Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, (4/23/2014 - 6/29/2014)

First Preview: Apr 01, 2014
Opening Date: Apr 23, 2014
Closing Date: Jun 29, 2014
Total Previews: 24
Total Performances: 79

Category: Play, Original, Broadway
Setting: June, 1962. The main house of a run-down bungalow colony in New York State's Catskill Mountains.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer)

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer); Produced by special arrangement with Colin Callender, Robert Cole, Frederick Zollo and The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President); MTC Artistic Producer: Mandy Greenfield

Written by Harvey Fierstein; Original Music: Fitz Patton; Inspired by the book "Casa Susanna" by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope

Directed by Joe Mantello; Dance Consultant: Christopher Gattelli; Assistant Director: David Perlow

Scenic Design by Scott Pask; Costume Design by Rita Ryack; Lighting Design by Justin Townsend; Sound Design by Fitz Patton; Hair and Wig Design by Jason P. Hayes; Make-Up Design by Jason P. Hayes; Associate Scenic Design: Orit Carroll; Associate Costume Design: Richard Schurkamp; Assistant Scenic Design: Lauren Alvarez, Jeffrey Hinchee and Jerome Martin; Assistant Lighting Design: Kirk Fitzgerald; Assistant Sound Design: Justin Stasiw; Assistant Hair and Wig Design: Davion Edwards; Assistant Make-Up Design: Davion Edwards

MTC General Manager: Florie Seery; Company Manager: Erin Moeller; MTC Associate General Manager: Lindsey Sag

Production Manager: Joshua Helman; Production Stage Manager: William Joseph Barnes; Stage Manager: Kathryn L. McKee; Associate Prod. Mgr: Bethany Weinstein; Assistant Prod. Mgr: Steven Dalton

Fight direction by Thomas Schall; Casting: Caparelliotis Casting and Nancy Piccione; Additional Casting: Telsey + Company; MTC Director of Artistic Development: Jerry Patch; MTC Director of Marketing: Debra Waxman-Pilla; MTC Artistic Line Producer: Lisa McNulty; MTC Director of Development: Lynne Randall; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Website Design: AKA

Opening Night Cast

Reed BirneyCharlotte
John CullumTerry
Gabriel EbertJonathon/Miranda
Lisa EmeryEleanor
Tom McGowanBessie
Patrick PageGeorge/Valentina
Larry PineThe Judge/Amy
Nick WestrateGloria
Mare WinninghamRita

Understudies: Nick Bailey (Gloria, Jonathon/Miranda), Peter Bradbury (Charlotte, George/Valentina), Jack Davidson (Terry, The Judge/Amy), John Treacy Egan (Bessie) and Judith Lightfoot Clarke (Eleanor, Rita)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2014 Best Play [nominee] 

Written by Harvey Fierstein; Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer); Produced by arrangement with Colin Callender, Robert Cole, Frederick Zollo and The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

 2014 Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play [nominee] 

Reed Birney

 2014 Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play [nominee] 

Mare Winningham

 2014 Best Costume Design of a Play [nominee] 

Rita Ryack

Drama Desk Award

winner 2014 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play [winner] 

Reed Birney

Reviews


New York Daily News: "Casa Valentina"

Dudes look like ladies in “Casa Valentina,” an intriguing but diffuse new drama about straight cross-dressers in 1962 New York.

With “Torch Song Trilogy,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Kinky Boots” to his credit, playwright Harvey Fierstein knows a thing or three about the fluidity of gender, identity and sexuality — and about men raiding women’s closets.

His fact-inspired story — directed with sensitivity and style by Joe Mantello — unfolds at a Catskills bungalow colony that caters to heterosexual transvestites. Very niche.

Proprietor George (Patrick Page, rock solid) is also a client who goes by Valentina when he’s in a frock and wig. George’s gentle wife, Rita (Mare Winningham, appealing as ever), knows all and approves all.

In fact, she nudges George to get his Valentina on and mother-hen pecks his pal gals: Terry (John Cullum); Amy (Larry Pine), a judge and family man; and Bessie (Tom McGowan), a chubby ex-sergeant with a wife and three kids who quotes Oscar Wilde with every other breath.

And there’s Miranda (Gabriel Ebert), a nervous newlywed and Casa Val virgin who’s there with his friend Gloria (Nick Westrate). The show’s finest moment comes when Miranda’s makeover from mousy wreck to glamour girl fills the theater with giddy joy.

But the uplift is short-lived. Chanel-clad Charlotte (Reed Birney, poised and poisonous) wants to legitimize the cross-dressing “sorority” as a nonprofit organization. Rooting out homosexuals, using blackmail and federal connections, if necessary, is the way to do it.

That’s when the play goes pear-shaped and sinks into Joan Crawford melodrama. The message of “Casa Valentina” remains frustratingly murky.

“What the hell...? What the hell...?” says Rita in the last line. I’m with her. 


New York Daily News
04/23/2014

View full site