Neil Koenigsberg attempting to write
On the list of scribes participating in this summer’s one-act play fest Summer Shorts 2 in Gotham, there were familiar names, like Terrence McNally, Eduardo Machado and Keith Reddin; unfamiliar names, such as John Augustine and Roger Hedden; and one name you probably know even if you think you don’t.That’d be emerging writer Neil Koenigsberg. If you don’t recognize it right off the bat, here’s a hint: He’s the K in PMK. One of the founders of the powerhouse PR group, Koenigsberg later ran his own management company. Now, while he’s holding onto his Hollywood ties (he has an option on a book he may produce as a movie project), he’s also pursuing his long-standing interest in writing for the stage. “Other people would play golf, and I’d write plays,” he says. Koenigsberg’s contribution to Summer Shorts 2, running at Off Broadway’s 59E59 Theaters July 31-Aug. 28, is a half-hour play about an encounter between a teenager reading a book about Stonewall and a middle-aged woman. Set in a Greenwich Village park, show is called “On a Bench.” Koenigsberg became connected to the Shorts presenters through his friend Machado (“The Cook”). He remembers being thrilled to get a call from them. “I can see what my clients went through,” he says. “I’m always sending my stuff to everybody. How many people get a yes? The stars are not the only ones that need to be loved and loved and loved.” Koenigsberg, a member of the Actors Studio Playwrighting and Directing Unit, also is developing a full-length play called “Off the King’s Road,” which has had two staged readings in Gotham so far, one helmed by John Gould Rubin and one by Peter Askin. “What I’m hoping now is to get an agent out of all this,” he says. “I sound like a 25-year-old actor!” Dinosaurs may have died out millions of years ago, but they’re working on taking over the world again. “Walking With Dinosaurs — The Live Experience,” the hit arena tour that originated in Australia in 2007, has traveled the U.S. for the past year or so, wracking up $67 million in U.S. ticket sales so far, according to producers. The attraction, based on the 1999 BBC doc and starring 15 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, arrives at Madison Square Garden for a dozen perfs at the end of July, just as a second set of prehistoric beasts has been prepped to expand the property into Europe and Asia. The show’s success also has prodded the formation of Creature Production Company, which produces the show around the world, and the critter design org Creature Technology Company. When designing the enormous facsimiles operated by as many as three puppeteers each, CTC’s Sonny Tilders (“Stars Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith”) was forced by the constraints of live entertainment to create complete, free-moving entities. “On stage you don’t have the wonderful advantage of the camera frame to block things out,” Tilders says. “For film, you would never make a complete creature.” Now that he and his team have managed to make convincing creatures (10 different species) for the show, there’s been interest in similarly lifelike, mobile creations for other live entertainment purposes, such as theme parks. “It’s a whole new potential for us, in terms of entertainment,” says CPC topper Carmen Pavlovic. “Walking” was co-plotted and directed by Scott Faris, who has directed several incarnations of “Chicago” around the world as well as Vegas spectaculars such as “EFX” and the recent Bette Midler show. These dinos, with the largest measuring 36 feet tall and 56 feet long, are even bigger draws than Midler. “But we don’t have a T-Rex that overindulges like Marlon Brando,” Faris says.