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Friday, 24 June 2011 15:35

Transport Group to Present 1925 Hit Broadway Comedy THE PATSY












Transport Group, the Drama Desk and OBIE award-winning theatre company has announced that The Patsy, written by Barry Conners, performed by five-time OBIE Award winner David Greenspan, and directed by four-time Drama Desk Award nominee Jack Cummings III, will begin performances Friday, July 15, at 7:30pm at The Duke on 42nd Street, a New 42nd Street® project, 229 West 42 Street.  The opening is scheduled for Sunday, July 24, at 7:30pm.

A feisty drawing room comedy that premiered at Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 1925 and played for 245 performances, The Patsy was immediately immortalized in film by the brilliant Marion Davies and Marie Dressler.  This affectionate new adaptation, performed by five-time OBIE-Award winner David Greenspan, playfully resurrects this Cinderella story of a girl who is a little less beautiful and a little less loved and her fractious, gossipy family.  Filled with familial intrigue, marital sparring, lovers in pursuit, country club scandals, and labors of the heart, Transport Group’s The Patsy explores one family's aspirations of wealth, status, and love in pre-depression America through one astonishing and virtuosic performer.

Jonas, written and performed by Mr. Greenspan, will play as a double bill to The Patsy on select nights.  This world premiere monologue is a darkly funny and mercurial exploration of doppelgängers past and present, and lives real and imagined.

The set and costume design for The Patsy and Jonas are by Dane Laffrey (Tigers Be StillSee Rock City & Other Destinations, Drama Desk nominee for The Boys in the Band; the lighting design by Mark Barton (GatzThe Sun Also Rises); the sound design by Michael Rasbury (Drama Desk nominee for Hello Again); the production stage manager is Theresa Flanagan.

David Greenspan has directed and/or performed in his plays JackThe Home Show Pieces and2 Samuel 11, Etc. (Home), Dead Mother (Public), Go Back to Where You Are and She Stoops to Comedy (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE), The Argument (Target Margin, OBIE), The Myopia (Foundry), and with songwriter Stephin Merritt Coraline (MCC).  He has received two performance OBIES; one for Terrence McNally’s Some Men and Goethe’s Faust, and one for Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band.  Other credits include OrlandoThe Metal Children,The Royal FamilyCornburyBeebo Brinker ChroniclesThe WaxSaved or Destroyed,Lipstick TracesBenita Canova and Second-hand Smoke. He is an Alumnus New Dramatists, Guggenheim and Lortel fellowships, Alpert Award, and an OBIE for Sustained Achievement.

Barry Conners (1882-1933), an actor, playwright, attorney, and screenwriter, was born and raised in Oil City, Pennsylvania, the son of a country doctor.  Although he later graduated from law school, he never established a practice.  Instead, he joined the theater as an actor with an eye to learning stagecraft well enough to become a playwright.  For a time he was a song-and-dance man in vaudeville and he toured the country as an actor in various repertory groups.  Sometime early in the twentieth century, he joined the so-called White Rats (“star” spelled backwards) Movement, formed to improve conditions for actors who had fallen into the grip of a few monopolistic theatrical producers who were controlling the business.  The organization, a predecessor of the Actors Guild, was destroyed around World War I and Conners was blacklisted from work as an actor in the theater.  He took a job as a hunting and fishing guide in the Lake Tahoe area and began writing plays.  Several of his plays were produced in New York City in the 1920s, beginning with the off-Broadway production of Mad Honeymoon.  His other successful plays include Hell’s Bells, which in 1925 provided the Broadway debuts of Shirley Booth and Humphrey Bogart.  Other Broadway plays include Applesauce and Unexpected Husbands, as well as The Patsy, which was adapted into a silent film (starring William Randolph Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies, and Marie Dressler).  Conners left Broadway for Hollywood as talkies swept the film industry at the end of the decade.  After working as a screenwriter for Fox Films for several years, Conners was killed in a fire in his Los Angeles apartment building on January 5, 1933.  He was just 50 years old.

