The Tony nominated actor Craig Bierko (THE MUSIC MAN) has joined the cast of AdA (Author directing Author) -- an evening comprised of new one act plays by American playwright Neil LaBute and Italian playwright Marco Calvani, in which each playwright will direct the other's work -- to be presented by La MaMa at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan, with preview performances starting September 28 prior to an official press opening Sunday, September 30. Both plays are receiving their American premieres and will be performed on the same program at every performance of AdA.
Mr. Bierko joins Estelle Parsons in Mr. Calvani's one-act, THINGS OF THIS WORLD about a woman and her put-upon butler as a dinner for guests is prepared: amidst commands, regrets, little cruelties and a lack of tenderness, their frayed relationship and bankrupt existences are revealed. The play is directed by Mr. LaBute.
Rounding out the AdA evening is Mr. LaBute's new play LOVELY HEAD, directed by Mr. Calvani and starring Larry Pine in the story of a contemporary love affair, a bizarre love centered on the obsession of a man for a girl (played by Gia Crovatin).
This unique and international collaboration between Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani was developed at La MaMa Umbria, the company's annual summer season of development and workshops in Italy. It premiered at the Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi (with Italian actors) and subsequently at Fringe Madrid (with Spanish actors). Both plays focus on family life through the lens of American and Italian societies and highlight Mr. LaBute's and Mr. Calvani's respective penchants for writing about the dark side of human nature, along with their different approaches to writing and directing for the theatre.
Neil LaBute's plays include THE MERCY SEAT, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, reasons to be pretty, FAT PIG and THE DISTANCE FROM HERE. Marco Calvani, winner of Italy's prestigious SIAE prize for best young playwright in 2011, has had numerous plays performed throughout Europe including QUASI/ALMOST, BEFORE YOU SLEEP, LOW LIFE and STRONG HANDS. His play THE CITY BENEATH received its first reading at La MaMa in 2009. THINGS OF THE WORLD is Calvani's New York and La MaMa debut.
Craig Bierko earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Harold Hill in the 2000 revival of THE MUSIC MAN and was also seen on Broadway in the 2009 revival of GUYS & DOLLS as Sky Masterson, and the original musical THOU SHALT NOT. Mr. Bierko previously appeared in Neil LaBute's plays -- FILTHY TALK FOR TROUBLED TIMES at a benefit reading for MCC in 2010 and in STANDING ON CEREMONY (Plays for Gay Marriage) in 2011. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in MODERN ORTHODOX, and CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: IN THEIR OWN WORDS. Film and TV credits include "Cinderella Man," "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Damages," "Boston Legal," "Unhitched," "Sex and the City," and "Sydney."
Larry Pine has appeared on Broadway in ROYAL FAMILY, BUS STOP, ANGELS IN AMERICA and PRIVATE LIVES and in the Woody Allen films CELEBRITY, SMALL TIME CROOKS and MELINDA AND MELINDA. His many film credits include the recent MOONRISE KINGDOM and THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS.
Estelle Parsons has been nominated for the Tony Award four times, having appeared on Broadway in NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, GOOD PEOPLE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MORNING'S AT SEVEN, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, THE SEVEN DESCENTS OF MYRTLE and MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE, among others. She won the Academy Award for her performance in BONNIE AND CLYDE and was also Oscar-nominated for RACHEL, RACHEL.
Gia Crovatin's previous theater credits roles include Marilyn Monroe in SCRIBBLIN' AT THE AUTOMAT), along with productions of THE LEARNED LADIES, UNCOMMON WOMEN AND OTHERS, LITTLE WOMEN, THE BEAUX STRATEGEM and GOOD PERSON OF SZECHUAN). For Baltimore Center Stage, SHE worked with Hal Hartley on "My American Experience." Most recently, Gia's short film "BFF" (written & directed by Neil LaBute) debuted at Tribeca Film Festival.