Critics Ponder Their Actions in Critical Mass, Opening Oct. 22

News   Critics Ponder Their Actions in Critical Mass, Opening Oct. 22
Critical Mass, Joanne Sydney Lesser's new "revenge comedy" about opera critics forced to contend with the tenor they ruined in print, has its world premiere beginning Oct. 22 at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row. The limited run will continue through Nov. 7.

Donald Brenner directs a cast including Aaron Davis, Laura Faith, Marc Geller, Zac Hoogendyk, Shorey Walker and Leigh Williams.

Mary Willis White and Laura Faith are the producing directors, with set design by Chris Minard, costume design by Ashley Rose Horton, lighting design by Melissa Mizell and sound design by Hidenori Nakajo.

According to press notes, "A pair of married opera critics are forced to reexamine their priorities when the tenor whose career they ruined moves in with them. Carrie Greenlea is an opera critic who enjoys skewering singers for everything from bad high notes to bad nose jobs. Her husband and fellow critic, Norman, prefers to equivocate rather than hurt anyone’s feelings. When Stefano Donato, a mediocre Italian tenor whose career they have jointly ruined, moves in with them, he proceeds to exact revenge. Events reach critical mass when their household is further invaded by their Bette Davis-impersonating editor; a marginally talented, but resourceful soprano; and Stefano’s desperate wife."

The play was the winner of the 2010 Heiress Productions' Playwriting Competition. Proceeds from the production will benefit The Lustgarten Foundation, an organization advocating the funding of pancreatic cancer research.

Lessner has written book and lyrics to several musicals with composer/lyricist Joshua Rosenbloom, including the cult Off-Broadway hit Fermat's Last Tango, Einstein's Dreams and Garbo and Me. She has also written the play Crossing Lines, the screenplay "Hector and Harriet" and the novel
"Pandora's Bottle." She is a contributing critic to Opera News. The Lion Theatre is located at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street. Tickets are $18 and are now available at or by calling 212-239-6200.

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