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Missed Connections recoups Off Broadway after one week of performances
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 09:22 am EDT 05/09/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:18 am EDT 05/09/21

Missed Connections recoups Off Broadway
after one week of performances

Critically acclaimed production
plays through May 20

New York, NY – The critically acclaimed virtual play Missed Connections starring Jon Tai has recouped its capitalization Off Broadway after one week of performances. The live, interactive play with magic, conceived for an intimate virtual experience, continues at Off Broadway's 59e59 Theaters through May 20 as part of 59e59's Plays in Space Series.

Missed Connections is a unique co-presentation with Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre, Kansas City's Oddly Correct Coffee and Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders, facilitated by its producer and Tai's co-creator, Alex Gruhin.

"There are limited examples of sustainable, viable producing models in the performing arts, let alone during a pandemic," says Gruhin. "Recoupment is an especially exciting accomplishment that demonstrates the power of partnership and interdisciplinary, cross-functional thinking and teamwork. It is also in line with the play's mission – that if you take a leap, the universe might yield its most beautiful magic trick of all: eternal connection. We are thrilled that our co-presenters took a leap on this distinctive producing model and that it is creating connections between people across the United States and all over the world."


Missed Connections is a magician's cosmic love story inspired by the work of Haruki Murakami, Marshall McLuhan, and Derek DelGaudio. The play, which explores the fleeting, unspoken bonds that can emerge between total strangers – at a coffee shop, in the produce aisle of the supermarket or via the world wide web – takes 20 audience members on a search for the invisible thread that connects them all. Each ticket comes with a complimentary bag of Missed Connections themed Oddly Correct Coffee, shipped to audience members' homes, along with a surprise from Wesley Stace, subject to availability.

Chicago critics were dazzled by Missed Connections in its limited engagement earlier this year. "Missed Connections is beguiling. Magic and philosophy merge in discussions of romance, the multiverse and traveling down roads not taken. Simply astonishing," raved Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, proclaimed, "As Tai explains the universe in his humble but persistent kind of way, you really do know far more people than you think and you learn that things truly do lead to logical consequences sitting there waiting. Often magicians present themselves as symbolic deities; Tai's persona, though, is of fellow traveler. He is so persuasive that I actually sat there after his show for a minute, laptop closed, coming back down to the randomness of life."

Tickets for the virtual production ($25-$27 per household), are now available at www.59e59.org. Tickets are limited to 20 households per show. Tickets are on sale now.

Performances are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm EST, Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm EST.

Due to the live nature of this event, tickets are non-transferable and ticket holders must attend the show on the date for which they purchase a ticket. Upon purchase, ticket holders will receive an email confirmation. Ticket holders will receive a notification 24 hours before their purchased show with a Zoom link to join the event. Ticket buyers will also receive one special complimentary package of Missed Connections-themed Oddly Correct coffee by mail, subject to availability.

For ticketing questions, please contact boxoffice@59e59.org or leave a voicemail at 646-892-7999.

BIOGRAPHIES

Jon Tai (Performer/Co-Writer) is a celebrated magician and storyteller, whose mission it is to foster connections between people through shared moments of astonishment. He performs magic across the country and around the world, in person and virtually, and has called the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Liberty Magic Theater his home base since its grand opening in early 2019. Jon is a ten-year veteran of the medical software industry and is proud to support several health and human services nonprofit organizations through his magic, including Hello Neighbor, the Cancer Caring Center, Beverly's Birthdays, and Pace Schools. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Psychology, Jon lives with his wife Kate and tiny dog Nina in the Troy Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, right around the corner from his favorite coffee shop/café, The Pear and the Pickle.

Alex Gruhin (Co-Writer/Director/Producer) is a polymath producer-playwright and serial corporate intrapreneur. Favorite conceptions to date beyond Missed Connections include over 75 magic, music and wellness inspired immersive event collaborations with Chef David Bouley, Nightcap Riot: Mombucha at Magick City, Natti Vogel's Yom Kippur Spectacular at Feinstein's 54 Below, the first ever classical music series for Bed Bath & Beyond, a leading-edge avatar-driven customer experience strategy for St. Regis Hotels, and a digitally transformed Helen Hayes Awards for theatreWashington during Covid 2020. Alex's most influential theatre training has been as an audience member at 2000+ shows across the country and around the world. Also, his time spent as playwright Ken Ludwig's PA and in the classroom with extraordinary teachers like Fishamble's Literary Manager Gavin Kostick, the director Bruce Levitt and the comedian and solo performer Judy Gold. Alex is a proud graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications. He lives in Hells Kitchen, NYC with his far better half, Ariel, and their two cats, Cali and Golda Meir.

59e59 Theaters (Co-Presenter) is committed to curating innovative and invigorating work never-before-seen by New York audiences. We provide a space for emerging and established not-for-profit theater companies to reach new audiences, partnering with these producing theatre companies by giving them highly-subsidized rental rates, as well as production, marketing and press support. Companies also receive 100% of their net box office sales.

A Red Orchid Theatre (Co-Presenter) has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 27 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its honest and rigorous approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories. A Red Orchid Theatre is: Karen Aldridge, Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Myron Elliott-Cisneros, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Mierka Girten, Lawrence Grimm, Steve Haggard, Levi Holloway, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Travis A. Knight, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Sadieh Rifai, Grant Sabin, Steve Schine, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West. Abigail Madden, Managing Director.

Kansas City's Oddly Correct Coffee (Co-Presenter) started with a simple desire to do things differently and pursue excellence through the best way its founder Gregory Kolsto knew how: COFFEE. Oddly Correct is now a small but capable crew of ten unique individuals, all bent on kicking ass, being kind and (politely) giving the finger to the status-quo of running a business and a coffee shop. This manifests in an ethos of "low brow/high-quality" in all they do, dropping the "elitist" and exclusive mindset common in "specialty" coffee, a commitment to ethical and equitable practices in employee policy and compensation and the pursuit of more environmentally sustainable practices in their cafe and roasting operations. Oddly Correct works to create context for people to discover and appreciate coffee as a unique and wonderful beverage while striving for equity for all who work to bring coffee from seed to cup. They want to break people out of their rut, engage them with quality coffee, art and service, and help them experience something beautiful in their everyday life. That is, they wish to freak out your morning cup.

Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders (Co-Presenter) has been called "one of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer" by The New Yorker. With guests ranging from Salman Rushdie to Rosanne Cash, and from Aaron Neville to John Oliver, the monthly show at New York City's City Winery has become a Who's Who of modern music, literature and comedy. Stace was born in Hastings in 1965. Since 1988, he has released many albums under the name John Wesley Harding. His most recent, Wesley Stace's John Wesley Harding, with the Jayhawks as his backing band. He has recorded duets with, among others, Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen. Stace has published four novels, including the international bestseller Misfortune, and recently co-wrote Mark Morris' memoir Out Loud. His opera Dido's Ghost, composed by Errollyn Wallen, premieres at the Barbican Theatre in London in June '21. He has taught at Princeton, Swarthmore, Fairleigh-Dickinson and the Rosenbach Museum and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Philadelphia.

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