Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kathryn Erbe and Her Co-Stars Show Each Other Some Natural Affection on Opening Night Off-Broadway

 John Pankow, Eve Bianco, Tobi Aremu, Kathryn Erbe, Chris Bert, Victoria Mack & Alec Beard

By Marc Snetiker -

It’s been 50 years since William Inge’s controversial drama Natural Affection first premiered on Broadway in 1963. Now, the rarely performed play is back in its first major New York City revival at off-Broadway’s Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. Led by Law & Order star Kathryn Erbe, the show follows a single mother who reconnects with her troubled son whom she gave up years earlier. To say that the play is a shocker would be an understatement—you’ll have to see it to believe just how gripping and heartbreaking it is. Regardless of the play's dark drama, happiness was the key word on September 26 when the cast (including John Pankow, Eve Bianco, Tobi Aremu, Chris Bert, Victoria Mack and Alec Beard) celebrated opening night. Check out the Hot Shot above, and then find out what Natural Affection is all about before it ends its run on October 26!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Natural Affection's Kathryn Erbe on Playing Strong Women, from Streetcar to Law & Order

I really love this interview. Sigh about the words about Vinent andallthe insight of the different roles. I can't wait to meet Kathryn on Saturday.

By Kathy Henderson September 25, 2013

Law & Order fans remember Kathryn Erbe as unflappable detective Alexandra Eames on the Criminal Intent franchise, but the Massachusetts-born actress is also a Tony-nominated stage vet and ensemble member at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. In the past 18 months alone, Erbe has taken on demanding roles in two off-Broadway premieres (Yosemite and Checkers), and she’s currently breathing new life into William Inge’s 1963 family drama Natural Affection, which opens on September 26 at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row, produced by The Actors Company Theatre. The warm and self-effacing Erbe offered a career overview in her Role Call.

Role That Was the Most Surprising
“I’m kind of embarrassed to say that when I first re-read A Streetcar Named Desire [1997, Steppenwolf Theatre], I didn’t feel I could relate to Stella. Why would this woman stay with this guy? But my then-husband [director Terry Kinney] knows me well, and once we started, I fell in love with Stella and Stanley and Tennessee Williams. It was mind-blowing, particularly as I grasped his deep respect for humanity in all its forms, the lowest of the low in particular. Every role I play teaches me something, and that one informed so much of the work I did afterward. Gary Sinise [Stanley] is such a giving, supportive person, and it was a joy to go to the places Stella and Stanley went with him. These two people were absolute soul mates. It was just an epic, tragic love story.”

Role That Was the Most Demanding
“It never occurred to me that Law & Order: Criminal Intent [2001-2011, as Detective Alexandra Eames] would last so long. Being on a major network television show is like long-distance running: You have to pace yourself and maintain your energy level and your morale. There’s the role you’re playing on the show, and there’s also your behind-the-scenes responsibility to the crew, the guest actors and the fans—not to mention your own life as a mom. It was a joy to play a character who always knew what to say and do, who was strong and brave in the world of men and in the face of evil people. [Co-starring with Vincent D’Onofrio] was like a marriage, and what I hope will be a lifelong friendship. I admire his talent, his work ethic and the standards he set for himself. We had highs and lows, and I’m extremely proud that we made it out the other end as a team. It was an honor to be in the trenches with him.”

Role That Got Me Back On Stage
“After Law & Order, I was eager to get back to the theater, and when Rattlestick sent me Yosemite [2012, as Julie] by Daniel Talbott, I read the play sort of ravenously. As usual, I thought ‘There’s no way I can play this part.’ She was a ferocious mother who is at the end of the line—bankrupt emotionally and in every other way—with three beautiful children and one dead child. I hadn’t done a play in 15 years, and I was terrified of going on this harrowing emotional journey, but it was a labor of love. That’s true of every play I’ve done, either for the story or the character. Yosemite opened doors for me in the New York theater community in amazing ways. There’s a whole world of fearless young theater makers here who put shows together on a shoestring budget and with gigantic hearts.”

Role That Is the Least Like Me
“The woman I’m playing now, Sue in Natural Affection, is all the things I never allow myself to be: She’s in control, and she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. William Inge had read an article about a woman who rejects her son, and the son commits a senseless act of violence after being released from a work farm. Inge was known for rural dramas like Picnic, but this play was his response to stories about how urban youth of the early ’60s were acting out. The play wasn’t well received 50 years ago, but it’s fascinating and terrifying. I’m having to give myself permission to do things in front of an audience that I should not do. But I also get to be thrown down on a bed by an incredibly handsome 35-year-old who is built like a superhero. That’s awesome!”

