Cerveris, Linn-Baker, Frechette, Sisto and Rogers Are Bach at New York Stage and Film, July 14-17

News   Cerveris, Linn-Baker, Frechette, Sisto and Rogers Are Bach at New York Stage and Film, July 14-17
A workshop production of Bach at Leipzig, a new play by Itamar Moses, will boast a cast of weighty experience when it runs July 14-17 as part of New York Stage and Film Vassar College summer season.

Pam MacKinnon will direct Mark Linn-Baker (A Year With Frog and Toad, Forum), Todd Cerveris (the upcoming The Booth Variations), Peter Frechette (The Dazzle, What the Butler Saw), Rocco Sisto (Quills, Mad Forest), Reg Rogers (Cellini, The Dazzle), and Peter Maloney (Mr. Fox, Four Beers).

The play looks at how "greed, power hunger, envy and lust fuel a hilarious competition, as Germany’s greatest musicians vie to succeed the deceased and much-revered church organist of Leipzig, in 1722." Leipzig University was the foremost educational institution in the German speaking world at that time, and the position of Cantor at St. Thomas a very coveted one. The Cantor zu St. Thomae et Director Musices Lipsiensis was regarded as the de facto most important musician in Leipzig, and was responsible for the music of the four principal Leipzig churches. Though Bach is famous today as one of the greatest composers of all time, he was not St. Thomas' first choice, but had to lobby for the position. According to the Discorida Music website, he "was competing with the most sought-after composers and musicians in Germany, and was only asked to apply after Georg Philipp Telemann — the most famous composer of his day — rescinded his application, and Christoph Graupner — court kapellmeister at Darmstadt — was forced to withdraw because his employer refused to release him. The position was vacant for six months before Bach auditioned on 7 February 1723."

Frechette was involved with The Dazzle, a NYS&F workshop which eventually reached Off-Broadway. Rogers, too, acted in that Richard Greenberg piece, as well as John Patrick Shanley's Cellini, another Vassar staging which made its way to Off-Broadway, specifically Second Stage.

The remaining NYS&F lineup is as follows (subject to change):

Bach at Leipzig starring Mark Linn-Baker (July 14-17) - Powerhouse
Free Outdoor Theater in Repertory (July 14-25)

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Dennis Reid
  • Fanny Kemble, adapted by Laura Marks and director Davis McCallum
  • Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, directed by Emily Mendelson Nerds (July 15-18) - Martel

    Readings Festival 2 (July 23-25)

  • The Argument by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros
  • Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
  • Fran’s Bed by James Lapine, starring Mia Farrow
  • Pen by David Marshall Grant, starring Marcia Gay Harden Good Vibrations (July 29-Aug. 1) - Martel
    My Andy by (July 22-24) Powerhouse
    The Petersons Project (July 30-Aug. 1) - Shiva

    For tickets and information, call (845) 437-7235 or www.newyorkstageandfilm.org.

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