Dickens' Hard Times Opens Off-Broadway Feb. 14

News   Dickens' Hard Times Opens Off-Broadway Feb. 14
The Pearl Theatre Company production of Charles Dickens' Hard Times, adapted for the stage by Stephen Jeffreys, officially opens Off-Broadway Feb. 14.
Company member Jolly Abraham
Company member Jolly Abraham

Pearl artistic director J. R. Sullivan directs the production that began previews Feb. 6 and will 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, assistant 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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