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Showing posts from October, 2015

A Christmas Carol - meet producer Lloyd Bittinger

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The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet assistant producer Brooke Angel

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How did you get involved with LTA's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and what are your goals as an assistant producer?
I'm a glutton for stretching my time thin -- I'm kidding!  I'm actually friends with co-producer Jay Cohen outside of theatre and he approached me with the possibility of becoming a producer-in-training.  I was both honored and thrilled to be asked, so I immediately said "yes."  I must have been half asleep because I said "yes" to being not only assistant producer but also co-stage managing and helping with set construction.

I'm personally trying to make it through my first  LTA show alive! My goal is to have the story told in a way that the audience understands and connects with.  And let none of the mistakes be my fault!

What do you hope the audience takes away from this show?
I would love for the audience to walk out of the theatre thinking "gee, I thought my life was weird, these people are plain crazy!"  This pl…

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet director Michael Kharfen

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What are you trying to accomplish with the story of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
First, we are trying to have audiences laugh.  Our daily lives can be very challenging and we all need a little break by enjoying a very funny play.  Second, we get to share Charles Busch's wonderful blend of New York and Jewish humor with its mocking and colorful expression, which is telling it like it is, from the heart, without filter.

What were some of your challenges as the show's director?
A challenge was finding the perfect cast that can create these slightly kooky characters, which I was so fortunate to get with such a gifted group of actors.  With comedies, another challenge was to not have the characters become cartoonish or caricatures.  I am so grateful for the talented cast in giving us genuinely natural, funny people.

What do you want the audience to take away from The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
I think the message of the play is though sometimes we may get lost in the …

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet cast member Omar Rocha

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Tell us about your character Mohammed from The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
Mohammed came to the United States from Iraq many years ago.  His father wanted to partake in the American dream and wanted his family to benefit from it as well.  Although Mohammed's father was somewhat distant, he always wanted the best for Mohammed and his siblings.  Eventually, Mohammed found his calling as a doorman.  His father is quite proud of him.

What were some challenges for you while working on this show?
My major difficulty was trying to get some kind of quasi accent down for Mr. Mohammed.

What do you hope the audience will take away from The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
I believe that one truth an audience member could glean would be "every adversity is an opportunity for growth."  What some intend as harm can turn into a wonderful blessing.



The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet cast member Marianne Meyers

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Tell us about your character Lee Green in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
Lee Green is a woman of mystery, worldly and glamorous.  She seems to know everyone and has been around.

What were some of the challenges you faced in working on this show?
Lee is not necessarily trustworthy and you may not know what her true motives are, perhaps she doesn't even know herself.  In my real life, I am honest and upfront, integrity is very important to me.  Other challenges for me in this show include fast costume changes and a lot of eye makeup!

What do you hope the audience will take away from The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
I hope people laugh.  The play is very funny and the show is well-cast.  The dynamics between the characters are just a riot!  There are wonderful questions about the meaning of life, friendship, and what makes a family work together.  The audience is in for a good time.



The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet cast member Janice Zucker

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Tell us about your character, Frieda Tuchman, in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
She's an older woman living in the same apartment house as her daughter Marjorie and son-in-law Ira on the upper west side of Manhattan.  She's a Jewish mother who doesn't get along with her daughter and pretty much never has.  But she adores her son-in-law!  She's very sure of herself, what she believes in, and because of her age, she pretty much says whatever she is thinking!  There's no filter and she doesn't hold anything back!  Because of her ailing health and "digestive issues", she lives directly down the hall from Marjorie and Ira.  Needless to say, with her living so close, their life is not their own!

What challenges did you face in working on this show?
I've had very many.  I can identify with Frieda beacuse I am a native New Yorker, Jewish, and have a relative that acts just like her!  Two challenges that do come to mind: saying some of my lines in su…

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet cast member Jack Stein

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Tell us about your character in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
I play the role of Dr. V. Ira Taub, the allergist referenced in the title.  Ira is a "helper" by nature and has retired from his practice to pursue helping the needy and disenfranchised while at the same time being the great mediator between his ever-arguing wife and mother-in-law, both to whom he is devoted.  He's also a frustrated Catskills comedian which emerges in just about everything he says and does.

What were some of the challenges you faced in working on this show?
Ira is great fun to play but in such a comedic piece it is important to balance the broad with the nuanced.  It's easy to go "too big" with his character.  Thanks to our terrific director, I've been able to find the humanness of this man while enjoying his bigger than life personality.

What do you want the audience to take away from The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
Blood is thicker than water.  Ultimately, famil…

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife - meet co-producer Jay Cohen

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Jay Cohen is very pleased to be producing another great play at LTA and to be working with such a talented team. Jay previously produced The Rocky Horror Show, The 39 Steps, Run for Your Wife and The Teahouse of the August Moon, all at LTA. When not at LTA, Jay serves on the board of directors for other nonprofits.

Why did you decide to produce The Tale of the Allergist's Wife?
I had seen the show in Florida where my mother played Frieda and I thought it was hysterical.  When I heard that LTA was doing it, I had to do it myself.  Also, the fact that Michael Kharfen was directing didn't hurt, as I wanted to work with him.

What are you trying to accomplish with the telling of this play?
I think it is a great play about life challenges.  You have Majorie who is going through a midlife crisis and is feeling rather small, as we all do from time to time.  You also have Lee who is a free spirit that we all wish to be.  And then you have Frieda, who is how we all eventually wind up!  I …