By Matthew Blank
20 Dec 2011
Leigh Silverman (Well, From Up Here, Chinglish) directs the world premiere of the absurdist-scented play that features Tony Award and four-time Emmy Award winner Hyde Pierce as Paul Barrow, "an obsessive book editor on a major deadline," according to MTC. "With an assistant (Michael Chernus) who's been camping in the office, a famous author (Rosie Perez, the Oscar and Emmy nominee seen in Broadway's The Ritz) threatening to bail on him and an intern (Jessica DiGiovanni) who is no help at all, Paul's just about had it! But when his fiery daughter (Colby Minifie) shows up and lambasts him in Russian, Paul faces a glaring personal error that can't be corrected with red ink."
The MTC staging continues to Feb. 5, 2012. The creative team for Close Up Space includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Emily Rebholz (costume design), Matt Frey (lighting design), Jill BC Du Boff (sound design), Paul Huntley (wig design), Martha Donaldson (production stage manager), Katrina Merrmann (stage manager).
Perez is known for the films "Fearless," "It Could Happen to You" and "Lackawanna Blues"; DiGiovanni makes her Off-Broadway debut here; and Minifie's New York City credits include The Pillowman and Landscape of the Body. Hyde Pierce won his Best Actor Tony for Curtains and was the star of TV's "Frasier" (he was fussy Niles Crane). Chernus' New York credits include The Aliens and In the Wake.
Development of Close Up Space was supported by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during a residency at the National Playwrights Conference of 2010. It was developed as part of Chautauqua Theatre Company's New Play Workshop Series in 2010. Mandy Greenfield is artistic producer of MTC's Off-Broadway programming at Stage I.
Molly Smith Metzler is the author of Elemeno Pea, which recently premiered at the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre in Louisville. Her plays — which include Training Wisteria and Carve — have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club 7@7, Playwrights Horizons, The O'Neill Theater Center, Ars Nova, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Chautauqua Theater Company, Summer Play Festival (SPF), Cherry Lane Mentor Project, hotINK, London's Tristan Bates Theatre, Boston Playwrights' Theatre and the Kennedy Center, where she was the recipient of three KCACTF Awards (The Kennedy Center National Student Playwriting Award, The Mark Twain Comedy Award and The David Mark Cohen Award).
She is a member of EST, the Ars Nova Play Group and Primary Stages Writing Group; she has been in residence at New River Dramatists, Montana Rep, Williamstown and Hedgebrook. She holds an MFA from Tisch and is a recent graduate of The Julliard School, where she was a two-time recipient of the LeComte du Nuoy Prize from Lincoln Center. She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and their Boston terrier.
For more information, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.