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Too Much Too Much Too Many

James Rebhorn: Over a decade with Roundabout

Posted on: November 11th, 2013 by Roundabout

 

It is not difficult to see why The New York Times classifies James Rebhorn as a “New York theatre stalwart.” His remarkably prolific career spans over thirty years across stage and screen. He can currently be seen on the Emmy® Award-winning televisions series “Homeland” portraying Frank Mathison. Recently, Rebhorn returned to the Roundabout stage for his fifth production, Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, marking more than a decade-long relationship with Roundabout Theatre Company.

James Rebhorn began working with Roundabout in our 2002 production of Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck, directed by Scott Ellis. Miller’s first play, the story is centered on a young Midwestern man charged with the burden of continuing his good fortune. The production starred Chris O’Donnell, with whom Rebhorn had previously shared the screen with in Martin Bert’s Oscar-nominated film Scent of a Woman along with Al Pacino. Rebhorn earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Patterson Beeves, the father to the young man who possesses limited intellectual means but is full good intentions.

 

Richard Riehl, Samantha Mathis, Chris O’Donnell, Mason Adams and James Rebhorn in The Man Who Had All The Luck. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

Rebhorn returned to work with director Scott Ellis in our Tony®-nominated production of Twelve Angry Men in 2005. This classic drama by Reginald Rose frames the arduous deliberation of a panel of jurors during a murder trial. Rebhorn’s characterization of Juror Four garnered much praise, including from John Simons of New York Magazine who described his performance as, “methodical, buttoned-up but unsweaty in this hot room, coolly yet unimaginatively reasoning.”

 

James Rebhorn and the cast of Twelve Angry Men. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

In 2007, Reborn took the stage at the American Airlines Theatre in Prelude to a Kiss as Dr. Boyle.  Written by Craig Lucas, Prelude to a Kiss tells the bizarre tale of a young couple that find themselves in a predicament when the new bride kisses an elderly man and their bodies magically switch. Rebhorn played a “cheerfully oblivious” father to the bride with New York Post writer Clive Barnes describing his portrayal as “unerring."

 

James Rebhorn and the cast of Prelude to a Kiss. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

Later that year, Rebhorn was seen in his fourth role at Roundabout in the American premiere production of The Overwhelming. In this play, which highlights the complicated relationship between Americans and Rwanda during the mass genocide in 1994, Rebhorn played a U.S. Official that New York Post writer Frank Scheck called, “deceptively jovial.”

 

James Rebhorn and Sam Robards in The Overwhelming. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 

Recently, Rebhorn returned to the stage in Roundabout Underground’s world premiere of Too Much, Too Much, Too Many. Written by up-and-coming playwright Meghan Kennedy, the play follows a mother (played by Phyllis Somerville) and daughter (played by Rebecca Henderson) through their journey to heal after the loss of their father. Rebhorn plays James, the memory of the recently-departed husband and father in this bitter-sweet, poignant new drama about the walls we build to protect our hearts and deciding when it's time to break them down.

 

James Rebhorn and Rebecca Henderson in Too Much, Too Much, Too Many. Photo by Joan Marcus.

 


Too Much, Too Much, Too Many plays at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theatre until January 5, 2014. All tickets are $20. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Roundabout Underground, Star Spotlight, Too Much Too Much Too Many


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The new play Too Much, Too Much, Too Many begins previews October 25 at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theatre.

The play’s poetic title sets exactly the right tone for the evening. Playwright Meghan Kennedy has scripted a piece that is all about the importance of the words we choose, the significance of the silences between them, and the wrenching secrets that those silences may contain. Though young in years, Meghan writes with a beautiful emotional maturity that will have you hanging on each syllable that her characters utter and longing to see happiness enter the lives of these damaged souls.

As we meet these characters, they are in varying states of attempting to move on from tragedy, but the play refuses to rest solely in the darkness of their grief. They act as any of us would, facing misfortune with a combination of humor, stubbornness, fear, and, above all, love. These qualities make Meghan’s characters feel incredibly real, emerging in such detail that it’s hard to imagine them not existing before Meghan committed them to the page. She writes disparate generations with an empathy far beyond what her own years should dictate, and she does so in a way that delivers both a punch to the gut and a jolt to the heart. It’s a powerful, surprising, and sensitive play that I’m proud to be introducing you to.

