JOEL FROOMKIN by tyndale


                            American and Canadian citizen  Member of SSDC

Directing and Assisting Credits

  American Theatre
     Infliction of Cruelty                               (Director/Dramaturg)     Fringe NYC, 2006
               *Winner of Fringe 2006 Outstanding Excellence in Direction Award

     Thumbs, by Rupert Holmes                           (Director)             Cape Playhouse, MA
             *Cast including Kathie Lee Gifford, Diana Canova (Broadway‟s Company, They’re Playing our Song),
             Sean McCourt (Bat Boy), and Brad Bellamy

     The Fastest Woman Alive                            (Director)                 Theatre Row, NY
             *NY premiere of recently published play by Outer Critics Circle nominee, Karen Sunde

     Almost, Maine                                      (Director)                Downstairs Cabaret Theatre
             *February, 2007

     Thumbs (Canadian Premiere)                         (Director)                Victoria Playhouse, Ontario

     To Sir with Love –
     a Tribute to Cameron Mackintosh                       (Assistant Director)      Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala
              *Jay Binder, Director, Rob Ashford, Musical Director
              *Cast including Tony winners Marian Seldes, Karen Ziemba, Debbie Gravitte, Christine Ebersole, Katie
              Finneran, and Faith Prince; as well as Brad Oscar, Liz Calloway, Erin Dilly, Rebecca Luker, Howard
              McGillan, Marla Shaffel, and Norm Lewis

     Almost, Maine                                      (Assistant Director)      Daryl Roth Theatre, NY
             *Director Gabe Barre

     The King and I                                   (Assistant Director)        Papermill Playhouse, NJ
             *Director Mark Hoebee
             *Starring Tony nominee Carolee Carmello and Kevin Grey
             *Also served as Dialect Coach

     My Fair Lady                                       (Assistant Director)      Papermill Playhouse, NJ
             *Director Robert Johannson
             *Also served as Dialect Coach

     La Fenix, by Susan Tammany                     (Director)                Chasama Theatre, NY
             *WINNER of 2003 Spotlight on Awards – Best Production, Best Play
             *Attached to future productions

     Encores! Tenderloin                               (Assistant Director)      City Centre, NYC
             *Director Walter Bobbie (Tony winning Director of Chicago); Musical Director Rob Fisher

          *Cast including Patrick Wilson
          *Tenderloin was part of the 2000 Encores! season, awarded with a special Tony Award

Steel Magnolias                                       (Assistant Director)       Helen Hayes Perf. Arts Centre, NY
        *Director Don Amendolia
        *Starring Sandy Duncan

Camelot                                               (Asst. Dir/Dialects)       North Shore Music Thtr., MA
          *Director Gabe Barre

Tom Jones                                             (Asst. Dir/Dialects)       New York Musical Festival
       *Director Gabe Barre

Broadway By the Year, 1955                        (Assistant Director)      Town Hall, NYC
       *Director Gabe Barre
       *Starring Marc Kudisch, Kerry Butler, Christiane Noll, Karen Mason, Eddie Korbich

Broadway By the Year, 1930                       (Assistant Director)            Town Hall, NYC
       *Director Marc Kudisch
       *Starring Nancy Anderson, Emily Skinner, Mary Testa

Broadway By the Year, 1968                            (Assistant Dir/Prod.)      Town Hall, NYC
       *Director Brad Oscar
       *Starring Annie Golden, Jack Noseworthy

Broadway By the Year, 1978                       (Creative Associate)            Town Hall, NYC
       *Director Bryan Batt
       *Starring Nancy Opel, Carolee Carmello, Christine Pedi

Lincoln Center American Songbook, David Zippel     (Creative Associate)          Lincoln Center
        *Barbara Cook, Brent Barrett, Sally Mayes, Billy Porter

The Nightlife Awards, 2006                             (Writer/Asst. Producer)   Town Hall, NYC
        *Performers incl. Eartha Kitt, Elaine Stritch, Brian Stokes Mitchell

Tale of Two Cities (World Premiere)                   (Assistant Director)       Helen Hayes Perf. Arts Centre, NY
         *Director Richard Sabellico

Last Night of Ballyhoo                                (Assistant Director)       Helen Hayes Perf. Arts Centre, NY
        *Director Rod Kaats

New Girl In Town                                      (Assistant Director)       York Theatre Company, NYC
        *Director Michael Montel

