Innvar Acts, Sings, Directs

PlayBlog   Innvar Acts, Sings, Directs
Christopher Innvar has been doing double duty of late, running himself ragged between rehearsing the upcoming revival of The Boys in the Band and workshopping a new musical for Roundabout. Private industry presentations for the latter were held Jan. 14-15.

"It's called Laughing Matters," he says, "and it's about three generations of Jewish women in the theatre. Donna Murphy plays a character in the Warsaw ghetto who's part of a theatre troupe in Nazi-occupied Poland, and I play her love interest at that time. She has a daughter who's a 1970s television writer, and there's another daughter who's, like, ten."

Iris Rainer Dart, who wrote the novel "Beaches," did book and lyrics, and the music is by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler. Jayne Houdyshell, Chris Hoch, Emily Skinner, Martin Moran, Chip Zien and Heidi Blickenstaff co-starred in the workshop directed by Leonard Foglia.

Once Innvar wraps his role of Larry (he with the "gypsy feet") in The Boys in the Band (Feb. 12-March 14), he heads for the Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts to direct a post-Civil War play by Matthew Lopez, The Whipping Man.

"It's a really fascinating play about two slaves who were raised as Jews in a Southern household," he says. "A young Confederate soldier — Jewish — comes home and finds he's in the house with these two slaves who are now free men. It's about the relationship of the three, what it means to be a Jew and what it means to be a slave."

Julianne Boyd, artistic director at the Barrington, where Innvar usually summers as an actor, brought the play to him and asked him to direct. "I've directed some Mark St. Germain plays there so I'm looking forward to going back. It’s my summer home."

— Harry Haun

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