Philip Seymour Hoffman Stars in LAByrinth Evening of Shanley's Romantic Poetry, May 17

News   Philip Seymour Hoffman Stars in LAByrinth Evening of Shanley's Romantic Poetry, May 17
LAByrinth Theater Company members Philip Seymour Hoffman, Judy Reyes, David Zayas and surprise guests will appear in a special benefit presentation May 17 of Romantic Poetry — three one-acts by John Patrick Shanley.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman

The one-night-only performance will take place at The Public Theater (where the troupe is currently in residence). Tickets ($100) include a post-show reception and are available by calling (212) 279-4200.

Romantic Poetry will comprise three new Shanley one-act romantic comedies — Last Night in the Garden I Saw You, Balcony and Beautiful Dreamer — "interspersed with poems read by surprise guests," according to show materials.

Co-artistic director Philip Seymour Hoffman (Long Day's Journey Into Night) will appear in the evening with a cast (featuring some LAB regulars) that includes Chris McGarry, Melissa Paladino, Michael Puzzo, Judy Reyes and David Zayas among others.

Shanley first teamed with LAByrinth in 2001 for Where's My Money? The show ran at Center Stage in Chelsea and was later picked up, LAB cast intact, for a run at Manhattan Theatre Club. The relationship continued with LAB's staging of Dirty Story which played in 2003.

Speaking to Playbill On-Line in 2001, Shanley said of LAByrinth, "I started going over there, saw a couple things they did and I became very impressed with them in several different ways. One of the [things] I liked very much that it was a truly multi-ethnic theatre. I liked the idea of writing a play that celebrated that multi ethnicity without ever talking about it. I feel so often that Hispanic actors get cast as Hispanic people and their identities revolve around the fact that they're Hispanic, rather than that they're people. Black actors — the same thing... And I just liked them as a group. There's a lot of talent there, and a lot of good will. So I wrote Where's My Money? for them and did it there and I had one of the more pleasant experiences I've had in a long time." Known for his screenplay to "Moonstruck," Shanley has also penned the plays Cellini, Four Dogs and a Bone and Beggars in the House of Plenty. The busy author recently told Playbill On-Line he is set to open three New York theatre company seasons with Doubt (Manhattan Theatre Club), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Second Stage) and Sailor's Song (LAByrinth). He recently acted (as a mellow Devil) in Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the company's December 2003 Barn Series reading.

Proceeds from the one night-only performance will benefit LAByrinth Theater Company. For more information on the company, visit

Romantic Poetry will play at The Public's Shiva Theater space, 455 Lafayette in New York, NY. Tickets, priced at $100 ($50 of which is tax-deductible), are available by calling (212) 279-4200 or through

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