Shanley & Krieger Musical Romantic Poetry, Plus Greenberg and Nottage, Will Play MTC

News   Shanley & Krieger Musical Romantic Poetry, Plus Greenberg and Nottage, Will Play MTC
Manhattan Theatre Club revealed three more titles of its 2008-09 season, which will see the return of its artistic director Lynne Meadow following a one-year sabbatical.
Henry Krieger
Henry Krieger Photo by Aubrey Reuben

In addition the previously reported To Be Or Not To Be, the world premiere of Nick Whitby's stage version of the 1942 film comedy, MTC announced April 16 that it will stage the world premiere of Romantic Poetry, a new musical by John Patrick Shanley and composer Henry Krieger, plus the world premiere of Lynn Nottage's Ruined, a co-production with Goodman Theatre. Both titles will play Off-Broadway.

The Broadway premiere of Richard Greenberg's Catskills-set The American Plan will be staged at MTC's Biltmore Theatre.

A third Biltmore production and two more productions at New York City Center – Stage II will be announced at a later date.

No casting or creative teams have been announced yet.

Here are the details so far: MTC's Biltmore Theatre

  • To Be Or Not To Be (world premiere) by Nick Whitby, based on the 1942 motion picture "To Be Or Not To Be," directed by Casey Nicholaw. Previews begin Sept. 11, opening is Oct. 2.
    "At the Polski Theatre in 1939 Warsaw, Joseph and Maria Tura are about to open yet another smash with their theatrical troupe. As the German invasion gets underway, the theatre is closed by the censors, forcing the troupe to face desperate times. But when a handsome young bomber pilot enlists their help to catch a spy, what is a group of actors to do? This hilarious black comedy is an ingenious commentary on the World War II era and an inspired tribute to the timeless joys of the theatre." MTC's Biltmore Theatre

  • The American Plan (Broadway premiere) by Richard Greenberg, directed by David Grindley. Previews begin Jan. 2, 2009, opening is Jan. 22, 2009.
    "An exciting new look at an early, acclaimed play by the Tony Award-winning author of Take Me Out. It is the Catskill Mountains in the early 1960s, and Lily Adler and her mother Eva are spending the summer across the lake from a bustling hotel where comics entertain and buffets overflow. When a handsome young stranger enters their world, the emotionally fragile Lily finds herself falling in love. But once her imperious mother learns of their relationship, lies are exposed, alliances are forged and Lily's one chance to escape her mother's control may be lost forever." Playwright Richard Greenberg continues his long association with MTC, where his New York premieres have included The Violet Hour, Three Days of Rain and Eastern Standard. Grindley most recently staged Pygmalion and the Tony Award-winning production of Journey's End.

    MTC at New York City Center Stage I

  • Romantic Poetry (world premiere musical) by John Patrick Shanley (book and lyrics) and Henry Krieger (music), directed by Shanley. Previews begin Oct. 1, opening is Oct. 28.
    "From the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Doubt and the two-time Tony-nominated composer of Dreamgirls comes this crackpot musical romance. Connie of Woodmere has just married Fred of Newark, but her exes are back in the picture and not sure they approve of the union. Judy of Westchester is being wooed by Arthur, a dishwasher poet of no particular address, while her husband is out of town. And Lily of Soho is climbing Wally of Little Italy's fire escape with amorous erotic intent. They are all mad and they are all sane and they are all creating Romantic Poetry. Genuine emotion and the excitement of living an ideal crisscross like a night of shooting stars." MTC at New York City Center Stage I

  • Ruined (world premiere) by Lynn Nottage, directed by Kate Whoriskey. Previews begin Jan. 21, 2009, opening Feb. 10, 2009, in a co-production with the Goodman Theatre.
    "From the Obie Award-winning author of such plays as Fabulation and Intimate Apparel comes this haunting, probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?" Goodman Theatre will present the play this fall prior to the production coming to MTC. For more information, visit


    All three MTC venues are humming at the moment, with productions of Top Girls (Biltmore), From Up Here (Stage I) and The Four of Us (Stage II) playing.

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