comedy The Optimist beginning March 20.

Jace Alexander, who directed the popular television series "Rescue Me," stages the work, which "looks at the volatile and surprisingly hilarious clash of passion and genetics when three well-bred, intelligent 20-somethings -- fraternal twin brothers Noel and Declan and Noel's ex-girlfriend Nicole -- encamp at a cheap motel in Tallahassee, Florida on the eve of a friend's funeral, and the marriage of the young men's father to the woman with whom he had a longstanding affair while their mother was still alive," according to press notes.

Matt Burns, Caitlin FitzGerald and Chris Thorn star in Chimonides' play that was previously developed at MCC, Ars Nova and Naked Angels. Chimonides is the author of Pathological, The Stone Age, Humans: An Elf Story and The Consolations of Nihilism.

The creative team for The Optimist includes Travis McHale (set and lighting design), Elisa Richards (costume design) and Ron Piretti (fight choreographer).

Ground UP productions staged the acclaimed 2006 Off-Broadway revival of Pump Boys and Dinettes. That production was followed with The People Vs. Mona, the latest work by Jim Wann and Patricia Miller of Pump Boys writing fame; and the 2007 revival of Christopher Durang's Baby with the Bathwater.

The Optimist officially opens Off-Broadway March 26 and will play a limited engagement through April 12 at the Abingdon Theater. Tickets, priced $20, are available by phoning (212) 352-3101 or by visiting www.GroundUPproductions.org. The Abingdon is located in Manhattan at 312 West 36th Street.