Jackie Hoffman stars in a new comedy set backstage during a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof.
July 1 – 25 at the cell theatre
Imagination Hive in association with Spin Cycle and Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre (Kira Simring, Artistic Director) presents the Off-Broadway Premiere of E. Dale Smith’s FRUMA-SARAH (WAITING IN THE WINGS). Directed by Braden M. Burns and starring Jackie Hoffman (The Bite, The Politician, Feud: Bette and Joan) and Kelly Kinsella, performances begin previews July 1 at the cell with opening set for July 8.
Weighed down by the reality of her current situation and yards of rented cheesecloth, aging community theater star Ariana Russo sits backstage awaiting her entrance as Fruma-Sarah, the screeching deceased wife of Lazer Wolf. Tethered to the fly system overhead, she prepares to navigate her hour-long exile to stage left alone when she meets Margo, a feisty substitute fly captain for the night. Set in real time, while a production of Fiddler on the Roof is happening onstage, the wait begins to wear on Ariana, exposing the deep cracks in her bombastic facade. This love letter to theater explores themes of isolation, being stuck in your situation, and what happens when you are no longer seen by the people around you. Sometimes to feel alive, you have to play a ghost.
The design team for FRUMA-SARAH (WAITING IN THE WINGS) includes Dan Alaimo (lighting), Rodrigo Escalante (set), Bobby Goodrich (costumes), and German Martinez (sound), with Jeff Davolt (production stage manager), and Ellis Arroyo (assistant stage manager).
Best known for her Emmy nominated role of ‘Mamacita’ from FX’s “Feud: Betty and Joan,” Jackie Hoffman was most recently seen onstage in the critically acclaimed Yiddish production of “Fiddler on the Roof” Off-Broadway. She can also be seen in Ryan Murphy’s latest Netflix series “The Politician,” and TruTV’s “At Home With Amy Sedaris.” A staple on television, Hoffman’s numerous credits include “The Other Two,” “Difficult People,” “Gilmore Girls,” “I Shudder,” “Girls,” “Six by Sondheim,” “The New Normal,” “The Good Wife,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Raising Hope,” “Melissa and Joey,” “On We Go,” “30 Rock,” “Starved,” “Hope and Faith,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Strangers with Candy,” “TV Funhouse,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Soulman” and “Cosby.” A distinguished voice actress, she has also appeared in the cartoons “High School USA,” “Family Guy,” “Dilbert,” “PB & J Otter,” and the film “Robots.” In film, Hoffman has appeared in memorable roles in “Birdman,” “Kissing Jessica Stein,” “Decay,” “The Sitter,” “The Extra Man,” “How to Seduce Difficult Women,” “A Dirty Shame,” “Garden State,” “Legally Blonde II” and “Mo’ Money.” On Broadway, Hoffman has co-starred in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “On The Town,” “The Addams Family,” “Xanadu” and “Hairspray,” for which she won a Theatre World Award. Off-Broadway, Hoffman starred as ‘Princess Winifred’ in the Transport Group’s “Once Upon A Mattress,” and received a Drama League Award Nomination for her performance. Her additional theater credits include “A Chanukah Charol,” “The Gingerbread House,” “Straightjacket,” “Incident at Cobbler’s Knob” (Lincoln Center Theatre Festival) and “One Woman Shoe.” Hoffman has performed in regional theatre, as well in Chicago at The MUNY and The Sisters Rosensweig at the Globe Theatre. She starred in six revues at The Second City Theatre in Chicago, where she won the Jeff Award for Best Actress. Her solo shows at Joe’s Pub have received critical acclaim. They include “The Kvetching Continues,” “Jackie Five-Oh!,” “Chanukah at Joe’s Pub” (Bistro Award), “Scraping the Bottom” and “Jackie with a Z.” In 2009, Hoffman received the Mac Award for Best Female Stand Up. Her show “Jackie Hoffman: Live from Joe’s Pub” is available on disc.