Role I Wish I Could Have Played Longer
“I loved playing Mary in The Speed of Darkness [1991, Best Featured Actress Tony nomination] by the late Steve Tesich. My character was the daughter of a Vietnam vet, played by Len Cariou, who has become a successful businessman in a small town. Robert Sean Leonard played my high school boyfriend, and we had to be the ‘parents’ of a bag of flour. It gets smashed at the end by Len after one of his platoon members, now homeless and deeply disturbed, reappears. Stephen Lang played the part, and I will never forget sitting on stage, talking with him on the phone as he was standing behind me. It was a magical moment—the first time I felt I was living my dream as an actor. The play opened during the Gulf War, and nobody wanted to see a war story then. It had been closed a long time when I got the Tony nomination, and I was shocked! Irene Worth won, but I was thrilled to be in that company.”

Role I Resisted, Then Fell in Love With
“It took enormous courage for [ex-husband] Terry [Kinney] to send me Checkers [2012, as Pat Nixon]. I never liked him to boss me around [as a director] when we were married, so it wouldn’t have occurred to me that we could work together after we were divorced. Reading it, I felt like I was in a dream. Doug McGrath is such a throwback. ‘Elegant’ is the word that comes to mind—I adore the way he turns a phrase. I called Terry and said, ‘I don’t relate to this woman, but if you really think I can do it, I will trust you.’ Once we started, I was shocked by how deeply I understood Pat Nixon and how close she was to the women I descended from in terms of what they expect from themselves, how they comport themselves and their duty to their men. The key for me was a long monologue in which she tells Nixon why she believes in him when he is doubting himself. I absolutely fell in love with her and with Doug’s beautiful play.”

Sunday, September 22, 2013

REVIEW Natural Affection by William Inge,

directed by Jenn Thompson, TACT, The Actors Company Theatre 

... It’s no Picnic ...

... but it’s engaging and suspenseful, and in this beautifully produced, well cast and acted production, it gives a chance to see a rarely produced play by by William Inge.
Inge is, after all, one of America’s most successful and prolific playwrights – author of Come Back, Little Sheeba, Picnic (1953 Pulitzer Prize), Bus Stop, The Dark At The Top of the Stairs, as well as screenplays including Splendor in the Grass (1963 Academy Award for “Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.”
Perhaps Natural Affection's short run on Broadway was due to its opening during a NYC newspaper sstrike in 1962, but compared with Inge’s great successes, it’s a weaker play. Inge’s starting point was a newspaper account of a violent, seemingly random crime, and in trying to fill in the blanks, he seems to have turned too programmatically to current psychoanalytic ideas about the effects on sons of absent fathers and of mothering that runs hot and cold.
Sue, who’s pulled herself up by her bootstraps to become a successful buyer in a well-known Chicago department store is living with Bernie, a younger, and very handsome man, marginally able at selling Cadillacs. Sue’s son, Donnie, returns from “The Farm,” i.e., reform school, wanting to stay with her -- he has only a year left there and if she’ll keep him he doesn’t have to go back. But Bernie doesn’t want this kid with the violent past crowding up their small apartment and inhibiting their sex life.
It’s Sue’s decision, though, because she pays the bills.
What will she do? The Farm is brutal -- Donnie has scars on his back from being beaten. How can she possibly send him back? She’s already plagued with guilt for giving him up to foster care in the first when she was a poor girl trying to make a living and Donnie’s father disappeared.
But she’s crazy about Bernie and afraid of spending her life alone. He’s her last chance, she feels, and most of the time he’s quite a nice, agreeable guy, trying to pull himself out of the world of losers -- his pipe dream is to own a car dealership.
Donnie, too, promises to be on good behavior. It’s too bad that just as Donnie is settling in on the living room sofa, Bernie gets into an accident with a Cadillac he was demonstrating, and loses his job, depressing him and heightening his irritation with being dependent on a woman. He says the accident wasn’t his fault -- Inge doesn’t let us know whether or not we are to believe that. Was it truly random? Or a loser’s claim that he's a victim, in this case of chance?
The underlying tensions boil in the course of a Christmas celebration in which huge amounts of alcohol are consumed, Vince, the rich guy in the apartment next door passes out, and Claire, his bored, sexy blond wife fails to seduce Bernie -- this time, these alcohol fuelled shenanigans a prelude to the final, chilling eruption.
Kathryn Erbe, famous on TV as Detective Alexandra Eames on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, is brisk, capable, and vulnerable as the Sue, torn between her gorgeous younger lover and her natural -- if insufficient -- affection for her tormented son. Erbe’s portrayal of the tense self control of this woman who made it on her own in a highly competitive field renders the emotional surges that overtake her all the more moving.
Alec Beard is charismatic as the good looking lover who approximates decency while not quite hitting the nail on the head. Chris Bert is perfect as the lean, hungry looking reform school son, who takes after his mother in holding it all in -- until he can’t any longer.
John Pankow as the rich next-door neighbor Vince is brilliant in a scene of unwinding into total drunkenness, a beautiful tour de force that the audience applauded. Victoria Mack as Vince’s seductive wife transforms with concentration and subtlety a stereotyped character into a vivid, dangerous reality.
In Natural Affection, people are condemned to repeat the past and there are what the world sees as random violent events -- both.
Natural Affection plays at the Beckett Theatre on New York City's Theatre Row, West 42nd Street, through October 26, 2013. For information and tickets, click on live link of title.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Natural Affection gifs

