Game Show, the latest interactive attraction to bow this fall Off Broadway, begins previews Oct. 10 for an opening Oct. 25. Game Show was written by Jeffrey Finn and Bob Walton and directed by Mark Waldrop. Waldrop wrote and directed Bette Midler’s recent "Millennium Tour" and is a two-time Drama Desk nominee for Best Director and Best Lyricist for Howard Crabtree’sWhen Pigs Fly.
According to production notes, Game Show "places the theatre audience in the role of the TV studio audience, in which members are picked as the contestants to play the trivia-based game and win actual prizes."
Two-time Tony nominee Joel Blum (Show Boat, Steel Pier), Jeb Brown ("Star Trek," "All My Children"), Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone ( The Fantasticks), Dana Lynn Mauro (Steel Pier, A Christmas Carol), Cheryl Stern, Brandon Williams (national tour of Blood Brothers) and Michael McGrath (Little Me, Swinging on a Star) comprise the cast for the Off-Broadway world premiere. Michael McGrath will star as the Game Show host, "Troy Richards."
The creative team for Game Show features set designer James Youmans (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jeffrey), costume designer Theresa Squire (New York Theatre Workshop, La MaMa) and 1986 Obie Award-winning lighting designer Jeffrey S. Koger.
As reported earlier, Jeffrey Finn Productions conducted a private workshop for Game Show, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on March 16-17. The cast for that Game Show workshop included Jeb Brown, stand up comedian Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone, Dana Lynn Mauro, Casey Nicholaw, Patrick Quinn and Lynne Wintersteller (I Sent a Letter To My Love).
Game Show's environmental set will turn 45 Bleeker into "the television studio of the fictional game show, including operational television cameras mounted on either side of the audience with screens for 'broadcast.'" The workshop audience will experience "candid dramatic action" involving the studio and game show personnel as they comport themselves on stage during the simulated commercials. Production notes indicate the audience will see "all the back-stabbing, backstage antics" that go on during typical commercial breaks.
Jeffrey Finn Productions (JFP) credits include the recent national tours of The Who’s Tommy, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, Chess, Diahann Carroll in Almost Like Being in Love, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. in Hit Me With a Hot Note!, Melba Moore in A Swell Party, Carol Lawrence in Puttin’ on the Ritz and Mimi Hines in This Funny World.
Bob Walton (co-author) and his brother, Jim Walton, received the 1997 Bistro Award for Best New Musical Comedy for writing and performing their show, "My Brother’s Keeper -- A Fraternally Wacky Revue." He was seen in the Broadway production of Once Upon a Mattress starring Sarah Jessica Parker, the Broadway company of Show Boat, the Broadway and national companies of City of Angels as Jimmy Powers and in the starring role of the Off-Broadway musical Preppies.
All tickets are $49.50. During previews, tickets will be available at the reduced price of $35. When available, student rush tickets will be $15 in person at the box office, 30 minutes prior to performance. Beginning Monday, September 18th, tickets can be purchased by calling TicketMaster at (212) 307-4100.
--By Robert Simonson
and Murdoch McBride