David Greenspan's New Take on The Patsy, Paired With a New Solo Piece, Opens in NYC

News   David Greenspan's New Take on The Patsy, Paired With a New Solo Piece, Opens in NYC
David Greenspan's fresh adaptation of Barry Conners' 1925 Broadway comedy The Patsy, with the Obie Award-winning actor-writer appearing in the work, opens July 24 in an Off-Broadway staging by The Transport Group Theatre. It's paired with Jonas, a short work by Greenspan, on some nights.

David Greenspan
David Greenspan Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Jack Cummings III, artistic director of the Drama Desk Award-winning TG, directs. Performances of the solo-actor reinvention of the play are at The Duke on 42nd Street at 229 W. 42nd Street. Previews began July 15.

According to TG notes, "A feisty drawing room comedy that premiered at Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 1925 and played for 245 performances, Barry Conners' The Patsy was immediately immortalized in film by the brilliant Marion Davies and Marie Dressler. This affectionate new adaptation, performed by five-time Obie Award winner David Greenspan, playfully resurrects this Cinderella story of a girl who is a little less beautiful and a little less loved and her fractious, gossipy family. Filled with familial intrigue, marital sparring, lovers in pursuit, country club scandals, and labors of the heart, Transport Group's The Patsy explores one family's aspirations of wealth, status, and love in pre-Depression America through one astonishing and virtuosic performer."

Jonas, a monologue written and performed by Greenspan, plays as a double bill to The Patsy on select nights. This world premiere "is a darkly funny and mercurial exploration of doppelgängers past and present, and lives real and imagined."

The set and costume design for The Patsy and Jonas are by Dane Laffrey (Tigers Be Still, See Rock City & Other Destinations, Drama Desk nominee for The Boys in the Band); the lighting design is by Mark Barton (Gatz, The Sun Also Rises); the sound design is by Michael Rasbury (Drama Desk nominee for Hello Again); the production stage manager is Theresa Flanagan.

Greenspan has directed and/or performed in his plays Jack, The Home Show Pieces and 2 Samuel 11, Etc. (Home), Dead Mother (Public), Go Back to Where You Are and She Stoops to Comedy (Playwrights Horizons, Obie), The Argument (Target Margin, Obie), The Myopia (Foundry), and with songwriter Stephin Merritt Coraline (MCC). Other credits include Some Men, The Boys in the Band, Orlando, The Metal Children, The Royal Family, Cornbury, Beebo Brinker Chronicles, The Wax, Saved or Destroyed, Lipstick Traces, Benita Canova and Second-hand Smoke. Barry Conners (1882-1933), an actor, playwright, attorney and screenwriter, was born and raised in Oil City, PA. He was blacklisted as an actor for his workers' rights efforts in the early 20th century and began writing plays, including Mad Honeymoon, Hell's Bells, Applesauce and Unexpected Husbands. The Patsy was adapted into a silent film (starring Marion Davies and Marie Dressler). He worked as a screenwriter for Fox Films for several years. He was 50 when he was killed in a fire in his Los Angeles apartment building on Jan. 5, 1933.

The Patsy will play Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30 PM; Jonas plays Friday through Sunday at 9:15 PM. There will be an added performance of Jonas Aug. 11 — all at 9:15 PM. Tickets, which start at $39 for the The Patsy only, $45 for The Patsy and Jonas, and $20 for Jonas only, are available at www.Dukeon42.org or by phoning The Duke on 42nd Street box office at (646) 223-3010.

For more information about Transport Group, The Patsy and Jonas visit www.transportgroup.org.

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