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Monday, 05 October 2009 19:57

New Panelists Announced for "Oleanna" Talk-Backs

“YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH A PLAY THAT RETAINS THE POWER TO GET
THEATERGOERS ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER AS THEY HEAD HOME. 
OLEANNA HASN’T LOST ITS POWER TO RILE AN AUDIENCE!”
– The Los Angeles Times, 2009

 “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star STEPHANIE MARCH,
Air America Media host LIONEL, FOX-5 reporter ANNE CRAIG,
Emmy-winning TV reporter and Sirius XM’s PIA LINDSTROM,
high-profile criminal defense attorney BENJAMIN BRAFMAN,
4-time Tony Award nominee TOVAH FELDSHUH,
professional mediator SUSAN SANGILLO BELLIFEMINE,
FOX News pundit LEONARD JACOBS & stage legend MARIAN SELDES
CONFIRMED AS
ADDITIONAL PANELISTS FOR
TAKE A SIDE: THE OLEANNA TALK-BACK SERIES
DURING PREVIEW PERFORMANCES OF
OLE-0011M-BWLOGO_2
THE FIRST-EVER BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF
THE PROVOCATIVE DRAMA BY DAVID MAMET

(New York) – Producer Jeffrey Finn announced today additional panelists for the TAKE A SIDE: THE OLEANNA TALK-BACK SERIES, the special post-show series for audiences during previews of the first-ever Broadway production of  OLEANNA, the provocative drama by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles.  The ongoing event takes place after every preview performance (September 29 – October 10) at The Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street).

New panelists confirmed include “Law & Order: SVU” actress Stephanie March; Air America Media morning drive host Lionel; FOX-5 feature reporter Anne Craig; 2-time Emmy-winning TV reporter and Sirius XM Satellite Radio personality Pia Lindstrom; high-profile criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman; 4-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh; FOX News’ Strategy Room political pundit and editor of The Clyde Fitch Report Leonard Jacobs; professional mediator Susan Sangillo Bellifemine and Theater Hall of Fame stage legend Marian Seldes.

They join a roster that includes the previously-announced Emmy-winning TV talk show host Montel Williams, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” star and Tony nominee Kathryn Erbe; former NY Knicks Senior Vice President Anucha Browne Sanders, who won a headline-grabbing  2006 sexual harassment suit against Madison Square Garden; New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel; 3-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch; attorney Ned H. Bassen; NYC Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs Kate D. Levin; former New York City mayor David Dinkins; NYC Deputy Mayor of Education and Community Development Dennis Walcott; FOX News Channel legal analyst Lis Wiehl; legal partner Anne C. Vladeck, who represented Anucha Brown Sanders against Madison Square Garden; Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts Mary Schmidt Campbell; Founding and Managing Partner of Outten & Golden LLP  Wayne N. Outten; Legal Partner of Proskauer Rose LLP Kathleen M. McKenna; discrimination litigation attorney Debra L. Raskin; NYU Professor of Urban Policy and Planning Mitchell Moss; and NYU/Tisch Associate Arts Professor and Laurence Maslon, with more to be announced.

Since its instantly incendiary debut in 1992, OLEANNA has consistently been a provocative and stimulating experience for audiences that incites conversation, discussion and intellectual conflict.  The TAKE A SIDE: THE OLEANNA TALK-BACK SERIES is being produced to offer a lively forum for each audience to collectively discuss, debate and comment on the controversial themes of the play with a direct correlation to today’s current issues.  Regarded as one of the most provocative dramas of our time, OLEANNA has always divided audiences into heated, post-show debates often compelling them to fiercely side with either character.  Critics weighing in on this new production during its pre-Broadway, Los Angeles engagement at The Mark Taper Forum confirm that the play hasn’t lost any of its bite, power or relevance, noting the intense post-show conversations that erupt nightly.

With the OLEANNA Talk-Back Series, for 20 minutes following each preview performance, distinguished celebrities from the worlds of media, entertainment, politics, law and education will discuss and debate the issues brought up by this production, as well as take questions.  The group of panelists has been specifically chosen to contribute their specialized expertise and further stimulate spirited debate. 

Alternating moderators for the series will be Judith Kaye, JD (Juris Doctor from Harvard and President of Judith Kaye Training & Consulting) and Cynthia Tornquist (President of Tornquist Productions LLC and former CNN correspondent). 

A complete schedule with all moderators and panelist, as well as their bios, is attached separately.

Please note: Schedule subject to change.

Directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), OLEANNA is a gripping account of a power struggle between a male university professor (Pullman) and one of his female students (Stiles).  Opening Night is set for Sunday, October 11 at 6:30 PM.

