Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Pitmen Painters, Playwright Lee Hall Mines Familiar Territory

In Pitmen Painters, Playwright Lee Hall Mines Familiar Territory

This fall, Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) transfers Lee Hall's lauded play The Pitmen Painters, along with its original London cast, to Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

A nominee for the 2009 Best Play Olivier Award, The Pitmen Painters is being promoted by MTC as follows:

Direct from a sold-out engagement at London’s National Theatre, this funny and fascinating new play by Tony Award winner Lee Hall comes to Broadway with its entire original London cast intact.

The Pitmen Painters is based on the triumphant true story of a group of British miners who discover a new way to express themselves and unexpectedly become art-world sensations! An arresting and hilarious salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters takes you on an unforgettable journey from the depths of the mine to the heights of fame.

If you think you've already recently seen a Broadway show about miners colliding with the world of art, that's because you have. Indeed, The Pitmen Painters playwright Lee Hall also penned the blockbuster Billy Elliot - The Musical and its silver screen predecessor.

While you may be tempted to think Hall is merely writing what he knows, his own father was a housepainter and decorator in England's Newcastle upon Tyne. Hall's most recent work is based on "The Pitmen Painters: Ashington Group, 1934-1984 by art critic William Feaver.

Max Roberts will once again direct the play's acclaimed cast that includes Christopher Connell, Michael Hodgson, Ian Kelly, Brian Lonsdale, Lisa McGrillis, Deka Walmsley, David Whitaker and Phillippa Wilson. All castmembers are making their Broadway debuts in The Pitmen Painters.

Previews begin September 14, with an opening night slated for September 30. Since this play is part of MTC's subscription series, the limited run is only scheduled through December 13, 2010.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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