It may not have the clamor of the current SAG strike, but playwright Rob Ackerman’s new play Tabletop deals with the much ado’d business of television commercials. Presented by The Working Theatre at the Dance Theatre Workshop's Bessie Schönberg Theatre in New York City, the play runs July 8 - Aug. 5, with an official opening July 11.
Tabletop shines the light behind the scenes of TV commercial film studio where they provide product shots -- the close-ups of items that ads promote.
Turning 180 degrees from Chekhov, who saw his plays as comedies misinterpreted by audiences as tragedies, Ackerman said in a statement, “this is a play about pain, but people always seem to find it funny.” But the play has a universality, as the former tabletop technician added, “If you ever had a bad boss, this show is cheap therapy.” Ackerman’s other works include the play-turned-movie Origin of the Species.
Connie Grappo (Belmont Avenue Social Club) directs the 15th season presentation for The Working Theatre, a company dedicated to producing plays about and for working people. The cast of the Off Broadway production includes: Rob Bartlett (author and star of last season's More to Love and best known for his sidekick work on radio's “Imus in the Morning”), Harvy [sic] Blanks, Jack Koenig, Dean Nolen, Elizabeth Rice, and Jeremy Webb.
For reservations to Tabletop, call the Schönberg Theatre, 219 West 19 St., at (212) 691-6500. Tickets are $20-$25 for performances through August 5. -- by Ernio Hernandez