FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY: 12-step Walk Up
BEGINS PERFORMANCES NOVEMBER 20, 2011
AT STAGE LEFT STUDIO, 214 W. 30th Street, 6th Floor
Written and performed by FRANK BLOCKER
Directed by KATHY KELLY CHRISTOS
Produced by CHERYL KING PRODUCTIONS and E-MERGING WRITERS
Fearless Moral InventoryFEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY, starring Drama Desk Award-nominee and celebrated monologist Frank Blocker, begins performances November 6 for (at least) a month of Sundays at Stage Left Studio (214 W 30th St., 6th Floor), 5:00 pm curtain. The play ran for 15 performances earlier this year while still in the final phases of development where New York Press declared that “Anyone who hasn’t seen one of Blocker’s multi-character solo shows should buy tickets now.” The Examiner went as far as to say that Blocker is an “actor/writer extraordinaire” and that the play “should be nominated for a Pulitzer for the unique way it views life.”
The play features 23 characters centering on a 5-floor walk-up apartment building in New York City, ruled by a vindictive landlord. Next door to a church (“for Christ’s sake”) where 12-step programs are a regular occurrence, each character must face change in a changing world. Blocker formulated the show from actual conversations and overheard diatribes from around New York City—from the Biblically-challenged Baptist preacher screaming from the radio of a babbling Jewish cab driver with a Russian accent, to the septuagenarian sex addict in recovery and her murderous landlord on a crusade. “Sometimes I think my job as a playwright is to be a recorder. Whether I agree with them or not, I should report what was said. When in doubt, stay closest to the truth.” Blocker says the intention of the play was to introduce the likeable along with the most irritating of City characters so that audiences might return home from the theatre with more empathy for their fellow man, having walked in their shoes and listened to their agendas.
“What it became is an in-depth look at issues we face in a world that’s constantly in flux. But as much fun as character-driven stand-up comedy.” Says director Kathy Kelly Christos.
“I used characters I knew and met to create the cast, but the plotline is based on my own nightmare with a typical City landlord. When I found out just how un-unique this is here, I realized, ‘I have something universal!’”
Producer Cheryl King snatched up the property for a run in her edgy, up-and-coming theatre, “Frank did more than 30 performances of his last show, Southern Gothic Novel. I never missed a show.” King directed Blocker and hopes to bring Novel back for special performances. “I would like to see Fearless sprout legs, and I hope to keep Frank on my stage as much as possible. He’s one of New York’s best kept secrets.” King’s Stage Left Studio, one block south of Penn Station, has been garnering substantial critical praise as well. The New York Theatre Experience stated, “On view at Stage Left is the very best New York theater has to offer.”
Blocker first came to New York in 2001 with an off-Broadway show he co-wrote— crowd-pleaser and a critical darling Eula Mae’s Beauty, Bait & Tackle—and has been working with playwrights and creating new work ever since. Helming the E-Merging Writers collective, the group created three volumes of work by new playwrights called Stage THIS! As an actor, he won a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for his Solo Performance in Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen-Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident, which he also penned. More recently, he appeared off-Broadway in last year’s Deep Throat Sex Scandal, lauded for his dynamic portrayals of multiple characters and his monologue skills.
“And now I have four women ruling over me in a one-man show.” Blocker eludes to the coincidence of being produced, directed, and coached by four different women for his solo show. In addition to King as producer and Christos in the directing chair, FEARLESS has the assistance of acting coach Amy Jones for help with vocal stress and characterization, and director and dramaturge Helena Gleissner worked through the initial development process. “I turn down no help. Especially quality like these ladies bring. Besides, no one does a solo show alone.”
Set design is by Edward Morris, costume design by Murray Scott Changar, and sound design by Elizabeth Barudin.
FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY is produced by Cheryl King Productions in association with E-Merging Writers. Press previews begin Nov 6, and OPENING NIGHT is Nov 20. SUNDAYS at 5:00 pm.
SHOWS: Nov 6@5 pm – Nov 13@5pm – Nov 20@5pm is Opening Night