For the month of July, starting June 30, producer David Grillo will play Aram Tomasian, the Armenian immigrant who settles in Milwaukee and carves out a new life with his haunted bride, played by Lena Georgas, a refugee from the early-century Armenian genocide. Tony Award nominee Omar Metwally's temporary leave of absence is to accommodate his work in a new Steven Spielberg film. The actor scored good reviews in the Broadway drama Sixteen Wounded.
Grillo, who earned an MFA in acting from Yale School of Drama, played the role of Aram in Boston in 1999, and acquired the New York production rights two years ago. Beast on the Moon is his first venture as commercial producer. His producing partner for the project is Matt Salinger.
"I first fell in love with Beast on the Moon when I played Aram in the Boston production," Grillo said in a statement. "I knew then that this was a play that had to reach New York audiences. I have been standing-by for Omar since we began previews this spring. While Omar is off filming, I am looking forward switching hats and revisiting Richard Kalinoski's beautiful play from an actor's perspective."
Omar Metwally is expected to return to Beast on the Moon in late July, as the show heads into its 16th week of performances. Understudy auditions for Grillo's Aram are ongoing.
The cast also includes Louis Zorich and Louis Anthony Dilan (who replaced Matt Borish) as the boy in the life of the couple. Larry Moss (The Syringa Tree) directs.
Performances play Century Center for the Performing Arts (111 East 15th Street) Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday at 2 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $65 for all performances. Tickets and information are available at Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200.