Neil’s Garden                                         (Assistant Director)       Rattlestick Theatre, NYC
         *Director Rod Kaats

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen                  (Director)                 Abbington Theatre, NYC

La Fenix, by Susan Tammany                            (Director)                 The Raw Space Theatre, NYC
        *Also served as Dramaturg
        *Attached to future productions

Adrift in Macao, by Christopher Durang                (Associate Director)       York Theatre, NYC
          *Director Sheryl Kaller
          *Attached as the Associate Director on future productions

   Hurdy Gurdy Man, by Dick Beebe                  (Assistant Director)        New York Stage and Film, NYC
          *Director Sheryl Kaller
          *Cast including Tony winner Maryanne Plunkett

   How Now Dow Jones                                  (Assistant Director)     York Theatre Company, NYC
         *Director Sheryl Kaller

   Kiss Me Kate                                       (Director)               H & A Theatre, KA

   Kismet                                             (Director)               Prospect Theatre, GA

   Industrial – Young Presidents Organization        (Assistant Director)      SFX Productions
            *Cast including Tony winner Carol Channing

   Broadway Smiles, Gala Benefit for Gilda’s Club    (Assistant Director)   Laurie Beechman Theater, NYC.
          *Cast including Tony winner Maryanne Plunkett, and Tony nominees Mary Testa and Christaine Noll, as
          well as Norm Lewis, Jennifer Leigh Warren, and Mark Kudisch

   Workshops/In Development
   Picture of Dorian Grey, by Rupert Holmes           (Director)               York Theatre, NYC
            *Attached to future productions

   Red Badge of Courage, by Ethan Fine                (Director)               York Theatre, NYC
          *Attached to future productions

   Flight of Angels, by Howard Schiner                (Director, Dramaturg)
            *Cast including Tony nominee Willy Falk, and two-time Daytime Emmy winner Kevin Mambo

   Sherlock Holmes and the Purloined ‘Patience’     (Assistant Director, Dialect Coach)
           *Rod Kaats, Director
           *Cast including Tony nominees Judy Kuhn and Nancy Opel, and Simon Jones

   Hurdy Gurdy Man, by Dick Beebe                  (Assistant Director)
          *Director Sheryl Kaller
          *Cast including Tony winner Maryanne Plunkett
          *Multiple workshops and readings

International Theatre
   The Unexpected Man                               (Director)             Bermuda Festival, 2005
          *starring three-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn and Emmy-winner Charles Shaughnessy („The Nanny‟)

   A Delicate Balance                                (Assistant Director)   Haymarket, West End, London
           *Director Anthony Page
           *Cast including Tony winners Dame Maggie Smith and Eileen Atkins
           *Also served as assistant to Edward Albee

   The Wood Demon (West End premiere)                 (Assistant Director)     Playhouse, West End, London
          *Director Anthony Clark

   Asking For It                                      (Director/Dramaturg)     Edinburgh Festival, 2005/
                                                                               59E59 Theatre, NYC

   Pop Junkie or ABBA-ration                          (Director)               UK Tour, London premiere

         True West                                           (Director)                 Rosemary Branch, London

         Sea Urchins (London premiere)                       (Director)                 The Grace Theatre, London

         The Odd Couple (female version)                     (Director)                 The Grace Theatre, London

         The Gingerbread Lady                                (Director)                 The Man in the Moon, London

         A Little Night Music                              (Director)                   Bermuda International Festival
                   *Winner of the Bermuda Gold Award for Best Theatrical Event

         Numerous international concert productions      (Director/Assistant Director)
                *Including Tony winner Carol Channing, Tony nominees Stephen Bogardus, Willy Falk, Liz Larsen, and
                Carolee Carmello

         La Dolce Velveeta (Independent)                   (Assistant Director)
                 *Produced by Joel Paley and Marvin Laird (Ruthless – The Musical)

         University of Southern California, Bachelor of Arts, Performance (summa cum laude)
         University of Southern California, Master of Fine Arts, Design (summa cum laude, specially designed program)

Awards and Nominations
         Fringe NYC Awards            “Outstanding Excellence in Direction” – Infliction of Cruelty
                                                   *Chosen from out of 216 other productions.

