McNall, Abraham and Brown Face Hard Times Off-Broadway Starting Feb. 5

News   McNall, Abraham and Brown Face Hard Times Off-Broadway Starting Feb. 5
Charles Dickens' 1854 novel Hard Times, which traces the human cost of industrialization in a Northern England town, comes to life Off-Broadway at the Pearl Theatre Company beginning Feb. 5.
Jolly Abraham, Bradford Cover and Robin Leslie Brown
Jolly Abraham, Bradford Cover and Robin Leslie Brown

Pearl artistic director J. R. Sullivan directs Stephen Jeffreys' stage adaptation that will officially open Feb. 14 and run through March 28 at New York City Center Stage II.

The cast of Pearl Company members includes Jolly Abraham (Sissy Jupe, Mrs. Pegler, Mary Stokes), Rachel Botchan (Louisa, Emma, Mrs. Blackpool), Robin Leslie Brown (Mrs. Sparsit, Mrs. Gradgrind, Rachel), Bradford Cover (Mr. Bounderby, Bitzer, Harthouse), TJ Edwards (Gradgrind, Blackpool) and Sean McNall (Tom, Mr. Sleary).

"Dickens' novel goes to the brim with his remarkable skills in storytelling, character and language," Sullivan said in a statement. "The Jeffreys' adaptation does all of this full justice. But what makes for the enjoyable here is the highly compelling and theatrical manner of the telling itself. Six actors combine to play 20 roles and that by itself is a circus feat that allows for imagination to triumph."

According to press notes, "Hard Times explores and exposes social and economic hardships through the tumultuous lives of the inhabitants of a fictionalized industrial city called Coketown. At the center of the story sits Thomas Gradgrind, head of the Coketown school, whose determination to live life by fact alone leads his children to unhappy lives, devoid of dreams and passion. Dickens' investigation of fact versus fancy reaches beyond the Gradgrind family to ultimately present the case for fulfillment in a better and happier life."

Designing the production are Jo Winiarski (scenic design), Devon Painter (costume design), Stephen Petrilli (lighting design), Lindsay Jones (sound design), Will Pickens (assistant sound design), Kali Quinn (movement coach, asst. director), Stephen Gabis (dialect coach) and Kate Farrington (dramaturg). For tickets phone (212) 598-9802 or visit PearlTheatre. New York City Center Stage II is located at West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

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