For most of the Sunday matinee of Colman Domingo’s new heartbreakingly funny play DOT at the Vineyard Theatre, starring Marjorie Johnson, Sharon Washington, Colin Hanlon, Stephen Conrad Moore, Libya V. Pugh, Michael Rosen and Finnerty Steeves, I was on the verge of laughter and tears.
Helmed by Susan Stroman, DOT opened Tuesday, February 23rd and its extended run ends on Thursday, March 24th. The limited engagement was originally scheduled to run through Sunday, March 20th. The remaining performances are Monday, March 21th @ 7pm, Tuesday, March 22nd @ 7pm, Wednesday, March 23rd @ 7pm and Thursday, March 24 @ 2pm and 8pm.For tickets and information, visit www.vineyardtheatre.org or call 212-353-0303.
Washington’s former Scottsboro Boys’ cast mate Joshua Henry, who is currently starring on Broadway in Shuffle Along, Robert McKay (“Daredevil,” “Gotham”), Gayle Turner (original Broadway cast of The Wiz) and Tracey Conyer Lee (Bedbugs!!!, Sistas: The Musical) visited with the cast backstage.
In DOT, the holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty (Marjorie Johnson) and her three grown children, Shelly (Sharon Washington), Donnie (Stephen Conrad Moore), Averie (Libya V. Pugh) gather for the holidays with more than exchanging presents on their minds. As Dotty struggles to hold on to her memory, her children fight to balance care for their mother and care for themselves.
Kudos to the terrific cast and creative team for telling this very relevant, relatable and timely story.
I have first hand experience with Dementia and Alzheimer in my family, having witnessed the decline of my beloved feisty grandmother, Nancy Lee Chang. At 80 years of age, she was independent, self-sufficient, vital, strong as an ox and still going to the gym everyday, but after the unexpected death of my mother in 1999 and injuries related to being hit by a car, she began to change. Over the course of the play, I was in tears numerous times because of the all too familiar drama unfolding onstage.
On Tuesday, March 22nd, DOT director Susan Stroman will be joined by Tony Award-winning actor and advocate David Hyde Pierce (Vineyard’s THE LANDING, director of Broadway’s IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU) for a discussion of themes raised by the play following the 7pm performance of DOT. Pierce has worked with The Alzheimer’s Association for nearly twenty years as a board member and national spokesperson. He has testified before Congress and served on the federal Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, providing guidance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In 2010, he was awarded the Tony Awards’ Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT DOT:
UPROARIOUSLY FUNNY! DEEPLY MOVING!
A thoroughly entertaining comedy-drama, an impressive advance for Colman Domingo. Dotty is played with glowing warmth and sensitivity by Marjorie Johnson. THE CAST IS TERRIFIC.” – Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
“‘DOT’ IS DISARMINGLY FUNNY AND MOST REWARDING!
Kudos to the Vineyard Theatre’s highly engaging production, helmed by the celebrated Broadway veteran Susan Stroman. She strikes a most responsive chord. The ensemble of seven is ideal. Marjorie Johnson delivers beautifully!” – Roma Torre, NY1
“‘DOT’ IS ROLLICKING AND AFFECTING!
VERY FUNNY, VERY MOVING AND PROPELLED BY A WONDERFUL TEAM OF ACTORS.
Susan Stroman does a perceptive job with this comedy-drama. All seven actors gloriously shine. Sharon Washington is a thorough joy. Colin Hanlon and Michael Rosen give humorous and sensitive performances. Finnerty Steeves is uproariously funny. Colman Domingo provides the audience with NONSTOP LAUGHTER AND TENDER SENSITIVITY.” – Steven Suskin, The Huffington Post
“A MAGNIFICENT NEW PLAY! FULL OF LAUGHTER AND HEARTBREAK.
The actors knock it out of the park. Marjorie Johnson astounds us with her performance. Stephen Conrad Moore and Colin Hanlon are masters. Libya V. Pugh is just plain fun as Averie. Colman Domingo tackles the subject with intelligence, heart and humor. A CAPTIVATING PRODUCTION!” – Zachary Stewart,TheaterMania
“A GUT-WRENCHING DRAMA!
Colman Domingo is in his finest form yet as a playwright.” – Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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