Midtown International Theatre Festival to Feature Kidnapping Laura Linney and Hillary and Monica

News   Midtown International Theatre Festival to Feature Kidnapping Laura Linney and Hillary and Monica Kidnapping Laura Linney, Cleopatra, Flies in the Snuffbox, Mother May I? and The Wendy Complex are among the 50 works selected for the ninth annual Midtown International Theatre Festival, which begins July 14.

Eight musicals, ten solo works and three dance pieces are included in the line-up that features family programming, staged readings, new comedies and dramas as well as revivals of popular favorites.

"This has been a tremendous year of growth for the Festival," MITF founder and executive producer John Chatterton said in a statement. "After last year's overwhelming response at the box office, we realized it was time to expand. So while we're keeping our base of operations at the venues where we were last year, we're also returning to the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, our home in 2003, as well as using the Barrow Group Theatre for our Commercial Division, which features shows with a specific eye to moving to the next level once they've finished their MITF run."

The Midtown International Theatre Festival officially runs through Aug. 3; however, MITF's Commercial Division productions – presented at the Barrow Group Theatre – will continue through Aug. 10.

A selection of productions from the ninth annual Midtown International Theatre Festival follows:

  • Flies in the Snuffbox (three one-act comedies)
    Written by Anton Chekhov
    Translated and directed by Dustin Condren
    Presented by Tonic Productions
    Featuring: Daryl Brown, Rick Delaney, Rhett Henckel, Letitia Lange, Victoria Levin and Chance Mullen
    Dorothy Strelsin Theatre
    "Provincial Russia: pancakes, peasants, vodka, bears, drunken landowners, dueling lovers, cheating spouses, family feuds. All the things you love about your Great Russian Literature, minus the angst, the crime, the punishment, the war and the peace - and with just a little slapstick thrown in for good measure."
  • Kidnapping Laura Linney
    Written by Philip Mutz
    Directed by Nadia Wahhab
    Presented by MU Productions
    Featuring: Philip Mutz, Raisa Ellingson, Chris Critelli and Alley Scott
    Dorothy Strelsin Theatre
    "Two struggling actors try to create the sitcom of their dreams but are driven to drastic (and hilarious) measures when love, jealousy, and an actress named Laura Linney get in their way."
  • Cherry Hill
    Written, directed and presented by Matt Okin
    Featuring: Vanessa Altshuler, Bill Barnett, Noah DeBiase, Tim Decker, Chadwick Elliot, Giselle D'Souza, David Thornton and Etty Weiner
    June Havoc Theatre
    "A dark comedy about the perils of life, love, sex, death, and frozen pizza in suburban Maryland."
  • Cleopatra - A Life Unparalleled
    Book, music and lyrics by Cheryl E. Kemeny
    Musical director and co-director: Cheryl Kemeny
    Choreographer and co-director: Char Fromentin
    Presented by Crystal Theatre
    Featuring: Matthew Surapine, Melissa Labbadia, Jessica Labbadia, Gregory Kisken, Kyle Alexander Brenn, Samantha Kulish, Jennifer Van Buskirk, Daniel Hague, David Vogel, Joe Santaniello, Cidalia Alves and Laura Piacenza
    June Havoc Theatre
    "Told with sensual romantic melodies, blues-rock beats, Latin rhythms and reggae, Cleopatra - A Life Unparalleled transports the audience to a time where the major form of news was gossip and innuendo; where centers of power were hotbeds of jealousy and death; where marriages were often only for convenience; and where nations made war against their neighbor simply because they could."
  • The Ghost Dancers
    Written by Adam Hunault
    Directed by Nadine Friedman
    Presented by Stone Soup Theatre Arts
    Featuring: Alton Alburo, Mala Bhattacharya, Jennifer Boehm, Seiko Carter, Don Castro, Justin Dilley, Alejandro Garcia, DR Mann Hanson, Al Patrick Jo, Sam Joseph, Teresa Jusino, Marsha Martinez, Galway McCullough, Maysie Mills and Maria Schirmer
    June Havoc Theatre
    "Time stands still in a standoff for the earth at Wounded Knee. South Dakota, 1890 / South Dakota, 1973. What happens when progress engages the past and forces the Lakota Sioux to redefine borders and cross bloodlines? The Ghost Dancers brings the audience to the intersection of occupier and occupied, to the battleground between history and hope."
  • How I Found an Affordable Apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan Without Really Trying
    Written & performed by Charles Gross
    Stage Left Studios
    "Affordable apartments in Manhattan, romance in an elevator & a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Theatre Critic, Charles Gross, Host of TV's 'Two On The Aisle,' steps to the other side of the footlight in this Spalding Grey-meets-Jerry Seinfeld take on life in the big city."
  • Mother May I?
    Written and Performed by Joy Gabriel
    Presented by Joey Productions
    Stage Left Studios
    "Mother May I? is the story of a devoted Mormon mother and her adoring little namesake, Joy. They criss-cross the country with the help of their best friend Jesus. From food stamps to swindling, He's got all the answers. But when Joy gets a mission of her own all hell breaks loose. Will she choose Mom? Jesus? Or get sent to outer darkness?"
  • Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent
    Written and Directed by Yvette Heyliger
    Presented in association with Twinbiz
    Featuring: Heidi Dallin, Jacqueline Kristel, Vanessa Shaw and Jeff Pierce
    WorkShop Theater
    "What would have happened if the former First Lady and the Infamous Intern had a chance meeting before the scandal broke? Find out in this all-American uproar, which takes a look at the evolution of the role of First Lady, as well as the age-old problem of infidelity which affects first ladies from all walks of life."
  • Intimate Exchanges
    Written by Alan Ayckbourn
    Directed by Ann Garner
    Presented by Next Stage Theatre Company in association with Love Arm'd Productions
    Featuring: Kay Francksen and Andrew Ellison
    WorkShop Theater
    "Trapped in a sterile marriage, Celia seeks solace elsewhere, but her desire to escape from the humdrum is not as straightforward or rewarding as she hopes. The testosterone-charged, odd-job man Lionel seems a highly attractive proposition for the love-starved Celia, but her antics threaten to increase the stress levels of her suspicious husband Toby, whilst Lionel's long-suffering partner Sylvie is reaching the end of her tether."
  • The Wendy Complex
    Written and Directed by Jeremy Bloom
    Presented by The Vagabond Theatre Ensemble/Sarah Ann Masse
    Original Music by Renee Dunaway/Jetsetter
    Featuring: Meredith Forlenza, Sarah Billington Stevens, Sarah Ann Masse, Mycah Hogan, Atley Loughridge and Dillon Porter
    WorkShop Theater
    "A skydiver prepares to break world records by free-falling from just within the ozone layer. Time: the hours prior to his harrowing leap. Gathered: the press, supporters, dignitaries and his wife, Wendy. With their eyes on the huge purple sky, they brace themselves like Wendy Darling did before jumping from the window in Peter Pan."
  • Alice
    Music and lyrics by William Wade
    Book by Frank Blocker
    Presented by E-Merging Writers
    Featuring: J.L. Acosta, Heather Koren, Michael Alan Jacobs, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Stefani Maulice Miller, Robbie Neigeborn, Richard J Portela, Krista Severeid and Michael Yeshion
    June Havoc Theatre
    "Hopeful young Alice finds Wonderland filled with freedom of oppression, sexual misambiguities, and a knight too tired for fight. A soaring score sets the stage for a richly dense comedy about finding inner strength and happiness amidst the chaos." For scheduling and a complete list of MITF productions visit www.midtownfestival.org. Tickets are available by phoning (212) 279-4200 or by visiting www.ticketcentral.com.