Archive for the 'Theatre' Category
Ken Barnett, Brooks Ashmanskas, Director Nicholas Martin, Zabryna Guevara and Adam Rothenberg in rehearsal.
Adam’s star turn in Burn This corralled a lot of critical notice. LA Weekly said that “Adam Rothenberg’s Pale is the hot, pounding heart of this production.” Los Angeles Broadway World thought that Adam was “astounding in a fearless portrayal of an intensely hurting individual.” Variety thought that “The talented Rothenberg, who blessedly lacks Malkovich’s distracting androgynous quality, offers a Pale who is believable, tough, utterly masculine …” And the Los Angeles Times noted that “Rothenberg, who looks a little like Willem Dafoe’s younger brother, has charisma and the right urban grace.”
In addition to all the raves, we got a new profile of Adam courtesy LA Stage Times’ Connie Danese:
Adam Rothenberg, playing the role created by John Malkovich, is a thoughtful and charismatic actor who explodes onto the stage in his first entrance like a modern-day Stanley Kowalski. How does he get to that peak so quickly? “Uhh,” he grins sheepishly, “Jump rope.” He pauses to add, “And a little Tai Chi. Then, well, you just throw yourself into the language and get your heart rate up.”
When asked about his training, Rothenberg is both charming and generous. “I have a wonderful teacher I would love to mention by the name of Alan Savage. I never went to acting school. I learned in the trenches working in black box theaters in New York. But this teacher has helped me a great deal. He stresses working with the text, understanding why you’ re saying something based on what the other person just said. I don’t know how to explain it. A lot of actors feel they need to be doing so many things, when at the end of the day if the writer has done his work you just show up, trust you’re enough and throw yourself into it.”
In the second act Rothenberg’s character shows a surprising sensitivity. “To me that section was just about dropping the rage and going with the language, which is so brilliant and beautiful. I felt the more I thought about what I was saying, the sensitivity just took care of itself.”
The Berkshire Eagle‘s Jeffrey Borak had some very nice comments about our Adam in his latest production, A Doll’s House at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Calling Adam “brilliant in projecting a whole range of feelings and fleeting personae in his role of the despised Krogstadt,” Borak described his portrayal as “played with impressive imagination and color.” He further notes, “(Rothenberg) managed to combine the feeling of entitlement of a disgraced person who has paid his debt to society … and a sleazy outsider who has to resort to schemes—basically blackmail—to achieve his goals. his performance was a perfectly disheveled tour de force.”
UPDATE (July 26, 2011):
Don Aucoin at The Boston Globe noted that “Rothenberg brings an angry edge to Krogstad’s bitterness; his scenes with Rabe are among the play’s most riveting” and The New York Times‘ Christopher Isherwood raves that Adam “gives an effective, darkly colored performance as a shaggy-haired, dour Nils, willing to poison Nora and Torvald’s marriage even if it means his own destruction.”
Above: Adam as Krogstadt; photo by T. Charles Erickson.
A Doll’s House
Written by Henrik Ibsen
Translated by Paul Walsh
Directed by Sam Gold
With Adam Rothenberg, Josh Hamilton, Zainab Jah, Matthew Maher, Chris Messina, Lily Rabe, Lili Taylor
Nora Helmer has everything an affluent housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, a bright future. When a carelessly buried secret rises to the surface, her well-calibrated, though artificial, domestic ideal begins to crumble. Terrified by this new reality, Nora must choose between outward perfection and inner truth. Still bracingly relevant, Ibsen’s masterpiece, in a striking contemporary translation, offers no safer conclusions today than when it stormed stages of 19th-century Europe.
We’ve got a big backlog of Adam photos, videos and press to wade through, so July should be a big Adam month for everybody. Stay tuned.
We at the Apple have been extremely remiss in our Adam news duties. We’ve got a big ol’ pile of Adam business to get to, but, while we sift through it, we’d like to direct any Los Angeles-area fans to his current appearance in the Lanford Wilson classic Burn This, running through the month of April.
March 23 – May 1
Written by Lanford Wilson
Directed by Nicholas Martin
Set design by Ralph Funicello
Costume design by Gabriel Berry
Lighting design by Ben Stanton
Sound by Cricket S. Myers
Original music by Peter Golub
Fight direction by Steve Rankin
Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center, Downtown Los Angeles
Anna is a dancer-choreographer who has lost Robbie, her best friend and collaborator, in a tragic accident. Pale is Robbie’s brother, a powder-keg lost in his own way, who arrives at her doorstep in the middle of the night. Pale is dangerous, sexy, raw and demanding, and he interrupts the course of Anna’s existence bringing major changes in her life.
This passionate modern classic, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson (Talley’s Folly), features original music by Peter Golub, and is directed by Nicholas Martin (Dead End at the Ahmanson, The House of Blue Leaves at the Taper) and features Brooks Ashmanskas (Julie & Julia), Ken Barnett (Puccini for Beginners, The Producers), Zabryna Guevara (Marley & Me, All Good Things) and Adam Rothenberg (Mad Money, The Ex-List).
