Julie Taymor and the cast of The Green Bird will hold "Cort" this evening -- at the Cort Theatre, that is.
Director and cast are scheduled to hold a special question and answer session with the audience as part of a charity preview performance ofThe Green Bird. The April 13 performance to benefit Save the Children has sold out, according to production sources. Green Bird began previews on April 1 and opens April 18.
Double Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor's The Green Bird is her first Broadway show since she directed Disney's hit, The Lion King. Starting with Juan Darien, which eventually came to Broadway, Taymor has generated tremendous excitement over the years with her mask and puppet work. Taymor not only directs Green Bird but has created the show's masks and puppets as well.
This is Taymor's second New York production of The Green Bird. Her first debuted to critical acclaim at Off-Broadway's New Victory Theatre in spring 1996. That Theatre for a New Audience production played just 15 performances and garnered Derek Smith an Obie award for acting. Following the New Victory Theatre's limited engagement, Green Bird ran successfully at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Included in the current cast are Didi Conn, Ned Eisenberg, Sebastian Roché, Reg E. Cathy, Edward Hibbert, Katie MacNichol, Kristine Nielsen, Sophia Salguero, Derek Smith, Bruce Turk, Erico Villanueva and Andrew Weems. (Featured in the 1996 production of Green Bird were Trellis Stepter, Priscilla Shanks, Lee Lewis, Weems, Conn, Eisenberg, Myriam Cyr, Roche, Turk, Nielsen, and Villanueva.) The Green Bird features music by Taymor's long time partner and collaborator, composer Elliot Goldenthal.
Production sources describe the story -- about a king who longs for his lost wife, and brother-and-sister twins searching for their true identities -- as a "wicked comedy of outrageous characters in which fantasy and the truest love meet in a place unlike any ever seen." Taymor has said The Green Bird has a "wonderful grotesquery and poetry to it -- an edgy bawdiness." Green Bird was written by Italian playwright Gozzi in the 18th century.
Translated by Albert Bermel & Ted Emery, producers for the Broadway production are Ostar Enterprises and Theatre for a New Audience (where Jeffrey Horowitz is the artistic director) as well as Nina Lannan.
Taymor's breakthrough collaboration with Elliot Goldenthal,Juan Darien, was produced Off-Broadway in 1988. That production won both Taymor and Goldenthal Obie Awards. The show also ran at Lincoln Center Theater in 1996 and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
Tickets for the sold-out April 13 benefit ran $150 for orchestra/mezzanine and $100 for the balcony. Regular tickets run $45 - $75. Green Bird will run at Broadway's Cort Theatre, located at 138 West 48th Street. For Save the Children information call (800) 728-3843. For regular Green Bird information and tickets call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com or the Cort Theatre box office.