Ontheinside, Inc. and Sutton Foster present the Off-Off-Broadway staging, directed by Chantal Pavageaux. Performances continue at the West 36th Street venue to Jan. 15, 2006. Opening is Nov. 27.
Walking in Memphis "is the story of actor/playwright Jonathan Ross and his unusual childhood as a southern Jew in Memphis, Tennessee," according to production notes. "It is a unique journey of family, humor and passage, brought to life by nearly a dozen local characters that Ross inhabits during this 80-minute presentation, including Elizabeth, his family's housekeeper; Clarence, his barber; Jim Grigg, their Southern Baptist next-door neighbor; and many others."
"Every civilization spanning human history has the tradition of the storyteller: the yarn spinner, a merchant of tales, the keeper of unwritten history," said director Pavageaux in production notes. "I love a good story. And Jonathan tells a good story. They make up his life, they course through his veins. Jon conjures up stories from before he was born as if he was just on the other side of the room, laughing at the joke with everyone else."
"As a fellow performer, I have long been a fan of Jonathan and his work," said Sutton Foster. "The excitement with which he tells his stories makes you want to jump right in and swim around in his world. I'm thrilled that New York audiences will have the opportunity to experience it firsthand."
Walking in Memphis features lighting design by Croft Vaughn. Ross earned a BFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He has been performing Walking in Memphis: The Life of a Southern Jew internationally since its premiere in New York City in fall 2002. Engagements have played Toronto, Boston, and Leeds, England.
His other New York and regional acting credits include The Underwater Palace with the Northwoods Jewish Theatre at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Pyrates! at Theater for the New City, Giovanni in Uncle Jeb's Farm, Spike the Dog in Starshine (both for Starshine Productions), and Atticus Finch in the Experimental Theatre Wing's Looking for Boo Radley: An Adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Ross was part of the original cast of Jude, a play about the Holocaust which saw its first fully staged reading at the Bronfman Center. He is a founding company member of Storahtelling: Jewish Ritual Theatre Revived. Aside from acting, Ross is a Faculty Member of the Spielberg Fellowship in Jewish Theater Education, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Camping and the Righteous Persons Foundation. His acting roots stem from his long-term association with Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where he has served as the director of the Drama program for the past six years.
All tickets are $25, and are now available through SmartTix.com at (212) 868-4444, or in-person at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex box office (312 West 36th Street), beginning 30 minutes before showtime.
This production is presented independently of Abingdon's resident works.
Walking in Memphis will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 PM.
For more information, visit www.jonathanadamross.com.