The production opened Oct. 13 following previews from Sept. 28 at the Promenade Theatre in Manhattan. Victory Gardens associate artistic director Sandy Shinner, who helmed the acclaimed Chicago production, repeated her chores for the Off-Broadway run of Joanna McClelland Glass' play.
Tony Award winner Fritz Weaver and Kati Brazda, who co-starred in the Chicago production, reprised their work for New York. Fans say the production boasts some of the best acting in New York City at the moment.
During the New York run, Weaver learned he won a Best Actor Joseph Jefferson Award for his work in the Chicago run of the play.
On Nov. 1 Joanna McClelland Glass also received a Jeff Award in the non-competitive category of New Work.
The production, director Shinner and actress Brazda were also nominated for Jeff Awards, for the staging that played in the 2003-04 season in the Windy City. *
Weaver portrays former attorney general Francis Biddle, and Brazda is his new assistant. The story is inspired by playwright Glass' own experience as Biddle's personal secretary from 1967-68.
Trying, according to production notes, "is the story of the internationally known Francis Biddle, Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chief Judge of the Nuremberg trials. The play is set in 1967 when Biddle is 81 years old and trying to put his life in order. Elegant, but sharply cantankerous, he struggles with the inevitability of his age and failing health. His wife has forced upon him a new secretary named Sarah, who is all of 25 years old, and the two struggle to find a way to communicate. This richly scripted story illustrates how two strangers, at two dramatically different places in their lives, can unexpectedly and forever influence each other."
The creative team for Trying comprises Jeff Bauer (set design), Carolyn Cristofani (costume design), Jacqueline Reed (lighting design) and Andrew Hobson (sound design).
Fritz Weaver may be best known for his Emmy-nominated performance as the doomed patriarch of a Berlin Jewish family in the NBC miniseries, "Holocaust." He won a Tony Award for his portrayal as the headmaster of a Catholic school in Child's Play, and has appeared on Broadway in The Crucible, Ring Round the Moon, The Price and Absurd Person Singular, among others. His career has encompassed regional and Off Broadway theatre, films including "Marathon Man," "The Day of the Dolphin," "Fail Safe," "Power," "Creepshow" and "The Thomas Crown Affair" and more.
Kati Brazda, a Chicago actress, has appeared in local productions of The Misanthrope, Cymbeline, Top Girls and The Secret Rapture.
Canadian-born playwright and novelist Joanna McClelland Glass made her New York debut with Canadian Gothic and American Modern, directed by Austin Pendleton at Manhattan Theatre Club. To Grandmother’s House We Go, starring Eva Le Gallienne, was first produced at the Alley Theatre, Houston, and subsequently moved to Broadway in 1980. In 1984, Play Memory, directed by Harold Prince, which was first produced at the McCarter Theatre, came to Broadway. Glass has written two novels, one of which, "Woman Wanted," was filmed in 1998, starring and directed by Kiefer Sutherland.
Trying is produced by Michael Leavitt, Ted Tulchin, Libby Adler Mages, Mari Stuart, Tony D'Angelo, Steve Dahl and Maria Cozzi. Associate Producers include Fox Theatricals, Eileen LaCario, William Pullinsi, and Bob Bartner.
The performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees at 3 PM. Tickets range $26.25-$66.25, which includes a $1.25 facilities fee, and can be purchased at the Promenade Theatre (2162 Broadway at 76th Street), at telecharge.com, or by calling (212) 239-6200.