Holly Hunter, Cynthia Nixon and Lisa Kron Read Kushner's Laura Bush Work, Only We Who Guard... in NYC

News   Holly Hunter, Cynthia Nixon and Lisa Kron Read Kushner's Laura Bush Work, Only We Who Guard... in NYC Stage stars Holly Hunter, Cynthia Nixon and Lisa Kron take on First Lady Laura Bush in a staged reading of Tony Kushner's Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy at the New York Theater Workshop, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter

The free reading — part of the first Imagine Festival, of Arts, Issues and Ideas —  is half of a double bill with Mark Crispin Miller's "Patriot Act: A Public Meditation" at the downtown space. The performances are all at 7 PM.

The provocative Kushner work has been presented at numerous benefits and was recently read at an Aug. 2 event with John Cameron Mitchell as the First Lady with Patricia Clarkson and Kristen Johnston also taking part. Kushner — who was in attendance — had also penned a scene (not part of the unfinished work which Kushner said would hopefully be "outdated" very soon) for the actors that day which allowed Clarkson to take on the role of Laura Bush as well.

Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy explores the issues of "political morality and moral relativity," according to a release. In the work, Laura Bush reads Dostoevsky to the pajama-clad ghosts of Iraqi children. References to Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and other Bush administration notables fill the work.

Hunter — known for her film work in "The Piano," "Broadcast News" and "Thirteen" — has appeared on Broadway in Crimes of the Heart, The Wake of Jamey Foster and as a special guest in The Play What I Wrote. Nixon — known to television audiences for her turn on "Sex and the City" — graced the stage in The Philadelphia Story, The Real Thing, Hurlybury, The Heidi Chronicles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Indiscretions, Angels in America and The Women. Kron appeared in her recent Off-Broadway hit Well and the revival of The Normal Heart as well as previous turns in 2.5 Minute Ride and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.

"Patriot Act: a Public Meditation" is an "exposé of threats to our American democracy and freedom," according to the NYTW website. "Media critic and political commentator Mark Crispin Miller (the author of books including 'The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder' and the upcoming 'Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order') documents the powerful forces at work in our country, including the Republican Party, Democratic Party, Christian reconstructionists, and the federal government, that are undermining and erasing our fundamental liberties by their relentless contempt for democratic practice and free speech." Tickets to the shows will only be available at the NYTW box office, 79 East 4th Street, starting at 1 PM on the day of each performance until all seats are distributed. For more information, visit www.imagine04.org .

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