More Stars Than There Are In Heavenby John Guare
John Guare’s laugh-out-loud new play is an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams short story. Don’t miss the rare chance to share in the developing work from one of the world’s best-known playwrights.
directed by Cosmin Chivu
starring Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk)
Lusia Strus (50 First Dates)
and Rutanya Alda (Mommie Dearest)
Playhouse Creatures Theatre CompanyNew York, NY
in association with the
Provincetown TW Theater Festival
FREE LUNCH FOUNDATION
Peter Donnelly & Stephen Desrosche
James Mack & Jon Arterton
Monica & Patrick Murray
Nick & Sean Robertson
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"Eclecticism has always been essential to Mr. Guare’s writing,
which at its best juggles mismatched elements of culture, high and low,
with daring and dizzying skill."
- New York Times
About the Cast
L-R: Cosmin Chivu (Director), Randy Harrison (Tennessee Williams), Lusia Strus (Zola), Natalie Tenenbaum (Rose, Lana Turner), Joseph W. Rodriguez (Tiger), David Elyha (Ernie).
John Guare's new play boasts "More Stars Than There Are In Heaven," and the cast follows suit with an all-star lineup assembled by director Cosmin Chivu. Among them are some familiar faces from stage and screen, including:
Randy Harrison is best known for his portrayal of Justin Taylor on the Showtime series Queer as Folk and can now be seen recurring on the USA Network series Mr. Robot. He appeared on Broadway in Wicked, as well as Off-Broadway at Primary Stages, the Public Theatre/NYSF, and Theatre for a New Audience.
His regional credits include Red at both George Street Playhouse and the Cleveland Playhouse, and the American premiere of Alan Bennet's The Habit of Art at the Studio Theatre in DC. In addition to numerous seasons at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, he played Tom in The Glass Menagerie at the Guthrie Theater.
Lusia Strus is an accomplished stage and screen actor noted for her role as Adam Sandler's assistant (Alexa) in 50 First Dates, Janine in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, and Rachel in Gus Van Sant's Restless.
Her numerous stage credits include award-winning performances at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare and The Goodman Theatre, as well as roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Playwright's Horizons and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Her television credits include "Crossing Jordan," "Blue Bloods," and "Modern Family."
Rutanya Alda has been a distinguished actress in film, television, and theater for more than forty years. Rutanya has appeared in over ninety film and television shows, including the Oscar-winning film The Deer Hunter, and the cult classic, Mommie Dearest, of which she has recently published her on-set diary; her most recent theatrical performance was starring in Murder at the Howard Johnson's on 42nd St.'s Theatre Row in New York City. She is writing a one-woman show based on her childhood living in displaced persons camps in Europe after the Second World War.
Natalie Tenenbaum, Joseph W. Rodriguez, David Elyha, and Ted Ednie round out the cast in this not-to-be-missed event.
About the Play
“Naturalism is great for television and the small screen.
Theatrical reality happens on a much higher plane.”
- John Guare in the Paris Review, 1992
John Guare, the author of Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves, is polishing a new play based on the Tennessee Williams short story “The Mattress by the Tomato Patch.” The story is autobiographical, and Guare has made Tennessee Williams a central character in the play, mostly set in Santa Monica in 1943.
More Stars Than There Are in Heaven is presented as a staged reading.
In Guare’s work-in-progress, after Tennessee Williams lands a job in Hollywood, the “frugal poet masquerading as a screenwriter” rents a room in Santa Monica from a Marxist landlady. Convinced the forces of history have brought a playwright with a future to her flophouse, the earthy émigré expects he’ll create revolutionary propaganda for Greta Garbo. Instead, Williams struggles to transform the story of his troubled family into a screenplay with a happy ending.
In her Victory Garden, the landlady urges the playwright to live in the paradise of the present: You want to know what paradise taste like? Bite into this tomato. Juice runs down your throat.
The title, More Stars Than There Are in Heaven, is the slogan of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer film studio where Williams worked as a screenwriter for three months. He was suspended for failing to provide suitable dialogue for his assignments: blonde bombshell Lana Turner and seven-year old Margaret O’Brien. With three months left on his contract, Williams stopped coming in to work and began a film treatment of a short play he had written about his shy sister Rose.
In Guare’s play, the landlady of the boardinghouse where Williams lives is called Zola. The 19th century French author named Zola famously defined naturalism onstage and in his novels with unsparing descriptions of the desperate poor, body fluids, and sexual pleasure. In More Stars, Williams’ landlady boasts the novelist is named after her.
Cosmin Chivu directed a well-received production of The Mutilated with Mink Stole and Penny Arcade for the 2013 Festival, as well as a moving version of Something Cloudy, Something Clear featuring Lou Liberatore, performed in a tent on a Provincetown beach in 2011.
Video About the Music
Enjoy this video by Marc J Franklin with composer Natalie Tenenbaum, who has created original music for the reading of John Guare's More Stars Than There Are in Heaven.