Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP, thirdavenueplayhouse.com) will present its fifth annual Winter Play Reading Festival Jan. 31 – Feb. 2. A talk-back with the director and actors will follow each reading, and festival admission is pay-what-you-can.
The festival’s first night – Jan. 31, 7:30 pm – will feature Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison, a performance produced in coordination with Door County Reads. In the age of artificial intelligence, 85-year-old Marjorie – a jumble of disparate, fading memories – has a handsome, new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. The reading’s cast includes Dee Hopper, Alan Kopischke, Alex Sabin and Claire Morkin.
Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune by Terrance McNally will take the stage Feb. 1, 7:30 pm. In a Manhattan walk-up apartment, Frankie and Johnny have just had their first encounter, after having met several weeks prior on the job. Frankie, a waitress, has had more disappointments than delights in life, while short-order cook Johnny is the veteran of one broken marriage already, and neither is in the bloom of youth. Readers include Mark Moede and Mary White.
The Feb. 2 performance – Heroes by Gerald Sibleyras – will start at 2 pm. War heroes Gustave, Philippe and Henri are plotting an escape because they’ve had enough of the tortures of their confinement: dictatorial captors, untrustworthy fellow prisoners and too many birthday parties. Indeed, life in a retired soldiers’ home is almost unbearable. The reading cast includes Ray Jivoff, Noah Simon and Ross Dipple.