Carolines" may be a well-known name in stand-up comedy circles, but for one night, June 30, the NYC club will turn theatrical. Ensemble Studio Theatre and HBO cable network are co-presenting the benefit (for EST) which features readings of the Best Short Plays chosen at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival this year in Aspen, CO.
Mandy Patinkin (The Secret Garden, Sunday In The Park With George) and his wife, Kathryn Grody (1990's A Mom's Life) will host the evening. Performers include Nadia Dajani, Chris Noth, Bob Balaban and Judy Gold (the latter three all recently played in Ensemble Studio Theatre's annual one-act marathon). Noth is best known for his work on TV's "Law & Order." Reading stage directions will be Fred Norris, writer, sound-effects man and cohort on The Howard Stern radio show.
Plays read at the event are: Sisters by Cheri Vogelstein; Mamet Women by Frederick Stroppel; Two Heterosexual Men Get Ready To Go Out by Sally Fairman; Negotiation by Billy Aronson; Yarn by Nadia Dajani; and English: It's Where The Words Are by Peter Basch.
Over the past two decades, New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre has fostered the creation of more than 5,000 new plays. Curt Dempster serves as artistic director. For tickets ($75) and information on the June 30, 6:30 PM benefit, call (212) 247-3405.
--By David Lefkowitz