CQ/CX, Inspired by the Journalism Scandal That Rocked the Times, Begins Premiere Run Off-Broadway

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25 Jan 2012

Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia and Kobi Libii
Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia and Kobi Libii
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Gabe McKinley's CQ/CX, the fact-inspired drama about a journalism scandal, begins preview performances Off-Broadway Jan. 25. Atlantic Theater Company produces the world premiere, opening Feb. 15 at the Peter Norton Space on West 42nd Street.

Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tim Hopper, Arliss Howard, Kobi Libii, David Pittu, Steve Rosen and Sheila Tapia are featured in the cast.

Tony Award nominee David Leveaux (Nine, The Real Thing, Fiddler on the Roof, Arcadia, Through a Glass Darkly) directs the play that is pulled from the headlines — literally. The work is inspired by the story of Jayson Blair, a reporter who resigned from the Times in 2003 after an investigation revealed plagiarism and fiction in his work. 

According to Atlantic, "In the world premiere of Gabe McKinley's CQ/CX, Jay, an up and coming black reporter [played by Kobi Libii] at The New York Times, finds his dreams of becoming a famous journalist come crashing down as he becomes the center of a plagiarism scandal. Drawing on his own experience as a newsman, McKinley weaves a revealing and complex story about the collateral damage of unchecked ambition and compounded lies. In this new play inspired by real events, truth becomes slippery and racial tensions reach a boiling point. CQ/CX raises difficult questions about the state of our media culture, and the meaning and price of journalistic integrity."

(The title is a reference to obsolescent proofreading marks made by a copy editor.)



McKinley makes his Atlantic debut with the play. His critically acclaimed play Extinction was produced Off-Broadway last season. His other plays include The Kitchen Sink Play, Welcome Home Rock Rogers, Funny and Floodplains. He is the recipient of the 2011 Samuel French/New School for Drama Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and his play The Grave was the winner of the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.

The limited engagement plays to March 4.

Larry Bryggman and Tim Hopper
photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Atlantic company member Larry Bryggman is a Tony Award nominee for Proof. Peter Jay Fernandez has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano De Bergerac, Julius Caesar and Henry IV. Tim Hopper was seen in Atlantic's Almost an Evening, received an Obie Award for his performance in More Stately Mansions Off Broadway and appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter. Stage and screen star Arliss Howard's feature film credits include "Moneyball," "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Full Metal Jacket." He appeared on Broadway in the revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Off-Broadway in A Number and The Late Henry Moss. Kobi Libii has appeared Off-Broadway in Perfect Harmony and Ohio State Murders and in the Fringe First award-winning European premiere of Rolin Jones' The Jammer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Atlantic company member David Pittu received Tony Award nominations for both his recent starring roles in Love Musik and Is He Dead? on Broadway. He starred in Atlantic's What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling, which he co-wrote. Steve Rosen recently starred in the popular Off-Broadway musical Peter and the Starcatcher and was in the original casts of Broadway's The Farnsworth Invention and Spamalot and the revival of Guys and Dolls. Sheila Tapia's Off-Broadway credits include ReEntry and Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue

The production team for CQ/CX includes scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Ben Stanton, sound designer and creator of original music David Van Tieghem and projection designer Peter Nigrini and C. Andrew Bauer.

All tickets are $65 and available by calling (212) 279-4200 or visiting www.ticketcentral.com, or at the Atlantic Stage 2 box office at 330 West 16th Street.

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Atlantic's mainstage in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood is still undergoing renovation. The borrowed Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space (home of CQ/CX) is at 555 W. 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue.

For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.