Playwright Richard Greenberg, whom I profile in Playbill this month, has three plays opening nearly simultaneously in New York:
Breakfast At Tiffany’s opened March 20 at the Cort Theater
The Assembled Parties is set to open April 17 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, starring Judith Light and Jessica Hecht.
Far From Heaven, a new musical based on the 2002 movie directed by Todd Haynes, has a book by Greenberg, and stars Kelli O’Hara. It is set to run from May 8 to June 30 at Playwrights Horizons.
It is not the first time that he has been working on more than one production at a time, but he resists the idea that he’s a good juggler.”I’m barely a mono-tasker,” he told me. When he has to multi-task, he says, he gets bronchitis.
We spoke in a diner in Chelsea that is his unofficial office, Moonstruck, but also a place to which he escapes.
An out-take from my interview: He used to hang out at a vest-pocket park near the diner, but he says he doesn’t have the leisure to do that anymore. “I took a coffee and I’d write. I was only allowed in the front part because I was unaccompanied by a child. When it was very cold, and peaceful, I’d bring a coffee and I’d just write. It felt like a grace note.You don’t have to drive through miles of serenity to get there.
“I hope I have time to do that again.”
“Far From Heaven” is one of the few theater pieces he’s written that don’t take place partly or wholly in New York. All the plays he’s done for the Manhattan Theatre Club are set in New York:
The Assembled Parties – 2012-2013 – NYC – Central Park West
The American Plan – 3 different productions (2008-2009, 1990-1991, 1989-1990) — Mostly in the Catskills, but the final scene is set in Manhattan
The Violet Hour – 2003-2004 – Set in Manhattan in 1919
Three Days of Rain – 1997-1998 – Set in NYC’s lower Manhattan in 1995 and 1960
Night and Her Stars – 1994-1995 — Set in NYC & Connecticut
Jenny Keeps Talking – 1992-1993 — Set in NYC’s Upper West Side & Maine
The Extra Man – 1991-1992 — Set in Manhattan
Eastern Standard – 1988-1989 — Set in NYC’s Upper East Side and the Hamptons