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Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy Garners 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Michael Rispoli, Liza Colón-Zayas, Rosal Colón, and Ron Cephas Jones; photo by Carol Rosegg.

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Michael Rispoli, Liza Colón-Zayas, Rosal Colón, and Ron Cephas Jones; photo by Carol Rosegg.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy has garnered the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play ran at the Atlantic Theatre Company last summer and again at Second Stage Theatre in February, starring Stephen McKinley Henderson (Walter “Pops” Washington), Victor Almanzar (Oswaldo), Elizabeth Canavan (Detective O’Connor), Rosal Colón (Lulu), Liza Colón-Zayas (Church Lady), Michael Rispoli (Lieutenant Caro) and Ron Cephas Jones (Junior), under the masterful direction of Austin Pendleton.

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama of $10,000, is presented for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life. Between Riverside and Crazy is a nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death.

Last year, Guirgis received the 2014 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. The Atlantic Theater’s production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Between Riverside and Crazy has received six Lucille Lortel nominations including outstanding play, director (Austin Pendleton), lead actor in play (Stephen McKinley Henderson), featured actor in a play (Victor Almanzar), featured actress in a play (Liza Colón-Zayas) and scenic design (Walt Spangler). Between Riverside and Crazy also received Outer Critics Circle nominations in the categories of Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play for Stephen McKinley Henderson.

Hamilton tops Lucille Lortel Award Nominations along with Into the Woods, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Invisible Hand, The Nether and The Fortress of Solitude

2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations; Something Rotten!, On the Twentieth Century, An American in Paris garner most nods

Other finalists included: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks and Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison.

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Rosal Colón. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Rosal Colón. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

City Hall is demanding more than his signature, the Landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed — and the Church won’t leave him alone. For ex-cop and recent widower Walter “Pops” Washington and his recently paroled son Junior, the struggle to hold on to one of the last great rent stabilized apartments on Riverside Drive collides with old wounds, sketchy new houseguests, and a final ultimatum in this dark comedy from the Tony nominated author of The Motherf*ucker with the Hat and Jesus Hopped the A Train. For Pops and Junior, it seems the Old Days are dead and gone — after a lifetime living Between Riverside and Crazy.

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Ron Cephas Jones. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Ron Cephas Jones. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Recently featured on New York Times Theater Critic Ben Brantley’s Best Theater of 2014 List:
“Between Riverside and Crazy: The triumphant return of Stephen Adly Guirgis, who startled Broadway in 2011 by snatching a Tony nomination for best play for a work with an unprintable title. This gleefully agnostic account of the things we do for real estate (at least when you’re poor and in unlikely possession of prime Manhattan property) blithely crossed the lines between good and bad, comedy and tragedy, faith and skepticism without missing a step. Austin Pendleton directed a wonderful cast led by Stephen McKinley Henderson.”

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Liza Colón-Zayas. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Liza Colón-Zayas. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

What the critics are saying:
“A rich new play deliciously mounted!  It is a dizzying and exciting place to be!”
The New York Times
“This is the kind of rich, dynamic theater you almost never see anymore—fresh, savage and original.”

“Like a stick of dynamite, it shines a laser light on the shadowy aspects of being a black cop, fighting the system, and never giving up or giving in.”
NY Observer
“A quintessentially New York play brought to roaring life. A love/hate song to this impossible town and its outlandish citizenry.”
Variety
“Tender, Gritty, Shocking”
NY Daily News
“Filled with biting humor and wonder.”
USA Today

Click here to read the reviews.

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Ron Cephas Jones. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Ron Cephas Jones. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Recent winners include: The Flick by Annie Baker (2014), Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (2013), Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes (2012), Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (2011), Next to Normal, music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey (2010), Ruined by Lynn Nottage (2009), August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (2008).

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elizabeth Canavan. ©2015, Carol Rosegg.

Stephen McKinley Henderson and Elizabeth Canavan. ©2015, Carol Rosegg.

The Pulitzer Prizes, which are administered at Columbia University, were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

Ron Cephas Jones and Rosal Colón. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

Ron Cephas Jones and Rosal Colón. ©2015, Carol Rosegg

The 19-member board is composed mainly of leading journalists or news executives from media outlets across the U.S., as well as five academics or persons in the arts. The dean of Columbia’s journalism school and the administrator of the prizes are nonvoting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member or members. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years for a total of nine years.