Founded in 2001, Transport Group, under the leadership of Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director, and Lori Fineman, Executive Director, is a not-for-profit theatre company that develops and produces work by American playwrights and composers with the aim of exploring the American consciousness in the 20th and 21st centuries. Transport Group is the winner of a special 2007 Drama Desk Award for its “breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions.”   Transport Group presented its premiere production in 2002: Thornton Wilder’sOur Town, which featured older actors in the roles of Emily and George and a twelve-year-old girl as the Stage Manager.  Its second production, Requiem for William, an evening of seven seldom produced plays by William Inge, that featured a cast of 26 as well as original songs, premiered in 2003.  In 2004 the company presented the first New York revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s First Lady Suite, which received rave reviews, played to sold-out houses, and earned two Drama Desk Award nominations including outstanding revival of a musical.  Other productions include the world premiere of the musical The Audience, which featured a cast of 46 actors and earned three Drama Desk Award nominations, including outstanding musical;Normal, a new musical about a mother’s battle to save her daughter from anorexia; cul-de-sac, a new play by Tony Award nominee John Cariani; the first New York revival of Tad Mosel’s Pulitzer Prize play, All the Way Home; the 50th anniversary, Obie-winning production of William Inge’s The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; the world premiere musicals Crossing BrooklynMarcy in the Galaxy, and Being Audrey, and the first New York revival of Irwin Shaw’s Bury the Dead.  Both First Lady Suite and Bury the Dead were filmed for the New York Performing Arts Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive.  In 2010 Transport Group presented a sold-out, extended engagement of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, which received an OBIE Award and was nominated for five 2010 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play—the most for an off-Broadway play.  Transport Group’s productions of See Rock City and Other Destinations by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, and Hello Again by Michael John LaChiusa combined for eleven 2011 Drama Desk Award nominations and one win.  Transport Group’s most recent production, Lysistrata Jones, by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, opened to rave reviews and played to sell-out houses.  For more information about Transport Group visit

The Patsy plays Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30pm; Jonas plays Friday through Sunday at 9:15pm, both at The Duke on 42nd Street, a New 42nd Street® project, 229 West 42nd Street.  There will be added performances of Jonas on Wednesday, July 20; Thursday, July 21, and Thursday, August 11—all at 9:15pm.  Tickets, which start at $39 for the The Patsy only, $45 for The Patsy and Jonas, and $20 for Jonas only, are available at or by phoning The Duke on 42nd Street box office at 646-223-3010.  Online box office is available 24 hours; regular box office hours at The Duke on 42nd Street are:  Tuesday-Friday 4pm-7pm; Saturday 12pm-6pm.  On performance days the box office is open Tuesday-Saturday 4pm till performance time, Sunday 12pm till performance time.  For more information about Transport Group, The Patsy, and Jonas, visit


About The New 42nd Street

Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent, nonprofit organization charged with long-term responsibility for seven historic theaters on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. In addition to running The New Victory Theater, The New 42nd Street built and operates the New 42nd Street® Studios—a ten-story building of rehearsal studios, offices and a 200-seat theater named The Duke on 42nd Street—for national and international performing arts companies. Since its opening on June 21, 2000, the New 42nd Street Studios has been fully occupied by both nonprofit and commercial theater, dance and opera companies. With these institutions and the other properties under its guardianship, The New 42nd Street plays a pivotal role in fostering the continued revival of this famous street at the Crossroads of the World.

About The Duke on 42nd Street

The Duke on 42nd Street is an intimate 200-seat black box theater built and operated by The New 42nd Street.  Since opening in 2000, the theater has been available on a rental basis to international and domestic nonprofit organizations to present their work.  Companies that have presented at The Duke on 42nd Street theater include: Theatre for a New Audience; Playwrights Horizons; Lincoln Center Great Performers; The NYC Tap Festival; and 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Project. In October 2008, Lincoln Center Theater launched “LCT3” at The Duke on 42nd Street.  New 42nd Street presentations at The Duke on 42nd Street have included: Karole Amitage’s Armitage Gone! Dance; Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Rose Rage; Naked Angels and Dan Klores’s Armed and Naked in America; and Classical Theater of Harlem’s production of Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity. Notable New Victory® presentations at The Duke on 42nd Street include Joan McLeod’s The Shape of a Girl, Steppenwolf Theater Company’s The Bluest Eye and the smash hit Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen presented by The New Victory Theater in cooperation with The Under the Radar Festival.

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