Richard Greenberg vividly remembers his first trip into New York City, when his parents drove from their Long Island home to the theatre district, passing the marquee for Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis, Jr. "I remember being completely dazzled by the look of it, the rhythm of it," he says. "I have some weird memory of this general goldenness—buildings that advertised butterscotch luminosity. I was probably five years old."
Greenberg moved to the city looking for that luminosity, just as many others have before and since, in real life and in fiction — few more memorable than Holly Golightly, the self-invented New Yorker who lives in a run-down brownstone apartment on the Upper East Side in Truman Capote's 1958 novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Greenberg has adapted the story for a play of the same name, starring Emilia Clarke, now at Broadway's Cort Theatre.
If, as E.B. White wrote in his famous essay "Here Is New York," people come to the city "seeking sanctuary or fulfillment or some greater or lesser grail," what many wind up getting is…overworked. Richard Greenberg is a quintessential example. This season, he has three new shows bowing in New York.
"He's the busiest playwright in New York right now," says Lynne Meadow, the artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Club, who is directing Greenberg's new play, The Assembled Parties, about the changing lives of a family on the Upper West Side, with a cast that includes Judith Light and Jessica Hecht. The play opens at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre April 17 — less than a month after Breakfast at Tiffany's opened. A month after that, the musical theatre adaptation of the 2002 film "Far From Heaven," for which Greenberg wrote the book, begins at Playwrights Horizons. "I'm still writing all of them," he said in March.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.