2016-2017 Season

Just Announced: Marvin’s Room

Posted on: September 6th, 2016 by Todd Haimes


Marvin's RoomI am thrilled to share the title of our third and final show in the American Airlines Theatre next season. Anne Kauffman will be making her Roundabout debut directing the late Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room. This marvelous play, which had an award-winning run off-Broadway in the early 90s, has never before been seen on Broadway. You may be familiar with the play’s 1996 film adaptation (also penned by McPherson), which was directed by Jerry Zaks and starred Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, and Robert De Niro. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

I am honored to host the Broadway premiere of Marvin’s Room at Roundabout under the stellar direction of Anne, whose credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons, MCC, Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and many others. She has directed plays by the likes of Amy Herzog, Lisa D’Amour, Greg Pierce, Noah Haidle, and Jordan Harrison, and she is the recipient of an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction. We are excited to welcome Anne to the Roundabout stage.

Previews are scheduled to begin June 8, 2017.

Related Categories:
2016-2017 Season, Marvin's Room



HYN-0007F-StandardArtFiles-640x640px-V2On September 1, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical begins previews at Studio 54. The title itself should tell you that the show is a fascinating combination of old and new. Yes, this is a brand new musical, but yes, it also has a score by none other than the great Irving Berlin, who did most of his songwriting in the first half of the 20th century. So how did these classic and brand-new elements come together in this way?

Holiday Inn originated as a musical film in 1942, and, importantly, the movie would have significance beyond its huge box office success. The attack on Pearl Harbor came in the middle of shooting, and the film would be released to an American public coming to terms with a world at war. In many ways, Holiday Inn became a tonic for these difficult times, offering an escape from the serious cares of life through song and dance that celebrated the best days of the year, the holidays in which we all come together with loved ones. In fact, the biggest hit from Berlin’s score was “White Christmas,” a song with the simplest of melodies and lyrics, which resonated deeply with a public thinking about their sons fighting abroad, yearning for a holiday at home “just like the ones I used to know.”

Today, with the advantage of more than 70 years of distance, we are able to look at Holiday Inn with new eyes. While fans of the original film will see their favorite moments and hear their favorite songs, writers Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge have updated the story and humor for today’s audiences, with the added bonus of including even more Irving Berlin classic songs, from “Blue Skies” to “Cheek to Cheek.” And as you’re tapping your toes at this joyful production, I hope you’ll see that the piece still provides that same tonic it was for moviegoers back in 1942. With high spirits and romance to spare, Holiday Inn does something that musicals do better than perhaps any other form – they bring a smile to our face and allow us to forget reality, even for just a couple of hours.

I know you will have a wonderful time taking a trip with us to Holiday Inn, rejoicing in the high-energy song and dance and relishing the story of love and friendship at its heart. As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please continue to email me throughout this 50th Anniversary season at I can’t tell you how greatly I value your feedback.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!


Todd Haimes
Artistic Director

Related Categories:
2016-2017 Season, From Todd Haimes, Holiday Inn


Russian Names: A Guide

Posted on: August 26th, 2016 by Olivia O'Connor


TheCherryOrchard_270x140Upon first read, the many identifiers used to address characters in Russian plays and literature can be daunting. Within the span of a few pages, a character might be addressed by upwards of five different names. What does it all mean?

Lyubov (First)
Andreyevna (Patronymic)
Ranevskaya (Last)

Russians are given three names at birth: their first/given name, their patronymic, and their surname or last/family name. First and last names are fairly self-explanatory; first names are unique to a person, and last names are shared by a family (a father’s last name is passed on to his children) or by a marriage (a wife takes on her husband’s last name). However, it’s worth noting that last names are adjusted to a person’s gender. Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya must have married a man with the last name Ranevsky; when she married, she took on the feminine version of his last name.

Patronymics are unique to the Russian naming system; they are not equivalent to English “middle” names. Instead, they are names that reference the first name of your father, again adjusted for your own gender (gender is apparent at the end of the name; female endings include evna and ovna; male endings evich and ovich). Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya and Leonid Andreyevich Gaev, sister and brother, had a father named Andrey. Their patronymics mean, respectively, “daughter of Andrey” and “son of Andrey.”

The way you choose to address someone in Russian holds clues to your relationship and respective status.

  • As in English, the only time Russians use full (i.e. three) names is when they are introducing someone for the first time.
  • When someone is addressed by their first name and patronymic, respect or formality is being signified. In English, this would be the equivalent of calling someone Ms. Last Name. This address can include a shortened version of the patronymic, in which one syllable is elided; i.e. from Leonid Andreyevich to Leonid Andreyich. “First, patronymic” addresses are given from servants to masters. The form is also used anytime someone wants to indicate deference or respect.
  • When someone is addressed by their first name alone, we can assume the speaker is an intimate friend or family member. The exceptions to this rule are children and servants; they may be addressed by their first names by any speaker.
  • Nicknames, or pet names, may also be used in substitution for a first name. Again, these names, which are usually diminutive endings on a first name (i.e. from Lyubov to Lyuba) indicate closeness and informality.
  • Russians rarely use surnames alone (i.e. Ranevskaya), unless they are referring to a famous person. If a surname is used alone in regular speech, it may be an indication of disrespect (think of calling a teacher by their last name, without the addition of Ms. or Mr.).

Fun fact:
Before the 1917 Russian revolution, Russian first names were often chosen based on the saint’s day on which a child was born (the Russian Orthodox Church required it). This meant lots of kids with identical names, but thankfully, the Russians have many, many nicknames. One dictionary of pet names lists the potential nicknames for Georgi. They include: Gora, Zhora, Gera, Gesha, Gosha, Goshulya, Gulya, Goshunya, Goga, Garya, Yegorka, Yegonya, Yegosha, Yeguna, and Gunya. After the revolution ended and naming restrictions were lifted, some 3,000 new names were introduced.

For more information on our production of The Cherry Orchard, please visit our website.

Related Categories:
2016-2017 Season, Education @ Roundabout, The Cherry Orchard, Upstage

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