Bad Guys, a Reunion of Childhood Friends, Opens June 4 in NYC World Premiere
By Kenneth Jones
The 2012 Second Stage Uptown season officially begins June 4 with the opening of the world premiere of Alena Smith's The Bad Guys, about five pals from childhood who reunite one summer. Michael Braun, Roe Hartrampf, James McMenamin, Tobias Segal and Raviv Ullman are featured. Previews began May 22.
Hal Brooks directs the production at Second Stage Theatre's second stage, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on Broadway at 76th Street.
According to Second Stage, "Five childhood buddies reunite on a late-summer afternoon for some beer, grilling and weed, but deep within their friendship lurk ghosts that rock the patio beneath them. Bitingly comic and ruthlessly recognizable, this is the story of a generation at war with itself over what it means to 'man up.'"
This summer marks the 10th anniversary of Second Stage Theatre's Uptown Series, "created as a program to help develop and provide exposure for the voices of a new generation of theatre artists." Christopher Burney is associate artistic director and curator. The series "seeks to develop the skills of emerging playwrights, to provide early-career artists with the support of a major artistic institution, and to create new plays for the American theatre. Each show has a limited rehearsal period, as well as a streamlined budget."
The Bad Guys features scenic design by Jason Simms, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Seth Reiser, and sound design by Ryan Rumery.
The cast includes veterans of Broadway's War Horse (Michael Braun), Off-Broadway's Unnatural Acts (Roe Hartrampf), Off-Broadway's Suicide, Incorporated and Our Town (James McMenamin), Broadway's The Miracle Worker (Tobias Segal) and Off-Broadway's Russian Transport (Raviv Ullman).
Playwright Alena Smith's plays have been seen/developed at the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Joe's Pub, the Summer Play Festival, A.R.T. Institute, the Ohio Theatre, P.S. 122, Chashama, the Foundry, and the Yale Cabaret. Outside of the U.S., her work has been seen at the Southwark Playhouse in London, and at Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany. She was a member of the Public's 2009 Emerging Writers Group, and was a 2008-09 Artist Fellow in Playwriting with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). MFA, Yale School of Drama; ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting.
Director Brooks is artistic director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project.
The Bad Guys performance schedule is Tuesday-Sunday at 7:30 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling the Second Stage Theatre Box Office at (212) 246-4422 or online at 2ST.com.
The Second Stage Uptown Series has helped launch and advance the careers of several up-and-coming playwrights, including Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Good Boys and True), Adam Bock (A Small Fire, The Drunken City) and Brooke Berman (Hunting and Gathering).
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