Written by Josh Piven, Directed by Allison Heishman
November 26 -December 15, 2013, Opening Night November 29
Skybox @ The Adrienne Theater
New York Times best-selling humorist Josh Piven gives theater audiences a best-case scenario this holiday season with the World Premiere farce No Reservations. Piven trades the volcanoes, quicksand, and alligator wrestling for holiday survival among the mistletoe, scrapple, and paparazzi. Penned by the author of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook and directed by Allison Heishman, the production runs November 26 through December 15, 2013 at Skybox @ The Adrienne Theater. The ensemble cast of Philadelphia favorites features Jared Michael Delaney, Wendy Staton, Brian McCann, Mary Beth Shrader, Colleen Corcoran and Brandon Pierce. Tickets are available now for $18 to $25 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/449685.
No Reservations is a thoroughly modern retelling of the Nativity, a classic tale re-imagined for our times: iPhones, TMZ, the Twitterverse, and an unforgettable “reality” show featuring a very timely birth. This highly original madcap holiday comedy satirizes our celebrity-obsessed, media-saturated culture, and asks what the age-old story of Christmas might look like today.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Harris, the cash-strapped innkeepers of The Speckled Partridge. They have cleared their reservation books for a quiet Christmas. But when two young women—one of them very famous, and very pregnant—appear through a snowstorm, desperate for a place to stay, the relaxing holiday quickly begins to unravel. In short order the innkeepers are juggling a band of sarcastic carolers; a self-absorbed reporter; a fundamentalist carpenter; a washed-out Idol winner, and a big-shot TV producer—along with their own pseudo-feminist daughter—all fighting off a blizzard to take advantage of an innocent single mother on her way to Bethlehem. But how innocent is she, really?
“We’ve developed such a fascination with the cult of celebrity, and there’s now a virtual imperative to put our entire lives online,” Piven says, “I thought it would be fun to re-imagine such a traditional story using modern themes: not only social media but also the housing crisis, reality television, and same sex marriage. If the Nativity is a story for all time, then No Reservations is definitely a story for our times.”
No Reservations runs November 26 through December 15, with a preview night on Tuesday, November 26 and opening night on Friday, November 29, 2013. Tickets are $18 to $25 and are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/449685. Performances take place at The Skybox @ The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, 3rd Floor, in Center City, Philadelphia. For more information, call 267-225-7175, follow @no_reservations on Twitter and like No Reservations The Play on Facebook.
The all-star cast of No Reservations includes an eclectic mix of Philadelphia actors known for their comedy and heart: Jared Michael Delaney and Wendy Staton as Mr. and Mrs. Harris, the “harried” innkeepers of the Speckled Partridge, and Mary Beth Shrader and Colleen Corcoran and Martha and Marie, the pregnant couple looking for a room. Brian McCann, Brandon Pierce, Drew Carroll are featured, as is local GANG front woman Amanda Damron in a series of comedic and musical roles. The cast is well known in the Philadelphia area having appeared in myriad productions at such companies as the Arden, Philadelphia Theatre Co, Lantern Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre, Inis Nua, 1812 Productions, New City Stage Co, Swim Pony, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare in Clark Park.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Allison Heishman is the Artistic Associate at Azuka Theater, as well as a freelance actor, director and dramaturg based out of Philadelphia. With Azuka she has directed the World Premiere of the terrible girls, by Azuka Playwright in Residence, Jacqueline Goldfinger and looks forward to developing and directing Skin & Bone which will have it's World Premiere with Azuka in March 2014. Also with Azuka: Hazard County, Failure: A Love Story, Azuka One Acts. She has worked for some of the best young companies in Philly including: Tiny Dynamite, Flashpoint Theatre, Madhouse Theatre, Quince Productions, Secret Room Theatre, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights, as well as assisting Blanka Zizka on the Wilma Theatre's production of Angels in America. She has written and directed for Theatre Programs at the National Constitution Center, where she worked for four years as the Theatre Programs Manager. Recently she collaborated with Chef Walter Staib of City Tavern and the Kimmel Center to present the one-night PIFA event A Taste of History: An Evening with Chef Staib. Up Next: No Reservations (PNAA Productions); Skin & Bone (Azuka); Pinkalicious (Walnut Street Theater); Cloud Tectonics (Plays and Players).
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Josh Piven is the author or co-author of more than twenty non-fiction and humor books, including the worldwide best-selling The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series (Chronicle Books), As Luck Would Have It, and The Escape Artists. No Reservations is his first stage comedy. He often writes about himself in the third person. Older than twenty but younger than seventy-five, Piven is perhaps best known for his famously tongue-in-cheek worst-case books, books that offer readers real-world (though often hilarious) advice on surviving worst-case situations that they might—but hopefully won’t—encounter: everything from “how to fend off a shark” and “how to wrestle and alligator” to “how to determine if your date is an axe murderer.” Merchandise based on the series includes desktop calendars, note cards, holiday cards, board and video games, and an iPhone app. Two television series based on the books have been produced (and canceled). An expert on a broad range of survival topics, Piven has appeared on The Today Show, 20/20, and ABC World News, as well as on local news broadcasts in virtually every major media market in North America, and many foreign countries. He is now embarking on his most harrowing survival challenge yet: live theater. Check back for the obituary…
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
The Philadelphia Non-Profit Advertising Agency (PNAA), a local foundation based in West Parkside, supports arts and culture initiatives in the Delaware Valley, with the goal of promoting and developing promising young artists and their work, in tandem with the promotion of the city as a nurturing and supportive environment for unfettered creative expression. PNAA was instrumental in the development of the Philadelphia Stars Negro League Memorial Park at Belmont and Parkside Avenues, which includes a statue by local sculptor Phil Sumpter. PNAA has also commissioned work by many local artists, among them Paris Stancil and Anthony Vega. PNAA, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been involved in the art world since 1999.