         USC                               “Stanley Musgrove Award for Outstanding Creative Talent” – two-time winner
                                                     (Joel is the only individual to have won this award for two years
         Royal Gazette Arts Review         “Most Innovative Production of the Year”
         The Bermuda Gold Award            “Theatre Artist of the Year” for A Little Night Music
         Kennedy Centre College Festival   “Irene Ryan Award” nominee
         Spotlight on Festival, NYC        “Best Production of the 2002-2003 Season” for La Fenix

         Dialect Coach currently teaching dialects & phonetics at NYU‟s, Tisch School of the Arts, CAP21
         Skilled in music theory (Grade 8/8 Royal Schools of Music, London)

References (contact information provided upon request)
      Rupert Holmes        Three-time Tony winner (Author of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Accomplice, Thumbs,
                           The Picture of Dorian Grey & Broadway‟s recent Say Goodnight Gracie)

      Kathie Lee Gifford   Emmy nominated television personality, recording artist, actress

      David Zippel         Academy Award nominee, Hercules, Mulan.

      Scott Siegel         Creator, Broadway By the Year, Broadway Unplugged, Broadway Originals.

      Gabe Barre           Director Cinderella national tour, Wild Party, MTC

      John Cariani         Tony nominee, Fiddler on the Roof, Author, Almost, Maine.

      Evans Hale           Artistic Director of The Cape Playhouse, Dennis, MA

      Diana Canova         Actress (Star of TV‟s SOAP, Broadway‟s Company, They’re Playing Our Song)

      Ray Demattis         Director (National tour of Grease, Pheonix Productions)

      Rod Kaats            Former Artistic Director, Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center, NY

Reviews (text reprinted from original review)
By Rupert Holmes
Directed by Joel Froomkin
Cape Playhouse, Dennis MA
CAPE COD CHRONICLE, July 11th, 2002
'"Thumb-thing' Wonderful At Cape Playhouse"
by Michael Lach
"Eat your heart out Regis, and watch out for your thumbs, as Kathie Lee Gifford seizes the stage in the latest Cape
Playhouse comedy-thriller. Playwright Rupert Holmes has returned to the famous theatre and takes the audience
on another wacky ride with his new murder mystery titled "Thumbs".
Set in an isolated cabin tucked away in the mountain woods of Vermont, the play centers on two female character
trying to outwit, outplay, and outmaneuver each other around a murder scene spiraling out of control. Laughs and
gasps abound as downright deceptive Diana Canova and the infamous Kathie Lee try to out dupe one another.
In the past, Holmes as won multiple Tony Awards for his plays, and "Thumbs" appears to be in step with his
successful track record. Holmes and director [Joel Froomkin] combine their talents to bring the script to the
stage and guide the professional acting process. This show is unique because its plot revolves around two
leading women instead of the usually male dominated dramas onstage., in the movies or in television. The strong
female characters played by Gifford and Canova really elevate this production. Each actress draws on her
extensive experience to turn out a lively summer show.
Kathie Lee plays Marta Dunhill, a narcissistic, power-hungry TV talk show host who shows up at her ex-
husbands mountain cabin retreat, much to his dismay. She and her downtrodden husband, Freddie Bradshaw,
played by Brad Bellamy, duke it out with 'he said, she said" verbal sparring. Tension builds, but as is true
throughout, we're not quite sure who will snap first or what will happen next.
As the play progresses the last two acts gain such momentum with comic twists and surprising hairpin turns that
no one can possibly guess which femme fatale will emerge victorious. The fact that "Thumbs" takes you on a
trip where anything is possible while everything goes wrong and right simultaneously (huh?) is this play's real
strength. In other words, there's 'thumb-thing' very unpredictable about this show.
And then there's that thumb theme. The mysterious killer has a nasty habit of sawing off his victim's thumbs. At
the outset you'll get wind of this wacko dubbed "Tom Thumb" by local police, from a radio news broadcast
cleverly woven into the opening scene by sound designer Ben Young. You certainly won't be twiddling your
thumbs during the rest of the action.
Hot of the trail of Tom Thumb is small-town Sheriff Jane Morton played by Diana Canova, and her seemingly
dopey deputy Wilton played by Sean McCourt. Sheriff Morton's beat might be backwoods Vermont, but she's as
cunning as a street-wise big-city cop. Hats off to Diana Canova for her stellar performance. She portrays a
convincing, almost endearing character reminiscent of the leading police woman in the equally bizarre Hollywood
flick "Fargo".
Sheriff Morton's slow, drawling manner is magnified 10 times over in Deputy Wilton's personality. The slack
jawed, air-headed, goofy-looking sidekick may stare off into space more often than not, but even he may throw a
few shockers your way. The same surprise factor applies to Marta Dunhill's studly tennis instructor Todd
Monroe, played by Steve Wilson of 'Visiting Mr. Green" fame last season.

