Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lincoln and God at H Street Playhouse

The H Street Playhouse
In the Historic Atlas Theatre District in Washington, DC
1365 H Street, NE, Washington, DC

Anthony E. Gallo
Wednesday, June 22 7:30 PM

This two-act drama examines our sixteenth President’s conflict with men and God through defeats, triumphs, and tragedies during the Civil War. Did he hear God in the dialogue, actions, and words of wife Mary, the Reverend Phineas Gurley, friends, colleagues, and enemies? Abraham Lincoln is the only American President who did not claim church membership. What was his relationship with God all about -?-Was he an American Moses-?-or an American Herod? Remain for lively discussion afterward.
Cast and Crew
President Lincoln Jan Forbes
Reverend Phineas Gurley Colin Davies
Nico Hay Tim Wolf
Mary Todd Lincoln Helenmary Ball
Emily Helm, Willy, Eddy Sherman McDaniel
Benjamin Helm, J. W. Booth, Captain Bruce Brennan
Roger Taney, Thomas Jones, Narrator Lenny Levy
Dr. Colchester, Woman, Narrator Bonnie Jourdan
Sound Designer and Director Beatrix Whitehall

Questions: Anthony E. Gallo 202 544 6973

Pay-What-You-Can performance, beginning at 7:30 (box office will open at 6:45) Ten dollars for reserved seats. All performances are at the H Street Playhouse, 1365 H Street, NE, Washington, DC Directions, reservations, and questions: (202) 396-2125

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vandergrift! Last Three Shows--Read the Reviews and Ticket Info

Read the Reviews:
Extracted from MD Theatre Scene By ZSun-nee Matema. Jan Forbes, who plays McMurtry, brings a rugged but warm charm to his character…. Tim Wolf as Frederic Law Olmstead, Jr., the talented architect, had an eye-catching swagger and ease…. Helenmary Ball assumes the role of Tarbell with a graceful authority …. Bruce Brennen, as the Scottish mill worker with union interests, gave a compelling performance throughout. Sherman McDaniel brought laughter and realism to her role as the fortune teller…. A.O. Gutierrez should be applauded for the creative design of the set, lighting and construction. .. The music helped the audience reminiscence the many decades celebrated throughout the play. ---The costume design skillfully stayed true to the essence of each period. Playwright, Anthony Gallo can be proud of his effort…. If you love the history of small towns in America , you’ll enjoy Vandergrift! READ THE WHOLE REVIEW:!11.htm

Jim Link: Drama Critic-Greenbelt News
The bittersweet shock of recognition will greet Greenbelters lucky enough to see Vandergrift! now at Greenbelt Arts Center . The true story of a southwestern Pennsylvania steel mill town, fictionally enhanced by author Tony Gallo, takes us through 50 years of community turmoil and evolution. From the 1890's through WWII the citizens of Vandergrift are racked by issues of union organization, race and immigration, environmental quality, architecture and aesthetics, in a planned community meant to be a workers paradise.

The prime mover of this utopian vision is the morally ambiguous millionaire industrialist George McMurtry, who funds his noble dream purely to maximize profits and to break the dreaded "socialist" labor unions. The philistine McMurtry is convinced he can slap a patina of high culture and fragile civility onto Vandergrift by contracting Frederick Law Olmsted to design the town; the distinguished architect is little more than a hired gun to McMurtry.

However, the fishbone in McMurtry's throat, his indefatigable antagonist is the fearless muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell,who has already spoken truth to power by exposing John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company's monopolistic criminality. McMurtry's other nemesis is John Dunmore, the hard drinking union organizer who evolves into a respectable married man and effective city councilman.

Big George actually grows fond of Tarbell's integrity and charm, even after she forces him to admit that Olmsted's faux-Greek municipal center is nothing but a "Scotch-Irish Acropolis." He is particularly impressed with her answer when he asks why she keeps tilting at windmills: "I once thought I could not reconstruct the world because I am a woman. But then I realized I could reconstruct the wold because I am a woman."

As the decades pass by the audience is treated to snippets of "Over There" by Irving Berlin, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" by and Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown."

The cast, from Anthony Gallo's Seventh Street Playhouse in Washington , DC , is uniformly excellent, packed with troupers. Jan Forbes (George McMurtry) has appeared onstage in over 100 productions since 1965. Helenmary Ball (Ida Tarbell) ages beautifully right before our eyes. And why not? A talented actress, she is also the director and costume designer.

Find out how this troubled town reacts to the Japanese economic resurgence and the use of outsourcing. Do yourself a favor and and see Vandergrift! on Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 2 PM, on June10, 11, and 12.

Written by Anthony E. Gallo and directed by Helenmary Ball

In the early 1890’s, steel tycoon George McMurtry tries to produce a unique marriage between architecture and industrialism to build a workingman's paradise in southwestern Pennsylvania designed by Frederic Law Olmsted. The issues then were immigration, the environment, labor unions, class distinctions, discrimination, and housing. Familiar? Of special interest to Presbyterians, steelworkers, Catholics, Scotch-Irish, Jews, Methodists, fortune tellers, Poles, labor unions, Italians, Pennsylvanians, segregationists, landscape architects, journalists, and stray dogs. Our American civilization? Cast George McMurtry - Jan Forbes; Ida Tarbell - Helenmary Ball; Frederic Law Olmsted, Jr. – Tim Wolf; Katherine Townsend, Violet, Fredericka Olmsted – Sherman McDaniel; Archie Davis – Lenny Levy; John Dunmore – Bruce Brennan; Elbert Gary – Bruce Smith; Police Chief – Bruce Brennan; James Whitworth - George Spencer; Burgess McIntyre – Pat Martin .Crew Set and Lighting Designer - A.O. Gutierrez; Sound Design- Beatrix Whitehall; Stage Manager-Rachel Dane; Props/light board operator - Genna Davidson; Videographer - Albert Liesegang

June10, 11, 12, 2011 Fridays an d Saturdays @ 8:00 PM Sundays @ 2:30 PMGreenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt , Maryland Directions and Reservations: 301-441-8770.
Tickets: Regular - $15 Seniors/Students - $12 Group Sales - $10Questions: or 202 544 6973