|TAMMANY HALL, a new, downtown, site-specific, immersive theater experience|
|Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 01:35 pm EDT 10/14/21|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:34 pm EDT 10/14/21|
|PERFORMANCES BEGIN OCTOBER 15
15 Vandam St., New York
A new, downtown, site-specific, immersive theater experience revisits NYC's scandalous history …in the very rooms where it happened.
Created by Darren Lee Cole & Alexander Wright
Rub shoulders with some of New York’s legendary politicians, mobsters, molls, and showgirls under the very roof that brought them all together during the Prohibition Era. Tammany Hall, a new, site-specific, immersive theater experience created and directed by Darren Lee Cole (Fleabag, Killer Joe) and Alexander Wright (The Great Gatsby, the UK’s longest running immersive show), begins performances October 15 at New York’s historic SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street). Opening night is Election Night, Tuesday, November 2.
Tammany Hall takes us back 92 years to Election Night, November 2, 1929 for an up-close look at the corruption, scandal, romances and intrigue that brought New York’s most notorious political machine crashing down. While awaiting the results of the night’s big mayoral race, audiences engage with 15 different rooms at one of New York’s historic Jazz Age hotspots. Jimmy Walker, Fiorello LaGuardia, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Legs Diamond, Betty Compton, Marion “Kiki” Roberts are just a few of the names and faces you’ll hear and see. Audiences observe their political machinations in the club room, spy on their trysts in the penthouse suite, peek in at Follies rehearsals on stage, and maybe even knock back a libation or two while conspiring with henchman and government spies in the underground speakeasy.
With all of these colorful characters roaming the halls, the venue itself is central to the story. For nearly two centuries, Tammany Hall was the behemoth political machine of New York’s Democratic Party. Though headquartered in Union Square, the Society of St. Tammany maintained a “clubhouse” in each of Manhattan’s electoral districts. Today, the façade of SoHo Playhouse is still marked as The Huron Club, Tammany’s presence in New York’s First Ward. Built in 1826 on property John Jacob Astor purchased from Aaron Burr, the building was reconfigured to its current layout 1920. The meeting hall on the main floor was transformed into a theater, with a notorious clubhouse above, and a speakeasy below. It is rumored that Jimmy Walker and Betty Compton kept their love nest in the 4th floor penthouse.
“This is a story about change, and holding our society, our politics, and our personal decisions to account,” says co-Creator and co-Director Darren Lee Cole. “Just like the 2020s, the 1920s in New York represented an incredibly volatile decade in politics, economics and culture. There was a feeling of the last days of Rome. In 1929, the Roaring Twenties crashed with the stock market. There was a real appetite for change. Governor FDR implemented policies in New York through Mayor LaGuardia. These policies later famously became known as The New Deal during his presidency. Nearly a century later, after years of excess, our modern crash has been Covid. In Tammany Hall we will see how they accounted for themselves in the 1920’s, the jury is still out on the 2020’s.”
“We are telling a true story in the very location where many of these events may have unfolded,” says co-Creator Alexander Wright. “Set almost 100 years ago against a backdrop of divisive politics, self-interest and cronyism, Tammany Hall is as much about 2021 as it is about 1929. It’s about winning, about the cracks in the foundations of those victories, and what we will sacrifice for love and power. This is a theatrical experience that will entertain audiences as they interact with history and reflect on the present.”
Tammany Hall features Bobby Austin as Olvany, Marie Anello as Betty Comton, Natasa Babic as Valentine, Jesse Castellano as Kresel, Martin Dockery as Beau James Walker, Shahzeb Hussain as Curry, Chloe Kekovic as Kiki, Brian Morris as Legs Diamond, Sami Petrucci as Smarty, and Christopher Romero as Fiorello LaGuarda.
Tammany Hall features a scenic design by Dan Daly ( The Space Between the Letters, Under the Radar Festival at The Public), costume design by Grace Jeon (Twelfth Night, Irvington Shakespeare Company), lighting design by Emily Clarkson (Brother’s Keeper at Actors Studio) and sound design by Megan Culley (Cullud Wattah at The Public). Megan Drury (A Midnight Visit – Sydney, Perth, Melbourne) joins the team as Associate Director. Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
SoHo Playhouse (Darren Lee Cole, Artistic Director) has been one of Off Broadway’s primary venues for new plays for the past 80 years. Formerly “Vandam Playhouse” the theatre has been home to countless dreams and movements. Many actors, directors, choreographers, production designers, theatre managers, technicians, and producers all received their start at SoHo Playhouse. Writers: Sam Shepard, Edward Albee, Tracy Letts, Charles Buch, Leroi Jones and Lanford Wilson. Award winning shows have included: The Boys in the Band, Killer Joe, The Divine Sister, Mindgame, Krapp, 39, Piaf, Room Service, Jamaica Farewell, Belly of a Drunken Piano, Bukowski From Beyond, The Emperor Jones, Triassic Parq, Rap Guide To Climate Chaos, The Other Josh Cohen, Bill W and Dr Bob, Bright Colors And Bold Patterns, Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play and recently Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, Daniel Sloss X, and Phoebe Waller Bridge in Fleabag. The Playhouse has also proudly served as home to the International Fringe Encore Series since 2005. Mr. Cole has served as Artistic Director since 2004. SoHoPlayhouse.com
Tammany Hall previews October 15 – November 1 at SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, NYC). Opening night is Tuesday, November 2 at 7PM. Running time: 90 minutes. Tickets are available through OvationTix.com, SoHoPlayhouse.com or at the Box Office Tuesday - Sunday after 4PM. Discounts will be made available for groups, students, and seniors.