Kelly Kinsella: How To Do a One Person Show (“…she will take you on a hilarious and expansive journey.”- broadwayworld.com) soloNOVA, CoHo Portland, Columbia Center For the Arts, Chenango River Theatre; When Thoughts Attack (“She’s just like us, just funnier.” -nytheatre.com) Provincetown Women’s Week, Ars Nova, The Duke on 42 St, soloNOVA, Access Theatre, Shadowland Theatre, The Palace Theatre, SUNY Ulster, SUNY New Paltz, Emerging Artists, and The Actors Fund of NY; Kelly Kinsella Live! Under Broadway (Performances to Remember 2007-BackstageNY) fringeNYC, Upright Citizen’s Brigade NYC/LA, Ars Nova; The Vocal Stylings of Daniel Reichard (special guest at various venues including Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub and the Metropolitan Room); Contemporary Monologue (Village Voice critic’s pick); The Adventures of Dick Danger (produced by Moonwork at The Laurie Beechman Theatre); Believe in Me…a Bigfoot Musical (“a terrific and zany performance by Kelly Kinsella.”-NYTimes); Kelly Kinsella: One Night Stand (Moonwork’s “An Evening of Original Works”); A modern interpretation of Julius Caesar (Moonwork at The Connelly Theatre); Excuse Me, I Appear To Have Misplaced My Soul (“Kelly Kinsella is a powerhouse.”- Orlando Sentinel). Rose’s Turn, NYC and The Orlando Fringe Festival; Manhattan Monologue Slam (MMSlam Champion 2006).
Braden M. Burns is a multi-faceted creative innovator across multiple disciplines of entertainment. Trained at Marymount Manhattan College in theater with a BA in producing and directing, he has used his cross-section of skills to develop creative products for live entertainment and television, as well as the hospitality/travel industry. As a theatrical director he most recently directed Hedwig and the Angry Inch (20th anniversary production), Into the Woods, and his most recent collaboration with playwright E. Dale Smith, Divine/Intervention. Divine/Intervention won the top award of “Outstanding Production of the Play” at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival.
E. Dale Smith earned his MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University in 2009 and his BFA in Theatre Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. He was a 2006 Shubert Playwriting Fellow and a James A. Michener playwriting scholar. He has had several plays produced in New York and across the country including Iva Secret (2010), Rhoda Heartbreak (2008), Stella Mann (2009) and Rhoda Heartbreak: The Musical (2010). His first creative collaboration with Braden M Burns, Divine/Intervention, was featured in the 2015 FringeNYC festival, where it earned “Outstanding Production of a Play”.
Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the cell has successfully moved into the digital sphere by streaming virtual concerts and programming such as Dark Matter Immersive’s Garden of Eden (New York Times’ Top Ten Things to Do This Week), Tolerance Party (Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream this Week), the Room | to | Breathe series with Bright Shiny Things, Nourishment “Bites” with Holdtight Dance Company, Apex Sky, Harps Uncovered, Liquidverse by Liquid Light Lab and Ricardo Romaneiro. Past productions include Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Pink Unicorn (starring Alice Ripley co-produced with Out of the Box), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (Drama-Desk Nominated), Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical (which is set to debut on Broadway under the title Paradise Alley this season), The McGowan Trilogy, Hey Jude, Horse Girls and more. www.thecelltheatre.org @thecelltheatre
Since its founding in 1998, Spin Cycle has co-produced shows by artists including Joan Rivers, Anthony Rapp, Gavin Creel, Holly Woodlawn, Alison Arngrim, Alec Mapa, Alice Ripley, Karen Finley, and Ain Gordon. Other producing credits include the World Premiere of The Donkey Show, Kiki & Herb’s Obie winning Have Another, The Vaudevillians starring Jinkx Monsoon, John Kelly’s Paved Paradise, the long-running immersive hit Bleach, Jacob Shore’s Tennessee Rising (directed by Alan Cumming) and the Rochester premiere of Woman Before A Glass (directed by Austin Pendleton). Current and recent theater PR clients include: 21 seasons with The New York International Fringe Festival, 20 seasons with The Flea Theater (including premieres by A.R Gurney, Elizabeth Swados, Will Eno, Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp and Mac Wellman) and 7 years with P.S. 122 (including premieres by Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo, Elevator Repair Service, and Eric Bogosian), the long-running immersive hits Then She Fell and Voyeur, and theater companies including Partial Comfort, The Civilians, Bedlam, SITI Company, Pig Iron, 3LD, Ars Nova, New Georges, The Culture Project, the cell, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and Theater Breaking Through Barriers.
FRUMA-SARAH (WAITING IN THE WINGS) runs July 1 – 25, Tuesday – Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 5pm & 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. Please note: no performances July 4th. Running time is 75 minutes, no intermission. Patrons are required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival and follow all current city, state and theatrical union mandated Covid safety protocols. Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre is located at 338 West 23rd Street. Tickets are $35 – $57, available at www.SpinCycleNYC.com.