I started Roundabout Underground to give a home to talented emerging playwrights, and I know that Too Much, Too Much, Too Many and Meghan Kennedy are worthy additions to the line they are now a part of. As we enter the seventh season of this program, I can’t help but marvel at the ever-growing list of playwrights, directors, actors, and designers who have found a home in the Black Box Theatre and then been launched into hugely successful careers. From a Pulitzer finalist to a pair Tony-winners, to more Broadway debuts than I can count, it’s been hugely gratifying to watch these artists attain such success. I’m particularly proud that last fall’s Underground selection, Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews, is the first to transfer to a larger space within Roundabout, and you can currently catch that play with its complete original cast right above the Underground in the Laura Pels Theatre.

I hope that you enjoy Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, and I am eager to hear your thoughts on this world premiere play. Please email me at artisticoffice@roundabouttheatre.org to share your response to this work.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

Todd Haimes
Artistic Director


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Roundabout Underground, Too Much Too Much Too Many


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Interview with Director, Sheryl Kaller

Posted on: October 21st, 2013 by Ted Sod

 

Ted Sod: Tell us about yourself: where were you born and educated, and when did you decide to become a director?

Sheryl Kaller: I was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Valley Stream, Long Island. I feel like I decided to be a director when I was in a high school production of Bye Bye Birdie. I had a great part and everybody else was really excited about performing in the show, but I was completely bummed that rehearsal wasn't still going on. I thought that the director/choreographer, who was our English teacher, egregiously choreographed the telephone song. I thought she did it wrong. It was like a message from above telling me I shouldn't be acting because, first of all, I was terrible, and secondly, I was way more interested in the process of it all. I graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a BFA in directing in 1982 and came back to New York and attempted to get work. I worked for a casting director, I worked as a production stage manager, I did that whole thing, and then I had kids. I decided I couldn't be a hired hand and raise my children in a way that I felt was necessary. So I took a break from mainstream theatre and started an arts-in-education program in Bermuda with some friends. I did that for about ten years and then I started directing again.

Sheryl Kaller, Luke Kirby, Rebecca Henderson, Phyllis Sommerville, James Rebhorn & Meghan Kennedy.

 

TS: How did you and Meghan Kennedy, the playwright, find each other?

SK: Robyn Goodman (Artistic Producer) and Jill Rafson (Literary Manager) saw a play I directed on Broadway entitled Next Fall and became supporters of my work. They paired me up with Meghan. Meghan and I clicked right away. Jill and Robyn intuitively knew that this would be a great match, and it certainly has been. We did a reading for Todd Haimes, the Artistic Director at Roundabout, and it went incredibly well, and Meghan and I continue to have this very rich, honest collaboration.

 

TS: What do you think the play is about?

SK: I think the play is about loss. I think the play is about broken hearts and the idea that there is always hope.

TS: What were you looking for from the actors when you cast this play?

SK:  What I am always looking for in actors is collaboration, figuring out together how we want to bring these characters to life.

 

TS: What is your process with designers? Do you start with the set?

SK: I have only directed one revival in my whole professional career; I only do new plays, so where I start is with the writer and set designer. I encourage the writer to talk about what was in their imagination when they were writing the play. Then the set designer asks a lot of questions. In this particular case, Wilson, Meghan and I sat in the space; we were sitting in the Underground, and we talked about the physical space. We spoke about what story are we telling and how do we best tell that story. I like making the limitations of a space work for the show. Necessity is the mother of invention. This play takes place in a home where the women feel trapped, so the small space and the low ceilings in the Underground became part of the design.

 

TS: The play is quite poetic; does music play an important part in the design?

SK: Dan Baker, who is designing sound, is also a composer, so he is going to compose music for this play because it is incredibly lyrical and it has 19 scenes in it.

 

TS: I think it has a very cinematic feel to it, do you feel that way?

SK: Yes. I just had a meeting with Wilson and Zach, and we watched transitions in Breaking Bad. Much of my work is very heavily influenced by a camera. I like trying to crack the theatricality of what a camera does and put that onstage. In this particular play, the scenery doesn't move at all, it's a unit set, so that's why we watched Breaking Bad transitions. We wanted to see how they cinematically show the passing of time and how they elicit emotion with their cuts. We came up with a language to try to elicit the same kind of emotion onstage. In this play you have a page and/or a half-scene and then Meghan writes, “One week later.” I feel we have to go to our cinematic roots to make some of the transitions work.

 ... Read More →


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Roundabout Underground, Too Much Too Much Too Many


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