Brind School Premieres Albert Innaurato's Adaptation of 'The Marriage of Figaro'

Renowned comic playwright is a University of the Arts faculty member

October 14, 2010

The author of the longest-running Broadway comedy of the past 50 years, faculty member Albert Innaurato has uncapped his pen to adapt one of his favorite plays, Beaumarchais' "The Marriage of Figaro," and will direct a staged reading of his newest work under the auspices of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts October 21-24 in the Caplan Studio Theater. 

Innaurato, a native of Philadelphia and an adjunct associate professor of Liberal Arts at the University of the Arts, is best known as the author of "Gemini," a comic coming-out tale set in South Philly that had 1,819 performances on Broadway in the late 1970s and earned its author an Obie Award. A musical adaptation of "Gemini" was produced at the Prince Music Theater in 2003 and was seen in the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2007.

Innaurato's other works for the stage include "The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie," "Coming of Age in Soho," "Passione" and "Gus and Al." He has worked with such notable theaters as Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater and Lincoln Center Theater, and has collaborated with Christopher Durang, his classmate at Yale School of Drama, on "The Idiots Karamazov." As a journalist and scholar, he has contributed to The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, New York, Forbes, Newsday, Opera News, and the programs of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

It is difficult to imagine a more felicitous pairing of author and subject than Innaurato and Figaro. The playwright was intimately familiar with the Beaumarchais play, which was not only one of the most significant comedies of its day, but the source of the libretto for Mozart's immortal opera of the same name. The play's irreverent tone provoked the ire of the ruling aristocracy at that time and Innaurato's plays have also ruffled plenty of feathers with their outrageous humor, graphic language and blasphemous outbursts.

"Albert is a great friend and collaborator, and I knew this project would be right in his wheelhouse," commented Charles Gilbert, Director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts.

Playing the title role of Figaro is Andrew Carroll, a junior in the Brind School's Acting program. His beloved Susanne is played by Adrienne Brown, a junior in the Musical Theater program. His nemesis, the Count Almaviva, is played by Will Swanwick, a Musical Theater sophomore, while Claudia Newland, a Musical Theater junior, plays the Countess. Other principal cast members include Robin Stift as the young Cherubin, Liam Phillips as the aging doyenne Marzelline and Chris Linsey as Doctor Bartolo.

"The Marriage of Figaro" will be performed Thursday, October 21 through Sunday, October 24, with performances at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Caplan Studio Theater is located on the 16th floor of Terra Hall at 211 S. Broad St. (Broad and Walnut Sts.) on the Avenue of the Arts. General admission tickets are $5 for the general public and free to members of the UArts community.

More information about the Brind School and its 2010-2011 season of productions can be found on the Now On Stage! page or on the Brind School Buzz blog.

Above: Andrew Carroll '12 (Acting) [left] is the wily servant Figaro and David Miller '13 (Musical Theater) is the doddering judge Brid'Oison in this scene from "The Marriage of Figaro." Photo: Andrew Beal.

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