The world premiere of Jeffrey Finn Productions' Game Show starts previews at 45 Bleeker on Oct. 10. The new interactive comedy play, which will open officially Oct. 25, has been in development since 1997 and producers are aiming to take advantage in a recent popularity of game shows in America.
Set during a “live broadcast” of a fictional, long-running TV game show, the audience-interactive Game Show was written by Jeffrey Finn and Bob Walton, and is based on an idea by Finn.
Director Mark Waldrop will helm Game Show. Waldrop wrote and directed Bette Midler’s recent "Millennium Tour" and is a two-time Drama Desk nominee for Best Director and Best Lyricist for Howard Crabtree’sWhen Pigs Fly.
Casting for the seven-member cast will be announced in the next few weeks, according to production sources.
The creative team for Game Show features set designer James Youmans (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jeffrey), costume designer Theresa Squire (New York Theatre Workshop, LaMama) and 1986 Obie Award-winning lighting designer Jeffrey S. Koger. According to production notes, Game Show "places the theater audience in the role of the TV studio audience, in which members are picked as the contestants to play the trivia-based game and win actual prizes." As reported earlier, Jeffrey Finn Productions conducted a private workshop for Game Show, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on March 16-17. The cast for that Game Show workshop included Jeb Brown, stand up comedian Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone, Dana Lynn Mauro, Casey Nicholaw, Patrick Quinn and Lynne Wintersteller (I Sent a Letter To My Love).
Game Show's environmental set will turn 45 Bleeker into "the television studio of the fictional game show, including operational television cameras mounted on either side of the audience with screens for 'broadcast.'" The workshop audience will experience "candid dramatic action" involving the studio and game show personnel as they comport themselves on stage during the simulated commercials. Production notes indicate the audience will see "all the back-stabbing, backstage antics" that go on during typical commercial breaks.
Phone sales and box office sales for Game Show will be commencing Sept. 11 and Sept. 25 respectively. All tickets are $49.50. Game Show will run Tue.-Fri. at 8 PM, Sat. at 2 and 8 PM and Sun.at 3 and 7 PM. During previews, tickets will be reduced price to $35. When available, student rush tickets will be $15 in person at the box office, 30 minutes prior to performance. Beginning August 10th, tickets can be purchased by calling Ticket Master at (212) 307-4100, going on-line at www.ticketmaster.com or visiting the box office at 45 Bleeker (45 Bleeker Street at the corner of Lafayette Street). For Group Sales, call (212) 889-4300.
Jeffrey Finn created Jeffrey Finn Productions (JFP). JFP credits include the recent national tours of The Who’s Tommy, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, Chess, Diahann Carroll in Almost Like Being in Love, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. in Hit Me With a Hot Note!, Melba Moore in A Swell Party, Carol Lawrence in Puttin’ on the Ritz and Mimi Hines in This Funny World.
Bob Walton co-author, and his brother, Jim Walton, received the 1997 Bistro Award for Best New Musical Comedy for writing and performing their show, "My Brother’s Keeper--A Fraternally Wacky Revue." He was seen in the Broadway production of Once Upon a Mattress starring Sarah Jessica Parker, the Broadway Company of Showboat, the Broadway and national companies of City of Angels as Jimmy Powers and in the starring role of the Off-Broadway musical Preppies.
-- By Murdoch McBride