PREVIEW PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE & PRICING: Tickets for all preview performances, Oct. 15 through Nov. 2, are $69. Preview performance schedule:
Fri. Oct. 15 at 9PM
Sun. Oct. 17 at 3PM & 7PM
Wed. Oct. 20 at 7PM & 9PM
Thurs. Oct. 21 at 7PM
Fri. Oct. 22 at 7PM & 9PM
Sat. Oct. 23 at 5PM, 7PM, & 9PM
Sun. Oct. 24 at 5PM & 7PM
Wed. Oct. 27 at 7PM & 9PM
Thurs. Oct. 28 at 7PM & 9PM
Fri. Oct. 29 at 7PM & 9PM
Sat. Oct. 30 at 5PM, 7PM, & 9PM
REGULAR SCHEDULE & PRICING: Beginning Nov. 3, Tammany Hall plays Wednesday – Friday at 7PM and 9PM; Saturday at 5PM, 7PM, and 9PM; and Sunday at 5PM and 7PM. Tickets are $89.
SOHO PLAYHOUSE COVID-19 POLICY: Guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine to attend a show and show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theatre with their valid ticket. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Mask use will be required per current CDC guidelines. For more information, please visit: SohoPlayhouse.com.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
DARREN LEE COLE (Co-creator / Co-director) has been the Artistic Director of SoHo Playhouse since 2004. Favorite projects have included: Producing; Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, Phoebe Waller Bridge in Fleabag, Daniel Sloss: X, TJ & Dave, The Old Man and The Old Moon with PigPen Theatre Company, Killer Joe by Tracy Letts (Vaudeville Theatre, West End, London, Soho Playhouse NYC & The Theatre Chicago) The Emperor Jones (with Irish Rep) and Laticia at L’espace Marais (Paris). Directing credits: Games, Rap Guide Series with Baba Brinkman ( Consciousness, Religion, Climate Chaos, Canterbury Tales, Culture), Jamaica Farewell, Belly of a Drunken Piano, Simon Lovell’s Strange & Unusual Hobbies and The Actor’s Nightmare. Mr. Cole is also the Artistic Director and Producer of the Fringe Encore Series, FringeEncoreSeries.com.
ALEXANDER WRIGHT (Co-creator / Co-director) is a multi-award winning theatre maker based in the UK. He is the director and adaptor of the critically acclaimed immersive production of The Great Gatsby, the UK’s longest running immersive show, which has played to hundreds of thousands of audience in London, Dublin, Brussels and Seoul. His adaptations of Orpheus & Eurydice have toured across the UK, Australia and New Zealand winning multiple awards and gaining huge critical acclaim, as well as receiving an off-Broadway transfer to SoHo Playhouse. He was a founder and co-artistic director of the ground breaking immersive company Belt Up Theatre from 2008-2013. He lives in a converted water mill in rural North Yorkshire where, along with his partner and family, he has begun producing, curating and programming work for both the local and artistic community. He is a long standing collaborator with York Theatre Royal and has worked across the UK with theatres including Theatr Clwyd, Storyhouse and Streatham Space Project.
MEGAN DRURY (Associate Director) Megan is a critically acclaimed Australian actor, director, dramaturg and theatremaker. Megan worked as originating cast member (collaborator, deviser, performer), Dance Captain, and Artistic Associate on Australia’s first and longest running large-scale fully-immersive theatre production A Midnight Visit, transferring to multiple venues with this award-winning five-star production (Broad Encounters). Megan was Assistant Director on a new edit of The Merchant Of Venice, with Director Damien Ryan and his award-winning independent Shakespeare company Sport For Jove Theatre Co; for whom she also co-wrote and co-directed The Playoffs and was Movement Director for King Lear. She Assistant Directed A Brighter Shade of Pink for Belvoir St Theatre’s Youth Express Program; workshopping, devising and creating the piece for youth community organization Twenty10. Megan was an Additional Dramaturg on the listening experience Half Man || Half Bull (Half Man || Half Bull UK) and has done dramaturgical work on numerous short films, including the award-winning Comfortable and The Death Of George Montgomery. Megan is an accomplished multi-disciplinary creative artist; fluidly traversing text-based work, movement based work, scripted and unscripted work, traditional and non-traditional approaches and environments.
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