Friday, March 29, 2013

David Cromer Talks About the Play (Nikolai and the Others)

David Cromer Talks About the Play

Mar 25, 2013

Catching David Cromer, the director of "Nikolai and the Others," on a rehearsal-room lunch break the other day, I began with a general question: "Does this play remind you of any other you've worked on?" His response was equally straightforward: "Every play I work on is different but all are the same. They are all made of an exploration of human behavior."

Having framed our discussion, we were free to get more specific. Cromer reminded me that his background is in performing as well as directing. "The first thing I cared about as an actor was Chekhov. And the first full-length play I directed when I was a student at Columbia College" - in Chicago - "was 'Three Sisters.'" The production was very well-received: "It was detailed and alive and conversational. " Cromer said that he seemed to have an intuitive sense that a Chekhov play was not primarily about plot but about internal relationships.

"The business of plays is to show us how people get through their day. In that sense, every play I've directed is a Chekhov play."

Cromer mentioned another play he directed that he's been thinking about as he stages "Nikolai": "Orson's Shadow," by Austin Pendleton. Produced initially in 2000 at Steppenwolf, in Chicago, and in 2005 off-Broadway, the story is set in 1960 in London, where Orson Welles is directing a production of Ionesco's "Rhinoceros," starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright.

"Like 'Nikolai,'" Cromer said, "'Orson's Shadow' is about outsized personalities. It is about having to sacrifice your personal life by giving yourself over to a life in art. About how doing this can hobble you and also enhance you."

Turning more specifically to "Nikolai," Cromer said that he knew very little about ballet before beginning this project. "I knew who Balanchine and Stravinsky were, and I knew about Nicholas Nabokov in relation to his cousin, Vladimir Nabokov." Cromer added: "You don't have to know anything about these people to understand and enjoy this play." Part of his job as a director, he continued, is to represent those in the audience who arrive with no knowledge of these real-life characters. "In that sense, not being an expert in Balanchine and Stravinsky is an advantage."

As for the challenges of putting together a play that includes not only those titans but 16 other characters as well, Cromer remarked, "It's labor-intensive. Richard [Nelson] and I joke that there are 18 separate plays to track, because there are 18 different people." Cromer continued: "But I was raised on large-cast shows, so that's not a problem." As for the demands of working at the Mitzi E. Newhouse, where "Nikolai" is being done, Cromer said, "I like the fullness of working on a thrust stage. You can work in three dimensions. People can face each other. That's all very appealing to me."

Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vineyrad Theatre 30th Anniversary Gala

Vineyard Theatre's annual Gala, this year celebrating the institution's 30th Anniversary, took place at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street) on Monday night, March 18, 2013 beginning at 6:00 p.m. (cocktails at 6:00pm, dinner at 7:30pm and performance at 8:30pm). 

Photo Credit goes to GettyImages:  Ben Gabbe and BroadwayWorld: Walter McBride.

I like to see Kathryn and Linus together on stage, mhm Eames and Cutter to fight crime could be very cool. Unfortunately there are no red carpet photos of Kathryn. I had like to see her full ensemble. I guess she wore the same top at the Red or White Ball video.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Look Back at Checkers

I was on the picture hunt of the last night event - Vineyard Theatre 30th Anniversary Gala. Unfortunately I only found 2 photos yet, I'll show you tomorrow after another check of image pages.

But I found this gem of the Checkers wardrobe's blog called Beside the Actor.

The last show I wardrobe supervised was a play at the Vineyard Theatre called Checkers by Doug McGrath. The show documented Richard Nixon's famous "Checkers" speech and the events leading up to it. For the show, costume designer Sarah J. Holden designed the dress Pat Nixon (played by Kathryn Erbe) wore to look exactly the same as the actual dress the real Pat Nixon wore during the speech's broadcast in 1952.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Steppenwolf's Red or White Ball 2013

The annual Red or White Ball serves as the primary fundraiser for the Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council, a community of 100 energetic young professionals who raise funds for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. This nationally recognized arts education program impacts over 15,000 students, teachers and families each year, and since its inception, the Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council has raised more than $1 Million in support of this vital program. Click here for ticket information.

Conery Hoffman, Chair
Nina Boryszczuk and Kat Rothstein, Co-Chairs

Plus two photos of Kathryn's last year visit:

Promoting the last year's event, Honorary Chair and Steppenwolf ensemble member Kathryn Erbe.
Credit: Kyle Flubacker

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Vineyard Theatre: 30TH ANNIVERSARY GALA

with a special tribute to AVENUE Q
MARCH 18, 2013
festive attire

Please join us for an unforgettable evening celebrating thirty years of The Vineyard and our musical theatre legacy, featuring all-star performances from such award-winning Vineyard musicals as AVENUE Q, ELI’S COMIN’, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, [TITLE OF SHOW], WIG OUT! and more.

This milestone gala hosted by Colman Domingo will feature performances and appearances by renowned Vineyard artists and friends including Patricia Clarkson, Billy Crudup, Jesse Eisenberg, Kathryn Erbe, Mandy Gonzalez, Judy Kuhn, Nicky Silver, David Strathairn, Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff and Jeff Bowen from [title of show] and NOW. HERE. THIS, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Angela Grovey and McKenzie Frye from WIG OUT!, and more to be announced!  The evening will also include a special tribute to AVENUE Q on the 10th anniversary of the show’s premiere at The Vineyard, featuring original cast members John Tartaglia, Ann Harada, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Jordan Gelber and Rick Lyon.
Performers and presenters will appear subject to continuing availability.

VIP SINGLE TICKETS FOR COCKTAILS, DINNER AND PERFORMANCE start at $750 (tables of 10 are available)

For tickets and more information,
please call 212-353-3366 x242 or write to



Friday, March 8, 2013

The Revisionist Opening Night

Kathryn was out and about in end of February. She attended 'The Revisionist' Opening Night at Cherry Lane Theatre on February 28, 2013 in New York City. See she met Daniel Talbott at the red carpet. Plus there will be another theater event (30th Anniversary of Vineyard Theater) in a few days. No fear, I'll blog about this tomorrow.

picture sources:
  • Getty: Michael Stewart
  • FilmMagic: Taylor Hill 
  • WireImage: Michael Stewart 
  • Contactmusic 
  • Corbis: Walter McBride 
  • Spokeo: W.E.N.N. 
  • Broadway: Bruce Glikas

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013 Atlantic Theatre Company Spring Gala

Like every year Kathryn attended the Atlantic Theatre Company Spring Gala. 2013 the event took place at 583 Park Avenue on February 25, 2013 in New York City. Enjoy my picture hunt.

picture sources:
  • Getty: Brad Barket
  • FilmMagic: Rommel Demano
  • WireImage: Jim Spellman
  • Contactmusic