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Broadway's 'Assembled Parties' gets rewrites after Boston bombings

April 19, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • Jake Silbermann portrays Tim and Jessica Hecht is Julie in "The Assembled Parties."
Jake Silbermann portrays Tim and Jessica Hecht is Julie in "The Assembled… (Joan Marcus )

In response to Monday’s bombings in Boston, Tony-winning playwright Richard Greenberg made last-minute changes to his new play, "The Assembled Parties," before its Broadway opening on Wednesday.

Three people have died and more than 170 were injured after two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Greenberg voluntarily cut from the play both a negative reference to Boston as well as a reference to a bomb being built.

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

“The Assembled Parties,” a Manhattan Theatre Club production, is about a Jewish family on the Upper West Side of New York circa the 1980s and 2001. MTC's Lynne Meadow directs. It stars Tony Award winner Judith Light (“Other Desert Cities”) and Tony nominees Jessica Hecht (“Harvey”) and Jeremy Shamos (“Clybourne Park”).

"All of us involved in the production of “The Assembled Parties” were saddened by Monday's tragedy in Boston and have deep compassion for all who were affected," MTC artistic director, Lynne Meadow, told Playbill.com. "In response to that event, playwright Richard Greenberg chose to cut one line from his play. He also chose to rewrite a brief description of an off-stage character who, as a college student in 1980, attempted to build a bomb."

The changes to the play were all made in Act 1. At one point, Shamos’ character, a Harvard graduate student, is asked how he likes the city of Boston. "There's something wrong with Boston, isn't there? But Cambridge is fun," he says. Later in the act, there's a reference to a student who got extra credit for building a bomb. Greenberg rewrote the scene in which the bomb-maker was raised.

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Other cast members in the play include Obie Award winner Mark Blum (“Gus and Al”), Lauren Blumenfeld (“We Are Proud to Present…”), Jonathan Walker (“The Divine Sister”), as well as Alex Dreier (“Billy Elliot) and Jake Silbermann ("As the World Turns").   

Greenberg won a Tony in 2003 for his play, “Take Me Out,” about a professional baseball player coming out as gay. He wrote The Violet Hour,” The American Plan,” Eastern Standard” and Three Days of Rain among others.  He also wrote the current Broadway adaptation of “Breakfast at Tiffany's” and the forthcoming musical, which will appear off-Broadway, “Far From Heaven.”

“The Assembled Parties” began previews on March 21 and had its world premiere on Wednesday at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

The play opened to very good reviews, with New York Magazine calling it “Greenberg’s most richly emotional work in years, and the most beautifully detailed.”

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Twitter.com/@debvankin

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