Tony Winner Sater's New York Animals Will Premiere in Los Angeles

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28 Jun 2010

Steven Sater
Steven Sater
Aubrey Reuben

Los Angeles' Rogue Machine will stage the world premiere of Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening book writer and lyricist Steven Sater's drama New York Animals, beginning July 1.

John Perrin Flynn will helm the premiere of the four-person work that will officially open July 8 and run through Aug. 8 in repertory with Rogue Machine's production of Joel Drake Johnson's Four Places.

"It's something I developed for years," Sater told Playbill.com, but various television deals for the project kept the rights to the stage play unavailable. At one point FX had purchased the rights and filmed the pilot, with Sater having penned six additional episodes. The series never aired and the rights ultimately reverted back to the playwright.

Actress Caroline Aaron, who had been involved in the early New York workshops of the play, encouraged Sater to revisit the work. With his blessing she took the play to Rogue Mechanicals who wanted to produce the play.

"It's a chance to have it on its feet," Sater said of the Los Angeles engagement. "You can see what it is and you can really work on it. This is very much the play it always was, but I've been able to work on it through this production and to discover new things. To [be able to] continue to make connections and bring in new scenes."



Aaron (Broadway's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, The Iceman Cometh) also portrays Older Woman in the cast, with Kevin Brief as Older Man, Burl Moseley (Younger Man) and Jennifer Riley (Younger Woman).

Sater told Playbill.com, "It's a play in which four actors play 21 characters whose lives collide over the course of a dark rainy New York day," and explores "the desperate dark comic edge of New York. It's about people trying to get somewhere and never getting anywhere, but getting somewhere nonetheless. You begin in an Upper West Side apartment with a woman (who is having fears about confronting her housekeeper) and her own baby who has jaundice. And you end at 3:30 in the morning in an emergency room with that same woman who is touched by a homeless guy who's in the emergency room with her and helping her save this child."

New York Animals will have scenic design by Maureen Weiss, costume design by Swinda Reichelt, lighting design by Leigh Allen and sound design by Joseph "Sloe" Slawinski.

Sater earned the 2007 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Spring Awakening, which he co-authored with songwriter Duncan Sheik. The duo also earned the Tony Award for Best Original Score. The groundbreaking musical was awarded the Tony Award for Best Musical and is currently playing across the world. Sater's upcoming projects include the rock musical Prometheus Bound (with a score by Serj Tankian) which will premiere at the American Repertory Theater in 2010. He is also at work on a new musical with Burt Bacharach and is authoring a new film version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

For tickets phone (323) 960-7792 or visit RogueMachine. Performances will take place at 5041 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.