The Crusade of Connor Stephens One Family. Under God. Divisible at Jerry Orbach Theatre – June 17, 2017
Review by Anne Akers; Founder/Editor in Chief, GLOW Beauty Health Wellness Magazine
It’s Saturday night in New York. Walking along The Great White Way which stretches from West 41st to West 53rd, the streets are lined with tourists and theatre goers who have come from ’round the world to experience what is considered by many as the greatest live entertainment in the world. For others, there is the discovery of lesser known but legitimate theatre located just East and West of this twelve block stretch.
One of the most well known of these is the Jerry Orbach Theatre, a state of the art entertainment center, housing two theatres, rehearsal studios, and handsome bars with cabaret seating. Named for the well-known actor from Law and Order and the Broadway stage, the walls are adorned with memorabilia from The Fantasticks, the world’s longest running musical and Perfect Crime, the world’s longest running non-musical. Orbach was an original cast member in The Fantasticks and this iconic theatre bearing his name hosted both productions.
With this history that literally “sets the stage”, the lights dim, family, friends and expectant theatre goers are seated and “The Crusade of Connor Stephens” (a new play written and directed by Dewey Moss) begins. The opening scene takes places in a middle class Texas home where the family of a recently slain little girl are gathering to prepare for the burial ahead. Her photograph, embracing the family dog, is in the background and the forelorn and destitute
father is seen seated in the forefront, head in hands.
One wonders: what were the circumstances that led to the tragic act of violence against this innocent child? Who are these family members and what are their stories? As we watch this disparate group confront the ghosts of the past, we are faced with the familiar themes of religious bigotry, intolerance, hate and family dysfunction. And at the center of it all is the father, a “zealot of the cloth”, whose words from the pulpit he lives to regret. Brilliantly played by James Kiberd, best known for his role as Trevor Dillon in All My Children, these words form the pivotal axis around which the drama unfolds.
The Crusade of Connor Stephens is a message for our times in the current climate of gun violence, anti LGBTQ platforms, and a rising incidence of hate crimes in the USA. The good news is that one person, acting from conscience and love, has the ability to neutralize bigotry. And that Producers like DeMoss are bringing quality theatrical productions to life and actors like Kiberd strive to “create art that opens hearts and minds”.
The evening concluded with a standing ovation for this award winning production, which opens on June 26th.
THE CRUSADE OF CONNOR STEPHENS BEGINS PERFORMANCES OFF-BROADWAY JUNE 17, 2017
The new play by Dewey Moss explores religion, tolerance, and the effects of violence
NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2017 – The Crusade of Connor Stephens, a new play written and directed by Dewey Moss, will begin an open-ended run at Off-Broadway’s Jerry Orbach Theater at The Theater Center on June 17, 2017. Opening night is scheduled for June 26.
In The Crusade of Connor Stephens, extreme loss shakes a Texas family as it comes to terms with a tragic act of violence. In the midst of widespread media attention, their story becomes an allegory for the national debate over religion, tolerance, and the seedlings of hate. With humor and resilience, they will confront the ghosts of the past and discover the brutal universal truths that define the American family in the 21st century.
The cast of The Crusade of Connor Stephens will feature James Kiberd (All My Children, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Taming of the Shrew), former “Dell Dude” Ben Curtis (Take Me Out, Buried Child), Kathryn Leask (The Exonerated, The Right Kind of People) and Julie Campbell (Beautiful Thing, King Lear). Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
James Noone (Broadway’s Sunset Boulevard, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Jekyll and Hyde) is the scenic designer. Teresa Snider-Stein (Broadway’s I’m Not Rappaport, Everett Beekin) is the costume designer. Zach Blane (Roundabout’s Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, Suicide Incorporated) is the lighting designer. David Lawson (The York’s You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Urban Stages’ Angry Young Man) is the sound designer.
The Crusade of Connor Stephens made its world premiere at the 2017 Midtown International Theater Festival to sold out audiences and critical acclaim. It won 7 MITF awards, including: Best Overall Production (DMoss Productions), Best Play (Dewey Moss), Best Director (Dewey Moss), Best Actor (James Kiberd), Best Actress (Kathryn Leask), Best Supporting Actor (Ben Curtis), and Best Supporting Actress (Kathleen Huber). It was nominated for 11 total awards, including an additional nomination for Best Supporting Actor (James Padric), Best Lighting Design, and Best Sound Design.
General management services are provided by Lisa Dozier King. Marketing services are provided by Red Rising Marketing. Public relations services are provided by John Capo Public Relations. Stephanie Klapper Casting is the casting director.
Performances will be held on Mondays at 7:30pm, Tuesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm.
Tickets, priced $59, are available by visiting Ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 921-7862. Special preview pricing, for performances through June 25, is $49. Premium tickets are available for $79.
The Jerry Orbach Theater at The Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street in New York City.
About Dewey Moss
Dewey Moss is an award-winning director, writer, and actor whose performance career has spanned Broadway shows, concert appearances, film/TV work, and opera. As a writer and director, his debut feature film A Normal Life won critical acclaim in film festivals worldwide and is currently in distribution. His screenplay All the Way from Arp, Texas is currently in pre-production. His play, Death of the Persian Prince, about Iranian gay men forced to have sex changes to avoid execution, made its world premiere at the 2015 Midtown International Theater Festival. The play subsequently ran at the South Asian International Theater Festival where it won Best Play, and then a run at the historical Duo Theater.
As a Creative Director for several major advertising firms, Dewey has written and produced/directed numerous commercials, industrials, and webisodes, many of which have been Telly Award-winning. Dewey is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute. Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, he is author of the acting handbook Learning the Art of Imperfection.