Abingdon Theatre Company (Tony Speciale, Artistic Director; Denise Dickens, Producing Director) continues its 2017-2018 Ghostlight Reading Series this month with a provocative new work inspired by the legacy of legendary comic Lenny Bruce: Buyer Beware, a new play by Michael Weller, will receive a reading presentation Monday March 26 at 7PM at The DR2 Theatre, 101 E. 15th Street. The event is free but reservations are required. Visit abingdontheatre.org for reservations and further information including casting updates.
Buyer Beware tells the story of Ron Avakian, an underperforming legacy student, who discovers the comic Lenny Bruce‘s work in his university’s archives and is blown away. Bruce’s ferocious and transgressive voice is a revelation to Ron, who plans a performance “tribute” in honor of Bruce. Instead, he provokes a campus protest, administrative panic, and escalating missteps that threaten the university with the possible loss of a huge endowment.
Buyer Beware was commissioned by the author’s alma mater as part of his Brandeis Creative Arts Award earlier this year. It was designed as a tribute to Lenny Bruce, whose papers the university acquired, and whose provocative humor inspired the piece. Its planned premiere in November 2017 instead provoked a demand by some students that the play not be performed on campus.
With an eye toward production-ready scripts, the Ghostlight Reading Series provides an opportunity for writers, directors and collaborators to share their work with an audience before transitioning into production. By focusing on scripts that reflect our social, historical and cultural diversity, Abingdon aims to become a destination for artists grappling with big questions.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Michael Weller (Playwright) earned a degree in music composition from Brandeis University and a Diploma in Drama, from University of Manchester, UK. Lived/wrote in London for seven years, then returned to U.S.A. and has lived here since. 40 plus plays produced including Moonchildren, Loose Ends, Spoils of War, and 50 Words andthe musical Doctor Zhivago. His most recent play, Jericho, (which was first presented as an Abingdon Theatre Ghostlight reading in 2016) premiered in January 2018 in an Attic Theatre. Screenplays: Hair, Ragtime, Lost Angels. TV: Once & Again, Spoils of War.
Tony Speciale (Director) joined Abingdon Theatre Company as its Artistic Director in October 2015. Abingdon: The Boy Who Danced on Air, music by Tim Rosser, book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne; The Mother of Invention by James Lecesne; Jason O’Connell‘s The Dork Knight; and Stet by Kim Davies. Other: Unnatural Acts (Classic Stage Company, Drama Desk Award and GLAAD Media Award nominations); Barry Manilow‘s Harmony (ALLIANCE THEATRE/Ahmanson Theatre); The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Dixon Place/Westside Theatre/National Tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Bebe Neuwirth, Christina Ricci and Taylor Mac (Classic Stage Company); Handbook for an American Revolutionary (The Gym at Judson) and Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Tony has developed new work at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Sundance Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA and Public Theatre’s Under the Radar Festival.