It's so hard to put your finger on what's around the cabin corner that "Thumbs" keeps you glued to your seat until
the very end. So on the next warm thumber evening at the Cape Playhouse, check out this classic comedy-thriller,
even if you have to thumb a ride".

"Kathie Lee Struts Her Stuff,”
by Libby Hughes
Artistic Director Evans Hale always charms his opening night audience at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis. He
manages to give tantalizing previews of coming attractions. And on occasion he introduces special guests in the
audience. Opening night of "Thumbs" was no exception. He brought the esteemed playwright Rupert Holmes
down the aisle for a round of applause. Next he turned the spotlight on Frank Gifford and his children. A flurry
of excitement rippled across the audience as heads turned to catch a glimpse of the famous sportscaster and
husband of this week's star, Kathie Lee Gifford.
Playwright Rupert Holmes is no stranger to the New York sage. His musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood",
pulled him down three Tony Awards. Holmes was born in Northwich, England, to a father who was a bandleader
for the U.S. military. Before playwriting, young Holmes played the clarinet as well as bass in a rock band. He
also was a successful composer. Barbra Streisand used some of his songs in "A Star Is Born". Now, his
versatility even extends to a first attempt at a novel.
Like most mysteries, the plot is convoluted and fraught with hidden surprises. The marriage of a glamorous
television diva has gone sour. The two parties have been divorced for a year, but reunite at their ski cabin in the
mountains of Vermont. Still smarting from marital wounds, they rehash their years together. In the intervening
year, Marta Dunhill has snared her tennis instructor into a love duet. When her ex-husband, Freddie Bradshaw,
announces his intention to write a "tell-all" book about his ex-wife, his minute son this earth are numbered. Some
serial killings in the small ski village are the perfect setting for the twist of "Thumbs" to follow....
And what about Kathie Lee Gifford? How does she pan out as a living, breathing actress? Not bad. In fact,
pretty good. You won't see the champagne fizz of cheerfulness that we usually associate with her from the "Regis
and Kathie Lee" TV show. The bubbly bubbles of an animated Barbie are nowhere to be seen. Her hair color and
hairdo are different. Even her voice is different. Occasionally, the laugh is recognizable. She begins in a low key
and works up to a full characterization, extracting as much humor as she can from the thoroughly obnoxious
femme fatale. Let's see her in something to stretch her talent eve more in future. Bouquets to KLG.
Diana Canova and Sean McCourt really picked up the pace of the show. Each builds a characterization that
unravels in the third act. Canova is a connoisseur of comedy as the southern sheriff, stationed in Vermont.
McCourt portrays Wilton Dekes, a Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) type with a Maine accent. Plaudits for a slice of
great slapstick acting, born out of disguise. Brad Bellamy was a sort of winsome alcoholic as the scorned ex-
husband and Steve Wilson charmingly overplayed the handsome young tennis instructor.
The set by Dan Kuchar was absolutely stunning. The barren trees above the cabin and the stove fireplace made us
feel the winter in Vermont as did the lighting design by Michael J. Patterson. Nan Youngs costumes for Kathie
Lee were bright and svelte. Director Joel Froomkin puts excellent thumbprints on the show's creative
direction around the soaring stone fireplace.
For a change of venue at the Cape Playhouse, "Thumbs" is easy entertainment. There are even quips directed at
the O.J. Simpson trial. Even Dominique Donne would have a ball!"

