Booth Theatre, (4/10/2005 - 9/18/2005)

First Preview: Mar 21, 2005
Opening Date: Apr 10, 2005
Closing Date: Sep 18, 2005
Total Previews: 23
Total Performances: 185

Category: Play, Drama, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Robert Fox, Arielle Tepper, Stephanie McClelland, Debra Black, Dede Harris, Morton Swinsky, Roy Furman and Jon Avnet; Produced in association with Joyce Schweickert

Originally produced by The National Theatre of Great Britain

Written by Martin McDonagh; Music by Paddy Cunneen

Directed by John Crowley; Assistant Director: Todd Lundquist

Scenic Design by Scott Pask; Costume Design by Scott Pask; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Paul Arditti; Associate Scenic Design: Orit Carroll and Nancy Thun; Scenic Design Assistant: Tobin Ost; Associate Costume Design (US): Brian Russman; Associate Costume Design (UK): Irene Bohan; Associate Lighting Design: Jason Lyons; Assistant Lighting Design: Rachel Eichorn; Associate Sound Design: Christopher Cronin; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone

General Manager: Nina Lannan & Associates; Associate Gen. Mgr: Maggie Edelman; Company Manager: Leslie A. Glassburn

Production Manager: Arthur Siccardi; Production Stage Manager: James Harker; Assistant Stage Mgr: Thea Bradshaw Gillies

Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations and Dennis Crowley; Casting: Jim Carnahan; Marketing: HHC Marketing; Fight direction by J. Steven White; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus; Fight Captain: Rick Holmes

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Opening Night Cast

Billy CrudupKaturian
Jeff GoldblumTupolski
Željko IvanekAriel
Michael StuhlbargMichal
Jesse Shane BronsteinBoy
Ted KochFather
Madeleine MartinGirl
Virginia Louise SmithMother

Understudies: Kate Gleason (Mother), Rick Holmes (Father, Katurian, Michal), Ted Koch (Ariel, Tupolski) and Colby Minifie (Boy , Girl)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2005 Best Play [nominee] 

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Robert Fox, Arielle Tepper, Stephanie McClelland, Debra Black, Dede Harris, Morton Swinsky, Roy Furman and Jon Avnet; Produced in association with Joyce Schweickert; Originally produced by The National Theatre of Great Britain; Written by Martin McDonagh

 2005 Best Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Billy Crudup

 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Michael Stuhlbarg

 2005 Best Direction of a Play [nominee] 

John Crowley

winner 2005 Best Scenic Design of a Play [winner] 

Scott Pask

winner 2005 Best Lighting Design of a Play [winner] 

Brian MacDevitt

Drama Desk Award

 2005 Outstanding New Play [nominee] 

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Robert Fox, Arielle Tepper, Stephanie McClelland, Debra Black, Dede Harris, Morton Swinsky, Roy Furman and Jon Avnet; Produced in association with Joyce Schweickert; Written by Martin McDonagh

winner 2005 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play [winner] 

Michael Stuhlbarg

 2005 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Jeff Goldblum

winner 2005 Outstanding Sound Design [winner] 

Sound Design by Paul Arditti


AP: "Mesmerizing 'Pillowman' Opens on Broadway"

"There are no happy endings in real life," says the put-upon writer in "The Pillowman," Martin McDonagh's nightmarish hallucination of a play expertly realized in a mesmerizing production that opened Sunday at Broadway's Booth Theatre.

The same could be said for much of what happens on stage at the Booth where the horrific world created by McDonagh, author of "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" and "The Cripple of lnishmaan," unfolds with a macabre intensity seldom felt in the theater.

For sheer theatrical terror - not to mention the blackest of humor, it would be hard to top McDonagh's disturbing play.

We are in a vaguely Eastern European totalitarian state, where the writer, with the odd, repetitive name of Katurian K. Katurian, is being questioned about a series of murders of children who have died particularly gruesome deaths.

The antsy Katurian, portrayed by a credibly agitated Billy Crudup, has been hauled in because his short stories bear a striking resemblance to the way these youngsters died. Could there be a connection?

Not only is Katurian in prison - a forbidding, high-walled dungeon created by designer Scott Pask - but his mentally disabled brother, Michal, is in an adjoining cell and is being questioned, too.

It's not fair to give away too much of the plot in "The Pillowman" because much of the play's strength lies in the element of surprise. McDonagh can deliver quite a jolt, particularly under the inspired direction of John Crowley who has staged the production with the razor-edge precision.

Let's just say that a lot of the play involves storytelling, the acting out of many of the writer's ghoulish tales, stories that are sort of a cross between the Brothers Grimm and Edward Gorey, with a bit of Freddy Krueger thrown in for good measure.

Katurian's' interrogators are the epitome of "good cop, bad cop," a Mutt-and-Jeff duo who take turns in questioning the prisoner. The lead detective is played by Jeff Goldblum, giving a sardonic performance that tempers practicality with a fine sense of the absurd.

A fiercely combative Zeljko Ivanek portrays Goldblum's sadistic sidekick, a tightly coiled man who immediately wants to torture the inmate to get the information they seek.

Yet the play's most accomplished writing occurs in a scene when Katurian and his childlike brother, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, are placed together in the same cell. There is a sweet-tempered give-and-take between the two siblings. It's the storyteller and an eager, appealing audience of one in perfect harmony - before the unexpected happens.

Stuhlbarg, a lumpish, baby-faced man, gives one of those extraordinary performances that seems so astonishingly real that you can't quite believe it is acting. And Crudup serves as a gracious straightman to the histrionics of the less fortunate brother.

The London-born McDonagh has a wicked, often unnerving sense of what is funny, much of it involving pain.

Consider what happens to that gorgon of a mother in "Beauty Queen," a woman who meets an untimely end, and the Cain-and-Abel mayhem between two brothers in "The Lonesome West," one of McDonagh's more underappreciated plays.

In "The Pillowman," violence arrives in the telling of those stories. The play's title, by the way, is also the name of one of Katurian's short stories. At the center of the tale is a 9-foot creature, made up entirely of fluffy pink pillows.

He's an obliging fellow whose job is to get children to kill themselves -before they have a chance to live a disappointing life.

It's a fearful image - one that haunts the play and one which lingers long after the curtain has come down. You will see this "Pillowman" in your dreams.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Booth Theatre

(4/10/2005 - 9/18/2005)
Press Representative: Ryan Ratelle.

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