The Broadway production features scenic design by Neil Patel, costume design by four-time Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Donald Holder and fight direction by Rick Sordelet.  Production Stage Manager is Charles Means.  The Broadway production is produced by Jeffrey Finn, Arlene Scanlan, Jed Bernstein, Ken Davenport, Carla Emil, Ergo Entertainment, Harbor Entertainment, Elie Hirschfeld, Rachel Hirschfeld, HOP Theatricals, Brian Fenty/Martha H. Jones and Center Theatre Group.

Direct from a smash hit summer engagement in Los Angeles, this new production of OLEANNA was an instant hit with critics and audiences alike, premiering to rave reviews at The Mark Taper Forum.

In The Los Angeles Times, Charles McNulty called this new production “AN 80-MINUTE PRIZE FIGHT! You can’t argue with a play that retains the power to get theatergoers arguing with each other as they head home.  OLEANNA hasn’t lost its power to rile an audience.”

In The Hollywood Reporter, Jay Reiner proclaimed it, “DYNAMITE THEATER! Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles are RIVETING together under Doug Hughes’ taut direction.  Mamet’s dialogue flies between the two characters like a shattered pane of glass, each fragment finding its mark and leaving a speck of blood.” 

In Variety, Bob Verini cheered, “BRILLIANT ACTING and Doug Hughes’ canny helming fully animate David Mamet’s GALVANIC play.  Stiles is SUPERB, achieving increasing majesty with each uppercut.  Pullman is a REVELATION.  His horrified stagger is ONE OF THE SPELLBINDING EMOTIONAL EXHIBITIONS OF THIS THEATRICAL YEAR.” 

In The Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout raved, calling it, “ENTHRALLING!  OLEANNA PACKS A KNOCKDOWN PUNCH!

And Ben Brantley of The New York Times in this season’s Fall Preview calls OLEANNA “THE ULTIMATE HE-SAID / SHE-SAID DRAMA!”

Tickets, $116.50 to $76.50, are available for purchase through visiting www.telecharge.com, calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting The Golden Theatre box office (252 West 45th Street).  The performance schedule for OLEANNA will be Tuesday at 7PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.  During previews, Tuesdays are at 8PM.

www.OleannaOnBroadway.com

ARTISTIC BIOGRAPHIES

Bill Pullman (John) returns to the Broadway stage for the first time since he received a 2002 Drama Desk Award nomination starring opposite Mercedes Ruehl in Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?.  Other recent stage work includes a second Drama Desk nomination for his appearance in Albee’s Peter and Jerry in 2007 at Second Stage and the 2006 Kennedy Center production of The Subject Was Roses (Helen Hayes Award nomination).  With a major career in stage, film and television, Pullman is perhaps best known for his roles in the films Independence Day, Lost Highway, Sleepless in Seattle, Ruthless People, While You Were Sleeping, The Grudge, Spaceballs, Scary Movie 4, and the recent Bottle Shock, Noble Son and Surveillance.

Julia Stiles (Carol) earned great acclaim for her performance in a previous production of Oleanna in London’s West End in 2004. Having begun her career in the Theater at a young age in New York City, her additional stage credits include the 2002 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night as Viola, James Lapine’s Fran’s Bed at Playwrights Horizons and The Vagina Monologues. Oleanna will mark her Broadway debut.  She made her cinematic debut at age 15 in I Love You, I Love You Not with Claire Danes.  She followed this with many films, most notably, 10 Things I Hate About You, Save the Last Dance,  Mona Lisa Smiles,two David Mamet films State and Main and Edmond and the three Bourne movies – The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

David Mamet (Playwright) is the acclaimed and award-winning author of numerous plays including Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 2005 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), American Buffalo, Boston Marriage, November, Speed-The-Plow and The Cryptogram. His new play Race will debut on Broadway this fall and he’ll also be represented Off-Broadway with a double bill of one acts at The Atlantic Theatre Company, of which he is a Founding Member. He has written the screenplays for such films as The Verdict, The Untouchables, Wag the Dog and his own adaptation of Oleanna, and has twice been nominated for an Academy Award. He has written and directed 10 films including Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner, State and Main, House of Games, Spartan and Redbelt and he’s also directed for the Theater. 

Doug Hughes (Director) won the 2005 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lortel and Callaway awards for his direction of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt.  His other Broadway credits include A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way and Frozen (Tony nomination). His many Off-Broadway productions include The Grey Zone (Obie Award), Flesh and Blood (Callaway Award), Farragut North, Howard Katz and The Paris Letter, and he’s also directed numerous production for most of the nation’s leading theatre companies.  He’s Resident Director of New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company and in 2005 he won an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. This fall he’s also directing a Broadway revival of The Royal Family for MTC.

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Last modified on Monday, 05 October 2009 20:01