“Thumbs! deserves a big hand,'”
by Debbie Forman
Dennis, MA - Dare I say it? Thumbs up. That's the verdict.
Rupert Holmes new comedy-thriller, "Thumbs" at the Cape Playhouse is a clever bit of stagecraft with enough
twists and turns and false leads to keep you dangling (Dare I say it?) by your thumbs.
Holmes, best known for his Tony-award-winning "Mystery of Edwin Drood", has a lot of fun sprinkling those
'thumbs' phrases throughout. The play is contrived and sometimes corny, but you know Holmes intends that.
He's having a lot of fun amid the murder and mayhem he's cooked up in this once-quiet little town of Barnstock
Needless to say, I can't say too much or I'd spoil the entertainment. And it's just that. Behind every murder
there's a wink or two. it's not to be taken too seriously. Actually, not at all seriously.
Kathie Lee Gifford plays the tough-as-nails TV star Marta Dunhill, who visits her ex-husband, Freddie, in their
Vermont retreat. Theirs was a marriage best ended, but they still have issues, and now Freddie plans to write a
tell-all book that he hopes will ruin his ex-wife's career.
Gifford is smooth and sleek and full of sparks; she gives a polished performance as the nasty wife. Gifford also
has wit and charm and an easy way with comedy.
Marta meets her match in Sheriff Jane Morton, who arrives on the scene in the second act to investigate a murder.
Diana Canova is a delight as the aw-shucks, small-town sheriff, who's a lot smarter than you might think.
Reminiscent of Frances McDormand's police chief in "Fargo", Canova takes charge, swaggering through the
cabin, pretending to be a bit of a bungler, yet meanwhile stringing the net that will catch the murderer.
Gifford and Canova ably play off one another as they tackle Holmes game of one-upmanship. Marta and Jane are
smart and determined woman. No shrinking violets here.
Steve Wilson oozes the wily charm of the L.A. opportunist Todd Monroe. Marta's current boyfriend. Sean
McCourt is very funny as the nerdy sheriff's assistant, Wilton Dekes, an apparently dim-witted local yokel, who
works as an able distraction, muddying the waters and further complicating the plot.
As Freddie, Brad Bellamy aptly sets the mystery in motion, taking us off-guard from the very beginning. One
clue: No one is to be trusted.
Dan Kuchar's nicely appointed set of a mountain cabin is an unlikely setting for a murder, but don't be fooled.
You're in for a night of whodunits.
In charge of this Cape Playhouse production is [Joel Froomkin] who's sure sense of precision timing keeps
the audience walking on a narrow tightrope between comedy and suspense.
Holmes and cast have a lot of fun keeping you guessing. From the very beginning you know it's a game they're
playing, and Gifford and Canova play it to the very end, even with their bows and departing gestures."

La Fenix
By Susan Tammany
Directed by Joel Froomkin
Spotlight-On Festival, NYC
Review by Louis Lopardi, November 1st, 2002
Let my love be ever doomed
if guilty in its intent,
for loving you is a crime
of which I will never repent.
Sometime in the late seventeenth century, a Spanish Nun wrote these words in a convent south of Mexico City.
She has been called "... a Poet Nun, a woman of genius, and a person of intellectual prowess whose ideas and
accomplishments were ahead of her time." She was indeed a visionary and a mystic, albeit not the sort Mother
Church was used to, and she in fact did come dangerously close to the inquisitor's wrath. Visionary and Mystical
are also words that describe Susan Tammany's exquisitely wrought play about the Poet Nun Sor Juana Ines - a
play with far more real depth than the Broadway Luther. This is a language play, of as poetic a nature as the
subject. Of her forbidden books, Juana says "This is living water, and I'll drink it no matter what the cost."
In this version of her complex story, Sor Juana's problem is appropriately simplified to a triangle, or more
precisely two overlapping triangles: A rabid priest is torn between his love of God and his repressed love for
Juana, while the nun herself sees no conflict in loving the Countess Luisa as well as her God. In a carefully placed
(and played) scene, the Countess presents a portrait of Juana (actually painted posthumously); it was symbolic of
the care present throughout this magical production.
The Countess Maria Luisa was carefully crafted by the author. In a tiny moment which in a lesser play would
have gone unnoticed, she tellingly refuses chocolate in favor of coffee, thus subtly reinforcing her hatred of things
native. She was just as carefully played by Carmela Marner, always aware of her station even as she basked in the
light of Juana's love or shuddered in the shadow of the hated Father Antonio. Michael DiGioia warmed to that
role and made it his own, especially when his passions drove him to what seemed a hysterical physical blindness
to mirror that of his own soul.
Both co-leads suffered in being rather too keyed-up right from the start. The Priest a little too transparent and not
supporting his voice, the Countess a little too eager. A minor quibble, and probably due to the hectic nature of
Festival producing; within a scene both reached perfection. As Juana Ines, Agnes Tsangaridou was perfection
right from the start - striking the right combination of devout innocent and visionary with more passion than was
healthy in such repressed times. A servant played by Nancy Wilcox, an eager Nun (Margaret Stockton) and a
severe Nun (Betsy Johnson) balanced out a superb cast.
The wide, shallow space of Studio A has defeated many, but it was tamed by this production team. This was a
"director's set design", in that it had simply a few elegant pieces, perfectly placed to provide enough obstacles for
the cast and still create exquisite stage pictures. This was a careful production - in that so much care was lavished
on the details. Director Joel Froomkin has an eye for the poetical balances in the text, and creates visual
poetry with it on the stage. Costumes (by the author?) were perfect, making it seem too easy to suggest the 17th
century Spanish world. An excellent Sound Design (uncredited, probably by David Gilman and Joel
Froomkin) constantly superimposed pagan sounds on Liturgical music, a macabre canvas that framed the
play well. The Repertory lighting plot by Alexander Warner which cursed the entire rest of the Festival simply
blessed this play. How evident the Director's eye even here.
By the end we are reminded that "warriors float in the thirteenth Heaven" - and the floating image is reinforced as
Juana and the Countess dance and whirl in rapture in a signature Judy Jamison fadeout.

