Christopher, Laufer attached to star in Shapiro play
NEW YORK — Mark Shapiro’s new play, “Retribution,” has finally been shepherded to the Lambs Theater Off Broadway, with Dennis Christopher and Jack Laufer attached to star.
“We’d been waiting for the right house since March,” said Joka Kops, its general manager. “Because of the serious nature of the work, the Lambs seemed the only place for us.”
The Lambs is a 347-seat Off Broadway theater that is based in the Church of the Nazarene; “Retribution” focuses on religious persecution and social justice.
“Retribution,” is skedded to begin previews on Oct. 14 and will bow Oct. 24 with an unlimited run.
Attached to helm is Michael Unger, assistant director to helmer Mike Okrent on “A Christmas Carol” at Madison Square Garden. He has also worked as an assistant director to Scott Ellis on the Broadway musical “Steel Pier” two seasons ago. In addition, he helmed the Mark Taper Forum’s production of “Cleavage and Smokes” in L.A.
Legiter is based upon a Daniel Stern novel, “Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die,” published in the mid-1960s, and is being producer by the Maryland-based Jadbro Prods. LLC.
The play concerns the decision of a Jewish clerk in a Nazi death camp to save himself and his family by changing the names on a death list so that he and his kin are spared.
Twenty-five years later, while working in America as a director, the name swapper is visited, and initially befriended, by a stranger who is the last surviving relative of those who were exterminated as a result of the name swap.
Christopher, best known for his performances in the films “Breaking Away” and “Chariots of Fire,” will play the stranger who wreaks psychological chaos on the name-swapper, played by Laufer. Laufer appeared in the TNT original pic “The Man Who Captured Eichmann” and the feature film “Lost in Yonkers.”
Jenna Stern will play Laufer’s wife. She has appeared on stage in “Angels in America, Part II” and on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show.” Her film credits include the Paul Rudd-starrer “Picture Perfect.”
The legiter will also feature thesps Walter Hudson, Paul Stolarsky and Stuart Zagnit.