Directed by Larry Moss (The Syringa Tree) and written by Richard Kalinoski, the warm play about Armenian immigrants finding new hope in America made its Manhattan debut with the staging at the Century Center, off Union Square. The play blossomed internationally and around the country in the past decade.
In recent weeks, Grillo himself stepped into the show to replace Tony Award nominee Omar Metwallly, who is shooting a movie. Understudy Grillo was announced to play the role of Aram through the month of July, but will now be in the closing cast. He told Playbill.com, "Omar has actually been back in the role for a week, on hiatus from shooting. He’ll do the first half of the final week, and I’ll finish the run, attempting to deliver his beautiful performance as well as I'm able."
Metwally plays Aram Tomasian, the Armenian immigrant who settles in Milwaukee and carves out a new life with his haunted bride, played by Lena Georgas, a refugee from the early-century Armenian genocide.
The cast also includes Frank Biancamano (who replaced Louis Zorich) and Louis Dilan (who replaced Matt Borish).
Grillo, who earned an MFA in acting from Yale School of Drama, played the role of Aram in Boston in 1999, and acquired the New York production rights two years ago. Beast on the Moon is his first venture as commercial producer. His producing partner for the project is Matt Salinger. "I first fell in love with Beast on the Moon when I played Aram in the Boston production," Grillo said in a statement. "I knew then that this was a play that had to reach New York audiences. I have been standing-by for Omar since we began previews this spring. While Omar is off filming, I am looking forward to switching hats and revisiting Richard Kalinoski's beautiful play from an actor's perspective."
Century Center for the Performing Arts is at 111 East 15th Street.
The final week's performance schedule is July 19 at 7 PM, July 20 at 2 & 8 PM, July 21 at 8 PM, July 22 at 8 PM, July 23 at 3 & 8 PM, July 24 at 3 PM.
Tickets are $65 for all performances. Tickets and information are available at Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200.