With the blessing and support of Lawson's children, Jeffrey & Mandy, The ReGroup has presented two staged readings and republished his 2 Group Theatre plays, Success Story and Gentlewoman. For 2013, they bring two of Lawson's plays to full production and are republishing all of his plays in hopes of restoring Lawson's name to the list of great American Playwrights. A direct influence on Clifford Odets, Lawson was called the "hope of our theatre," by Group Theatre co-founder, Harold Clurman. The project- ReClaiming Names - focuses on righting the wrongs done over half a century ago. The HUAC hearings are part of American history, but the fact that Lawson's masterful plays are still out of print and unknown is a shame and shows the HUAC damage still has yet to be undone. Hopefully, through this exposure to his works, audiences will realize a missing piece of American and theatrical history. Lawson was a great influence not only on Odets, but Brecht and Miller.
The first play in repertoire is Success Story, originally the third play performed by The Group Theatre, and featuring the talents of Luther & Stella Adler, Franchot Tone, Morris Carnovsky and many more. It was directed by Lee Strasberg. Presented as a staged reading as the first entry of the newly formed ReGroup Theatre 4 years ago, it received tremendous acclaim and a full page article by Peter Filichia. Clifford Odets, understudy for the lead in the production wrote to extent as to how much he was influenced by Lawson. Fed up with not getting the chance to perform the role, Odets channeled Lawson's "hectic poetry compounded from the slogans of advertisements, the slang of gangsterdom, and echoes of Old Testament music," and began writing himself. Upon experiencing Success Story, the parallels between the Lawson play and Mr. Odets's Golden Boy are very evident.
Success Story is the tale of Sol Ginsberg, a young Jewish upstart at a Madison Ave advertising firm in 1928. A former idealist, he now sees that the only way to achieve the American Dream is through money. As opportunities present themselves, he begins compromising his spirit in order to get ahead, even risking losing his childhood sweetheart. The ReGroup production features the talents of James Aronson, Carly J. Bauer, Robert Benes, Matt Giroveanu, Luke Guldan, Adrienne LaValley, Tami McCarthy, Allie Mulholland, Brandon Ruckdashel, & Leah Wagner. Performances begin March 5th at The Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette St.
Loud Speaker is a wild vaudevillian farce about the NY Gubernatorial race: including crooked press people, crazy theatre types, bearded strangers and every New Yorker in between! This play will have you in stitches, not only from its prophetic lines like "I am not a crook!," to the fact that people are as much of a gas as they were 85 years ago. Performances begin March 9th, 2013 at The Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette St, and features the talents of Claudia L. Brown, Wilson Carpenter, Nic Davies, Tim Gilliss, Daniel Hainsworth, Ave M. Lindon, Maurya Scanlon, Shawn Verrier & MORE.
For showtimes and tickets, please visit www.smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444. More information of the plays can be found at www.SuccessStory Play.com and www.LoudSpeakerPlay.com