2014 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright recipient Stephen Adly Guirgis at the 2014 Steinberg Playwright Awards hosted by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust on November 17, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

2014 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright recipient Stephen Adly Guirgis at the 2014 Steinberg Playwright Awards hosted by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust on November 17, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS (Playwright) is a member and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. They include Our Lady of 121st Street (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations), Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Barrymore Award, Olivier Nomination for London’s Best New Play), In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 best Time Magazine & Entertainment Weekly), and The Little Flower of East Orange (with Ellen Burstyn & Michael Shannon). All five plays were directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and were originally produced by LAByrinth. His most recent play, The Motherf***er with the Hat (6 Tony nominations, including Best Play), was directed by Anna D. Shapiro and marked his third consecutive world premiere co-production with The Public Theater and LAByrinth. In London, his plays have premiered at The Donmar Warehouse, The Almeida (dir: Rupert Goold), The Hampstead (Robert Delamere), and at The Arts Theater in the West End. Other plays include Den of Thieves (Labyrinth, HERE, HAI, Black Dahlia) and Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho (dir: Adam Rapp) for the 2006 E.S.T. Marathon. He is currently collaborating with Academy Award nominated director Baz Luhrmann on a Netflix Series The Get Down,  a 13-episode drama about the birth of hip-hop in the 1970s, which will air in 2016. He has received the Yale Wyndham-Campbell Prize, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Whiting Award,  a TCG fellowship and the prestigious 2014 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He is also a New Dramatists Alumnae and a member of MCC’s Playwright’s Coalition, The Ojai Playwrights Festival, New River Dramatists, and Labyrinth Theater Company. As an actor, he has appeared in theater, film and television, including roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s film Margaret, Todd Solondz’s Palindromes, Brett C Leonard’s Jailbait opposite Michael Pitt and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman opposite Michael Keaton. A former violence prevention specialist and H.I.V. educator, he lives in New York City.

Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton

AUSTIN PENDLETON (Director) returns to Second Stage Theatre where he staged the critically acclaimed production of Spoils of War.  He has been most recently represented as a director by his productions in New York, of Gidion’s Knot (by Johnna Adams) at 59E59; Seagull69 (adapted from The Sea Gull) at Mississippi Mud; IvanovThree Sisters, and Uncle Vanya (all at CSC); and Look Homeward, Angel for Mother of Invention, among many other productions.  Other credits include: in Chicago, works at Steppenwolf (where he is a member of the Ensemble) most recently by Tribes; in London at the National Theatre by Detroit by Lisa D’Amour; and in Little Rock by A Loss of Roses by William Inge, at Arkansas Rep. He is also an actor (Broadway, off- and off-off-Broadway, regional theatre, and many movies and TV appearances), playwright (his plays include Orson’s ShadowUncle Bob, and Booth), and (at HB Studio in New York) teacher of acting.

Ron Cephas Jones, Liza Colón-Zayas, Elizabeth Canavan, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Rosal Colón,  Michael Rispoli and Victor Almanzar in the Second Stage Theatre green room on January 21, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ron Cephas Jones, Liza Colón-Zayas, Elizabeth Canavan, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Rosal Colón, Michael Rispoli and Victor Almanzar in the Second Stage Theatre green room on January 21, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Related articles
2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations; Something Rotten!, On the Twentieth Century, An American in Paris garner most nods
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Starring Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas, Michael Rispoli and Ron Cephas Jones; Opens February 11
Production Photos: Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016
talkingbroadway.com: Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, and Liza Colón-Zayas in Between Riverside and Crazy
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Extends through March 22
Second Stage Theatre Presents Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Starring Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas, Michael Rispoli and Ron Cephas Jones; Opens February 11
Ben Brantley’s Best Theater of 2014: Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Set for Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Stephen Adly Guirgis to Receive the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the Seventh Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on November 17
Labyrinth Theater Company hosts Community Prayer and Candlelight Vigil to honor Philip Seymour Hoffman at Bank Street Theater

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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