Burn This, which had its world premiere in CTG/Mark Taper Forum’s 1986-87 season, moved to Broadway in 1987, and helped to ignite the careers of John Malkovich and Joan Allen. Newsweek said of the play, “[It] has a voracious vitality and an almost manic determination to drive right into the highest voltage that life can register.”
Above: Adam Rothenberg in rehearsal; photo by Craig Schwartz.
Here’s the skinny:
Schreck, a Theatre World Award winner for her performance in Circle Mirror Transformation at Playwrights Horizons, authored the play based on her experiences in Russia. Kip Fagan stages the work that opens Nov. 14 and will run through Dec. 12.
The cast features Nadia Alexander, Dagmara Dominczyk (Enchanted April), Gibson Frazier (Telephone, God’s Ear), Christina Kirk (A Lifetime of Burning, Well) and Adam Rothenberg (A Steady Rain, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea).
According to Rattlestick, “Charles and Maxine haven’t heard from Gabe since he fled the country to start a new life in Moscow in the early ’90s. When he returns almost 20 years later with his Russian wife — a journalist seeking asylum in the United States — he seeks refuge and much more in the home of his once dear friends.”
It’s another chance to get up close and personal with our show-biz hero!
But please don’t try to talk to him while he’s performing; apparently, it’s distracting! We learned that the hard way (sorry, Adam)….
The online magazine Encore* has a set of interviews up with Adam and some of the other boys of Vassar’s Powerhouse Theatre series and there’s an Apple mention! Which we love, we love attention for the Apple. We are petty that way, but Adam says, “It was started as a joke by a friend of mine, and he didn’t let me in on the joke for a year. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve arrived.’” We feel hurt that our sincere offering has been cruelly dismissed as a “joke” and we await an apology.
There’s also some nice stuff in there about Adam’s process in working on his just-closed run in We Are Here, so check it out.
*See Pages 12-13.
Adam’s latest theatrical venture, the world premiere of Tracy Thorne’s We Are Here, has its opening night tonight as the Mainstage production in Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater summer season. The show runs through July 11th. Tickets are $35.
Excerpt from “At Vassar College, Summer Is for the Stage: Tony Winners of Tomorrow Begin New Season at Poughkeepsie Company” by Pia Catton, Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2010:
Powerhouse kicks off its new season Tuesday with a new play, “We Are Here,” written by Tracy Thorne. Though the work is not a musical, the characters have a penchant for breaking into song. “It’s about a family that has a tradition of singing to each other,” Ms. Thorne said. “I wanted them to sing standards. I have chosen the songs carefully to show this is how I feel.’”
Among the selections are Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You” and Van Morrison’s “Moondance.”
Director Sheryl Kaller—who earned a Tony nomination this year for her direction of “Next Fall”—emphasized that the signing is about the emotional need to communicate, and is not meant to be judged on the quality of the performance. “It celebrates what people sing, not how they sing,” she said. “We didn’t even ask people if they could sing in the auditions.”
For those of you in the Poughkeepsie area (you know who you are), Adam will once again be appearing in the world premiere of a new play as part of Vassar’s Powerhouse Mainstage series. According to playwright Tracy Thorne, We Are Here “comes from that eternal question of how we’re meant to cope with unimaginable loss and how do we get on from there.”
June 29 – July 11
We Are Here
Written by Tracy Thorne
Directed by Sheryl Kaller
Set design by Scott Bradley
Costume design by Toni-Leslie James
Lighting design by Russell H. Champa
Sound design by John Gromada
WE ARE HERE (June 29 – July 11) by actor and playwright Tracy Thorne (Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it, Building Big Buildings, Miss St. Hilda’s Junior Kindergarten), directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall, Adrift in Macao, Dangerous Beauty), will offer a glimpse at three generations of a family possessing wit, endurance, and compassion in the face of unimaginable loss. As the joyful past and devastated present are braided together with song, young parents Billie (de’Adra Aziza) and Hal (Adam Rothenberg), together with Billie’s sister Shawn (Uzo Aduba) and their parents Everett (Larry Pine) and Vera (Adriane Lenox), search for the strength to live on.
Mainstage in the Powerhouse Theater. Tickets are $35.
Performance dates and times: June 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 at 8:00pm; July 3, 10, 11, at 2:00pm. There will be a post-show discussion on Tuesday, July 6, and after the matinee on Saturday, July 10.
Powerhouse Theater, now beginning its 26th season, continues its mission to offer a haven for world-class artists to gather and explore new material in an atmosphere that is both protected and challenging. Each season Powerhouse offers its audience debuts by Pulitzer, Oscar, and Tony-winning writers, directors, and actors, and introduces its patrons to exciting emerging artists, all at affordable ticket prices.
Above: Larry Pine, Adriane Lenox, de’Adre Aziza, Uzo Aduba and Adam Rothenberg; photo by Krissie Fullerton.