STAGE PAGES, December 18th, 2002
by Sherry Braun
The new play is based on the life of Sor Juana de la Cruz, a major Baroque literary figure recognized to be one of
the most extraordinary people to come from the Spanish-American tradition. The setting is New Spain, Mexico,
in late 17th Century. This absolutely beautiful play by Susan Tammany shows Juana (Agnes Tsangarido) and her
relationships with the misogynistic (victim of his times?) Father Antonio (Michael DiGioia) and a loving
supporter, Countess Maria Luisa (Carmela Marner). Their lifetimes pass before our eyes, and we are compelled
onward through each logical phase as if voyeurs to an inevitable conclusion. One can easily see this play, and this
very production, on a Broadway stage. The Helen Hayes is just the right size to appreciate every nuance of poetic
and theatrical acting. The fine roles already mentioned are backed up by the powerfully solid Sor Iris (Betsy
Johnson), Sor Barbara (Margaret Stockton), and Manuella (Nancy Wilcox). These supporting actors play it so
straight-forwardly that all theatrical and poetic moments are left to the three principals, as they should be.

And moments do they have: of prostration to whip themselves for guilt and punishment; of love; of dance; of the
lifting of the spirit and the dream. Director Joel Froomkin succeeds in more than raising the acting like a
phoenix. Scenes are cleverly punctuated and re-set with the simple movement of a bench. Sound (David
Gilman) is exquisitely haunting. Froomkin deftly uses the festival's side-illumination (repertory plot by Alex
Warner) in such a subtle way that it appears magical. A slow disclosure of feelings on a face lets the audience
slip into the tale.
The writing symbolically devolves the Father as he shows his Dark Ages mentality by literally going blind.
Desires and actions are bold and large as the love triangles evolve. The language is as sophisticated as good
drama gets and contains enough comic relief to make us relate. Tammany "invites me in" so well that tears come
to my eyes.
Costumes (uncredited) are stunning. A cross in the shape of a phoenix hangs around the neck of Antonio. There
are other fine details very economically used (such as the framed portrait) in this wonderful production. Stage
Manager: Drew Van Diver. Prop Manager: John D. Alfone.
Bravo to Cassandra Productions and Spotlight On Productions for having selected such a lovely, sensitive work
which is relevant to the lives of women, of men, of artists, of feminists, of religious fanatics, and of lovers.

Asking For It
By Johanna Rush
Directed by Joel Froomkin
59E59 and the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Reviewed by Scott and Barbara Siegel

Considering the built-in fringe nature of the shows that we've caught in this year's expanded East to Edinburgh
series at 59E59 Theatres, the quality has been outstanding. Except for a lumbering one-person show titled I Miss
Communism, everything else has ranged from respectable to exciting. Here are two examples: Asking for It,
another one-person show, starts off as a modestly amusing personal journey through the guilt-infested world of
Catholicism but soon becomes a far more rangy piece that encompasses show business, AIDS, single-
motherhood, etc. Well acted by its author, Joanna Rush, it is also tightly directed by Joel Froomkin, who gives
the show a real sense of ambience despite its presentation in a black box theater.

