The avant garde experience that features New York City parks commissioner, developer and building czar Robert Moses as a main character (as well as the lesser-known European city planner and architect Corbusier) packed them in during a February-March run at the Ohio Theatre in Soho, in the very neighborhood that Moses once wanted to obliterate to accommodate a highway.
Boozy's May return plays The 45 Bleecker Theatre, upstairs. Opening is May 11. Performances continue to May 28.
Writer-director Alex Timbers stages the production by Les Freres Corbusier (Aaron Lemon-Strauss, producer). With Boozy, the company "finally takes on its namesake, the architect and city planner Le Corbusier. Despite its name, Les Freres Corbusier is not, in fact, French."
The February cast of Boozy reunites this spring. Expect Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum as Robert Moses, Nina Hellman as Jane Jacobs, Daniel Larlham as Le Corbusier, Ryan Karels as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Summerour as Fiorello LaGuardia, Keith Price as Baron Von Haussmann, Simon Feil as Joseph Goebbels, Ian Oldaker as Nelson Rockefeller, and an ensemble that includes Virginia Callaway, Matthew DeVriendt, Shareefah Hamilton, Scott Hoffer, Leslie Klug, Brian McTaminey, Elizabeth Meriwether, Max Miner, and Mary C. Wilson.
Boozy becomes the second show by Les Freres Corbusier to transfer Off-Broadway, following last season's Obie-winning A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant. The Feb. 13-March 5 production of Boozy, gleefully breaking the fourth wall and twisting history, used video, recorded music, dance, live singing and rabbits dressed as world leaders. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was depicted as a flamboyant megalomaniac who kept a monkey-like slave boy on a leash.
According to production notes, Les Freres Corbusier "is known for its exhaustively researched, topically relevant, comically avant-garde theatrical creations," discussing "academic issues in a theatrical frame that is both accessible for an everyday audience, and bizarrely educational."
The casting notice anticipating the May run gave a hint at the tone and style of the show: "All must be adept in diverse performance styles — capable of broad yet sharp characterizations as well as sudden beat shifts. Comic sensibility a must. Seeking a variety of physical types and interested in multi-ethnic casting."
Le Corbusier is a "tortured Swiss architect" who is "melancholy and dramatic"; New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses is "a tyrannical misanthrope-cum-messiah, lurking in the guise of a genial surfer dude"; grass roots activist Jane Jacobs is "on the exterior, an ordinary housewife, but she's really a Machiavellian schemer full of rage"; Nelson Rockefeller is "a tortured politician charged with undermining Moses from inside his inner circle…charming but vaguely sinister" FDR is "a maniacal villain with nefarious schemes"; LaGuardia is "flamboyant and saturated with power; he's surrounded by opulence and his ennui dictates the course of his whims."
Boozy plays Tuesday through Sunday at 8 PM with Saturday matinees at 2 PM on May 14, 21, and 28 at the 45 Bleecker Street Theater. Tickets are $25-$35 through Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100. For more information, visit www.lesfreres.org or www.boozyshow.com.
"Amidst a blaze of streaming media, ridiculous choreography, and dozens of live fornicating rabbits, famed French architect Le Corbusier inspires builder Robert Moses in his desperate battle to recreate New York," the Off-Broadway company announced earlier this year. "Boozy: The Life, Death, and Subsequent Vilification of Le Corbusier and, More Importantly, Robert Moses tracks the life of Robert Moses, from idealistic youth to unstoppable power broker, able to turn parched land into glorious bridges, highways, and public housing with a mere flick of the wrist. With guest appearances by Benito Mussolini, FDR, and the ghost of Baron von Haussmann, Moses learns from the greats until true power is finally his. Freemasons dance, FDR levitates, and Daniel Libeskind silently weeps. None shall be spared."
From 1924 to 1968, Commissioner Robert Moses was the most powerful man in New York City, responsible for conceiving and completing public works costing $27 billion, including the Triborough Bridge, Jones Beach, the West Side Highway, Co-Op City, Shea Stadium, the Verrazano Bridge and Lincoln Center. Beloved and hated, the controversial figure at one point had a plan for highways to slice through lower Manhattan in what is now a thriving Soho. To his dismay, grassroots groups and individuals — Jane Jacobs among them — helped stop his effort.
Its last production, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, transferred Off-Broadway, won an Obie Award, and spawned a recent three-month run in Los Angeles as well as a cast album on Sh-K-Boom Records.
Alex Timbers (co-conceiver, director) is artistic director of Les Freres Corbusier and directs all of the company's works. He has directed at EST, PS 122, Judson Church, HERE, the John Houseman, and received a 2004 Obie for conceiving and directing the original New York production of Pageant. Timbers is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab, former President of the Yale University Dramat, and co-founded The Tank, a performing and visual arts space in Times Square.
The scenic design is by David Evans Morris; costume design is by Jenny Mannis; lighting design is by Juliet Chia; video design is by Jacob Pinholster; sound design is by Bart Fasbender; choreography is by Katherine Profeta.
Original songs for Boozy are by Douglas J. Cohen, who wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway-bound musical The Opposite of Sex , which recently played at San Francisco's Magic Theatre.