Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Edward Asner Search for Grace on Broadway, Opening Oct. 4
By Andrew Gans
Craig Wright's Grace, a four-person darkly comic drama set in Florida that examines the meaning of religion and life, officially opens Oct. 4 at Broadway's Cort Theatre following previews that began Sept. 13.
Directed by Dexter Bullard (Tracy Letts' Bug), the cast comprises stage and screen star Paul Rudd, Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and seven-time Emmy winner Edward Asner.
The 100-minute intermissionless play is described as such: "In alternating scenes of hilarity and poignancy, life turns surreal for an eclectic foursome whose destinies collide in the Sunshine State. A wide-eyed young couple (Rudd & Arrington) head south with big plans to open a chain of Gospel-themed motels. When an agitated rocket scientist (Shannon) and a prickly pest-control man (Asner) enter the picture, the couple's ordered world is thrown into utter chaos."
Grace premiered to critical acclaim at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC, in 2004, and was subsequently seen in a celebrated production at Northlight Theater in Chicago, and at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles (where it received three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards including Best Play).
The creative team includes scenic designer Beowulf Boritt (Chaplin), lighting designer David Weiner and costume designer Tif Bullard.
A series of special events celebrating the Broadway premiere of Grace were recently announced. The entire cast will appear at the intimate theatre inside the Apple Store Soho (103 Prince Street) Oct. 8 from 7 PM-8 PM for a conversation about the play. CNN's Shanon Cook will moderate the event, which will be recorded for future podcast. The conversation is open to the public and will include an opportunity for audience questions.
A Talkback Series will also be held following three Wednesday evening performances. On Oct. 10 Patrick Pacheco (Los Angeles Times journalist and NY1 "On Stage" correspondent) will be joined by the entire cast for a post-show conversation about the play. On Oct. 17 best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat Pray Love") and Reverend Stephen Phelps of the Riverside Church of New York will engage in a discussion of faith as it relates to the themes of the play. On Oct. 24 Dr. Michael Brown of the Marble Collegiate Church NYC, who consulted on Grace during the rehearsal process, will similarly discuss the issues of faith and religion that are explored in the play. All talkbacks will take place directly after the 7 PM performances.
Paul Rudd made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo in 1997 and has since starred in Twelfth Night (1998), Three Days of Rain (2006) and Off-Broadway in The Shape of Things (2001), among many other stage productions. Michael Shannon's numerous New York stage credits include Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep and Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made. He received an Academy Award nomination for "Revolutionary Road" and is a series regular on "Boardwalk Empire." Kate Arrington, who is currently appearing at the Goodman Theatre in Iceman Cometh opposite Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, is a Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member, whose productions there include The Hot L Baltimore, The Well-Appointed Room, The Pain and the Itch and The Violet Hour. Edward Asner (TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Lou Grant") last appeared on Broadway in 1989, opposite Madeline Kahn in Born Yesterday.
This production marks the Broadway debuts of playwright Wright, director Bullard and actor Shannon, who have a 15-plus year history of collaboration in the theatre on works including, most recently, Mistakes Were Made.
Producers are Debbie Bisno, Fox Theatricals, Jed Bernstein and Paula Wagner.
Tickets are available via Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. For Group Bookings visit telecharge.com/groups or call Telecharge Group Sales at (800) 432-7780.
The Cort Theatre is located at 138 W. 48th Street. Visit graceonbroadway.com.
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