PHOTO CALL: Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy Plays the Flea Theater
By Matthew Blank
The Flea Theater presents the New York premiere of Restoration Comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Freed, officially opening Dec. 10, following previews that began Nov. 25, in New York City.
Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, a 2012 Drama Desk Award nominee for These Seven Sicknesses, the production features the Flea's resident acting company, The Bats, and continues through Dec. 30.
The Bats include Michael Axelrod, Jaspal Binning, Naomi Bland, Brantley Brice, Emily Brown, Allison Buck, Alex Coelho, Whitney Conkling, Matthew Cox, Greg Engbrecht, Eloise Eonnet, Kelechi Ezie, James Fouhey, Justin Garascia, Rosa Gilmore, Cleo Gray, Kerry Ipema, Finn Kilgore, Chase Kinney, Alex Mandell, Anthony Martinez, Jennifer McCormick, Bonnie Milligan, Zac Moon, Seth Moore, Erik Olson, Ivano Pulito, Alexander Seife, Stephen Stout, Liz Tancredi, Jennifer Tsay and Mari Yamamoto.
Restoration Comedy is a combination of two plays: Colley Cibber's Love's Last Shift and John Vanbrugh's The Relapse. Here's how the work is described: "When virtuous Amanda Loveless learns that her rakish dead husband is very much alive, it's time to stop mourning and start plotting. With the help of the gallant Worthy, she disguises herself as a lascivious new mistress to tempt her husband back into her bed. As she triumphantly claims her man, she begins to question whether her marriage is the only true source of happiness. Wicked wit, irresistible intrigue and fabulous fashion combine through a dizzying kaleidoscope of Restoration characters, all chasing the joys of love."
"My fascination with the play is rooted in its thoroughly post-modern examination of our right to love freely — told through the lens of the bawdy, fashionable, larger-than-life world of the Restoration, which ultimately posits that while clothing and manners and music may change…some things don't," added director Iskandar in a statement.
Restoration Comedy begins with a baroque musicale in the lobby, and intermission features a burlesque act. Additionally, the show's choreography is set to music by the Scissor Sisters.
The design team includes Will Taylor (choreographer), Julia Noulin-Merat (scenic designer), Daniel B. Chapman (lighting designer), Loren Shaw (costume designer), Jill BC DuBoff and Jeremy Bloom (sound designers), Rowan Doyle (props designer) David Dabbon (music director), Michael Wieser (fight director), Greg VanHorn (dramaturgy) and Ian Hersey (vocal coach).
The Flea is located at 41 White Street (between Church and Broadway). For more information and tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or visit TheFlea.org.
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