Rent's Norbert Leo Butz plays Fred in Edward Bond's Saved, finishing its first New York revival in thirty years, March 18. The drama opened Feb. 25 at the American Place Theatre. The 1965 play also features 2000 Tony Award nominee Amy Ryan (Uncle Vanya).
When Saved first opened in London, the working class drama sparked a controversy for its brutal depiction of young bored Londoners stoning a baby. This central event causes the play's loner protagonist, Len, to realize that he could have stopped them, enough to make him feel saved. Saved was last seen in New York in 1970 when Alan Schneider directed it at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Obie-winning Bond's other works include Lear and The Sea.
Robert Woodruff directs the drama, which began previews Feb. 17. A long time Sam Shepard colleague, he directed the New York premieres of Curse of the Starving Class, Buried Child and True West, as well as regional productions of A Madrigal Opera, Figaro Gets a Divorce, Nothing Sacred and Red River.
Butz is best remembered for his musical turns in Rent (Roger) and the Cabaret national tour (Emcee), although his most recent Off Broadway venture was in the Roundabout's highly-praised Juno and the Paycock. Co-star Ryan was nominated for her portrayal of Sonya in the Derek Jacobi-Roundabout revival of Uncle Vanya, her second Broadway Chekhov after the Roundabout's Three Sisters. Her other credits include The Sisters Rosensweig and As Bees in Honey Drown with the Drama Dept. where she is a company member.
Also in the cast are Terence Rigby (Amadeus, The Homecoming), Pete Starrett (Letters From Cuba, Blue Man Group) in the lead role of Len, Obie winner Randy Danson, Wendy Allegaert, David Barlow (the Green Bird), Justin Campbell, Justin Hagan and Joey Kern. Designing Saved are Dirty Blonde's Douglas Stein (sets), David Weiner (lighting), Catherine Zuber (costumes) and Leah Gelpe (sound). Douglas Weiselman composed the original score.
Tickets to Saved are $45. The American Place Theatre is located at 111 West 46th Street. For reservations, call (212) 239 6200. Theatre for a New Audience is on the web at http://www.tfana.org.
— By Christine Ehren