Jonathan Warman, Director
On Sunday March 30, 2014 I will be directing a reading of the Broadway-bound 54: The Musical as part of EAT's New Work Series. A vibrantly colorful yet gritty portrait of the New York funk and disco scene of the 1970s, 54: The Musical takes you past the velvet ropes to become part of the glitter-soaked excitement at the most notorious disco of all time, Studio 54. Conceived by playwright Renée Bang Allen, 54 tells an
original love story about an interracial couple who are navigating
drugs, sexual liberties, changing musical paradigms and even death within
the walls of Studio 54. More info soon.
In other news
, I am directing the new musical Me & Caesar Lee by Pat Holley - which potently evokes the world of 1980s R&B - in summer 2014. A 43 year old former pop diva hopes to make a
comeback by writing songs for a teen age singing group. Infatuated with the
group and deeply infatuated with their 22 year old manager, she
journeys through the resulting heartaches and betrayals, leading her
to confront the haunting legacy of her
mother’s suicide and her own desire to live. The cast includes Cheryl Howard (The Sensational Josephine Baker), Tony-award-winner Ernestine Jackson (Raisin) and Raun Ruffin (The Civil War, Randy Newman's Faust). More info soon.
In October 2013, I directed a reading of the Broadway-bound The Happy Hooker: The Musical. First published in 1971, Xaviera Hollander’s The Happy Hooker: My Own Story
(co-written with Robin Moore and Yvonne Dunleavy) has, according to
Wikipedia, now sold over 20 million copies, placing it 55th in their
list of best-selling books of all time. It has been translated into 15
languages and has never been out of print.
A frank and
informative account of Xaviera’s years as the most influential madam in
New York, it has been hailed as the most important book of its era on
the subject of sex.
Its delightfully explicit accounts of the swinger scenes of the late
1960s and early 1970s introduced its readership to jaw-dropping stories
of lesbianism, bondage, fetishism and more, with a mix of shrewd
observation and uninhibited appetite - Xaviera is an irrepressible
The band was led by rock n' roll legend, David Bowie's pianist since 1972, Mike Garson.
In 2011, I directed the critically acclaimed New York Premiere of one of
Tennessee Williams most wildly creative late plays, Now the
Cats With Jewelled Claws, starring Mink Stole and Everett
Quinton. The production opened the 50th Anniversary Season at The Club
at LaMaMa ETC. Conversations in a restaurant between two socialite
women friends, a roughed up pregnant waitress, two young gay hustlers
with pink leather jackets emblazoned with “The Mystic Rose”, and a
lecherous, prophetic restaurant manager. Apocalyptic, funny, musical,
physical, wild, futuristic, shamanistic.
The reviews for Now the Cats
were fantastic! Here are some samples:
"The director, Jonathan Warman,
has encouraged a flamboyant presentational style that emphasizes
coherence over flair."
- Jasonn Zinoman, New York Times
"Thanks to the imagination of
director Jonathan Warman and his enthusiastic cast, it makes for an
outrageously entertaining 50 minutes...Warman mixes Williams' diverse
elements skillfully, letting them jostle gently about, feeding rather
than fighting each other." - Erik
“Fearlessly directed by
Jonathan Warman, who fully embraces the play’s grotesque beauty.” - Brandon Voss, The Advocate
“Thanks to the surehanded
staging from director Jonathan Warman and a fine cast, this mere squib
of a play provokes both laughs and thought.” - Andy Probst, Theatermania.com
“Warman more than matches
the piece’s phantasmagorical style...Warman elicits exquisite
performances from his cast that are at once real and larger-than-life.”
- Heathher J.
Regina Bartkoff, Mink Stole,
Everett Quinton and Erin Markey Jonathan
(Director) New York Theatre: New York premiere of Tennessee
the Cats with Jewelled Claws (La
MaMa ETC, featuring Mink Stole and Everett Quinton), Andru’s
(new musical, featuring Brooke Elliott (Lifetime's “Drop Dead
Diva”), NeoNeo Theatre), Struck
(Emerging Artists Theatre), American
Row Studio Theatre),
In Loco Parentis (Present
Company / FringeNYC),
in the Time of Chlamydia
Women of the Mahabharata
CFR, Iasi, Romania; Nu Festival, Timisoara, Romania), Break
(Dublin Gay Theatre Festival). Regional: Heads
Magic Theatre), The
Strangest Kind of Romance (Provincetown
Tennessee Williams Festival; Omnova Theater, Columbus, Mississippi;
Theatre Sewanee, Tennessee), Struck/Break
(New Orleans Fringe Festival), Rogan
of the East, Omaha), Mad
Forest, Hamletmachine (University
of Nebraska at Omaha).
Notable assistant credits: Stage
Directors & Choreographers Society 50th Anniversary Gala
to SDC Board President Karen Azenberg),Three
(La MaMa ETC, dir. Richard Schechner), Rosencrantz
si Guildenstern sunt Morti
(Teatru National Vasile Alecsandri, Iasi, Romania, dir. Ovidiu
Lazar). Member of SDC. He has served as Artistic Director of NeoNeo
Theatre Company and Literary Manager for Access TheaterFor more info,
in director Jonathan Warman's production of Tennesee Williams's Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws.
Photo credit: Yuriy Nayer.