Look, kathrynerbe of tumblr made four wonderful Kathryn gifs of the Natural Affection video. Like and reblog the animations from here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

STAGE TUBE of Natural Affection

Kathryn Erbe & John Pankow in Sneak Peek of TACT's NATURAL AFFECTION, Now Playing (TV Content)

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre presents Natural Affection by William Inge at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street - between 9th & 10th Avenues.) Opening night is set for Thursday, September 26 at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through October 26, 2013. Check out a behind the scenese look at the show below!

TACT is proud to present the FIRST REVIVAL of William Inge's controversial family drama -- not seen in New York since its debut 50 years ago.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Natural Affection Begin Today

See, what an early birthday gift I get. Thank you so much Quietfire. We'll have such an awesome day.

TACT published a lot of production photos of Natural Affection you can see here.

Enjoy the ones with Kathryn - kiss kiss ;o):



PHOTO: Marielle Solan 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"The Hilltown Plays" Opening Night - After Party

Kathryn attended Rattlestick's 'The Hilltown Plays' Opening Night After Partty at Sullivan Hall on September 5, 2013 in New York City. 

photo sources
  • PlayBill - Monica Simoes
  • WireImage - John Lamparski

Friday, September 13, 2013

Memory Wall

For a current landcomm challenge we have to write and do graphic about monsters or relationship. For one of my entries I gave Bobby and Alex a photo wall for their together living room. You can find my other entries here at my LJ.

image name

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebs at NYC's Annual Charity Day Event

Like last year Kathryn attended the Annual Charity Day Hosted By Cantor Fitzgerald And BGC at the Cantor Fitzgerald Office on September 11, 2013 in New York, United States.

Take a look at many wonderful pictures.

picture sources:

Getty Images: Mike McGregor, Janette Pellegrini, Henry S. Dziekan III, Laura Cavanaugh, Jeff Schear.
See 4 more tiny thumbnail pics here made by Fernando Lucena.

Friday, September 6, 2013

More Press for Natural Affection

Kathryn Erbe and John Pankow to Star in TACT's NATURAL AFFECTION, 9/17-10/26

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for Natural Affection by William Inge, the first production of the company's 21st Season. Directed by TACT Co-Artistic Director Jenn Thompson, performances begin at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street - between 9th & 10th Avenues) on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. Opening night is set for Thursday, September 26 at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through October 26, 2013.
In Natural Affection, a troubled young man, who, abandoned early in life by his single mother (Erbe), returns from reform school to find her now living with a lover. As the tension between them mounts, their fight for forgiveness and connection gives way to desperation, setting this insecure family on a collision course of reckless, heartbreaking and almost inevitable violence.
"We are thrilled to celebrate Mr. Inge's centennial by presenting this intense and startlingly contemporary drama in its first NYC revival," said Ms. Thompson. "We are just as thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Katie, John and the rest of the cast in bringing this very powerful and important play back to New York audiences."
The cast will include TACT Company Members Alec Beard (Lost in Yonkers, Semi-Monde), Eve Bianco (Bedroom Farce, Dandy Dick), Victoria Mack (Happy Birthday, Venus in Fur) and Guest Artists Tobi Aremu (Off Broadway debut), Chris Bert (TACT debut), Kathryn Erbe (The Grapes of Wrath, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"), and John Pankow (The Iceman Cometh, "Episodes" - SHOWTIME).
The creative team is comprised of John McDermott (sets), David Toser (costumes), Mary Louise Geiger (lights), Toby Algya (sound), and Lauren Madden (properties).
Natural Affection, a powerful drama on the theme of fragmented families and random violence, had its Broadway debut at the Booth Theatre on January 31, 1963. Its opening coincided with the New York newspaper strike and it ran for a total of 36 performances to March 2, 1963. As with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, the inspiration for Natural Affection came from a newspaper account of a seemingly meaningless and unmotivated crime. Directed by Tony Richardson, the cast included Kim Stanley, Harry Guardino and Tom Bosley. The play has not been seen in New York since its 1963 debut.
Natural Affection will play the following performance schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 - $58.00 and are available by visiting or calling (212) 239-6200. Tickets are also available at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily.
To learn about the benefits of TACT membership, visit or call (212) 645-8228.
TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris, & Jenn Thompson, Co-Artistic Directors) is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Landcomm Pimping

tv_universe is going in it's second phase right now. The first challenges were already publish. Join us for lot's of tv-related writing and graphic making fun. Sign up here. I'm in Team Bunny Ears.

If you'll play with us, say the lovely mods that havers send you.

Blind Spot Escape

I saw this beautiful gif set of Alex's Blind Spot Escape at tumblr.