The Complete Works Of Shakespeare Abridged
Directed by Joel Froomkin
Weathervane Theater, Ohio
The Newark Advocate, July 16, 2005
Weathervane's Shakespeare spoof: Comedy at its best
By Bonnie Davis

Shakespeare! You want me to deal with Shakespeare on a hot summer night? Those were my thoughts when
entering the Weathervane Playhouse on opening night this week. Well, this theater experience was not what I

Joel Froomkin, has directed such stars as Tony nominee Judy Kuhn and Emmy-winning star of "The
Nanny," Charles Shaughnessy. Joel also has directed Tony winner Rupert Holmes' "Thumbs" starring
Kathie Lee Gifford. He has been a professor of speech and dialects at New York University's musical
theater department and has coached many major productions.

Weathervane is honored to have Joel in the directing spot light for "The Compleat Works of WillmShkspr
(abridged)" and the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a three-man acting team consisting of Raven Peters, David
Shane and Linwood Young. All did a magnificent job of creating a most entertaining and fabulously funny
rendition of 37 Shakespeare comedies, tragedies and sonnets. These three guys carried a big load. The energy,
timing and interaction between them and with the audience were natural and refreshing. The audience became
caught up in the hype of entertainment to the point that patrons participated in the actors' antics with raw reaction.

If you've never seen "Othello" performed as a rap song, "Macbeth" presented with Scottish accents, "Richard II,"
"Henry VI" and "Henry VIII" staged as a football game, "Titus Andronicus" presented as a cooking class and
"Hamlet" performed backward, then you really need to see this Weathervane production. Knowledge of the works
of Shakespeare is not necessary to enjoy this play.

Several parts of the play had adult themes and might not necessarily be suitable for viewing by children, but as the
actors stated before the presentation, the script was meant to be entertaining and funny, not offensive. These
young actors played off of each other so well and used such smooth timing techniques while maintaining such
high energy that this reviewer feels this presentation deserves a rating of five, the best I can give.

As Shakespeare himself said in one of his monologues: "What a piece of work is man."

The Unexpected Man
Directed by Joel Froomkin
Bermuda International Arts Festival
The Bermuda Sun
An Unexpected Ride
Review by Robin Holder
“Exceptional performances in the Bermuda Festival production of The Unexpected Man redeem a play imbued
more with ideas than drama.
Written by Yasmina Reza and directed by Joel Froomkin, Monday night‟s opening at City Hall explored the
unfolding relationship between a man and a woman on a Paris to Frankfurt train journey.
The man (Charles Shaughnessy), a writer bitter at life and undergoing a creative crisis is joined in a train
compartment by the woman (Judy Kuhn). She has a copy of The Unexpected Man but is reluctant to open it
because the author of the book is sitting opposite her.
Neither of these individuals talks to each other until late into their journey but engage in a series of internal
monologues. The subject of these meandering soliloquies sometimes border on banal – an unsuitable son-in-law,
use of laxitives, among others.
Somehow rather than descending into tedium Reza‟s writing takes the experimental risk of gradually building
character development before plunging into action.
With little variation in tempo during the opening 20 minutes, the audience could not imbibe the dialogue
passively. But surmounting these constraints Shaughnessy gives a marvelous account of himself in exploring the
nature of this disaffected roué. There is also a sense of emotional dislocation in Kuhn‟s fully realized character
The anticipated exchange between the writer and his fan was well worth the wait. This can be largely attributed
to finely delineated character portrayals of the cast breathing life into a script fraught with potential pitfalls.
Shaughnessy‟s curmudgeon may be bitter but he is certainly a charming, witty and sly observer of human frailties.
Kuhn equally brings spice to her role as she is not the typical uncritical book fan but has her own perceptive ideas
about loss, the desire for intimacy and the value of literature.
Shaughnessy‟s sympathetic rendering of the writer in turmoil is poignant and very comical when he considered
various schemes to approach her. As the climax approaches when they actually break the ice, one had to revel in
the way each character mulled over, hesitated and pulled back.
The Unexpected Man is on one level a romance but it also raises other philosophical questions. Hardly esoteric,
these questions relate to the relationship between a writer and his audience, human nature and disconnectedness.
Froomkin‟s apt direction is spot on and kudos must go to him for his minimal set, notable for its spiral train motif
suspended in mid air.”


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