More theater work, plus film and TV projects loom
Over the past couple of months, Alex Timbers has had the rare pleasure of walking to work.This fall the 32-year-old director-writer, previously best known for his work at the head of edgy downtown legit troupe Les Freres Corbusier, landed two gigs, in rapid succession, on Broadway — both a stone’s throw from his Times Square apartment. “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” the anarchic emo-rock musical he co-created with composer Michael Friedman, repped his Main Stem debut when it opened Oct. 13. His second Broadway outing, “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” opened just a month later. One show is a skewed looks at American history and politics, homegrown on the alternative legit scene. The other’s a live incarnation of a CBS Saturday-morning skein. But they share a similar alt-comedy sensibility. And besides, Timbers adds, “I think there’s much more of a connection between commercial theater and experimental theater than people think. Both, in success, want to reach a nontraditional theater audience, and both are trying, sometimes explicitly and sometimes not, to move the form forward in some way.” Both “Jackson” and “Pee-wee” feature distinctive, complicated production designs that have been honed to a Broadway sheen. “These two shows come from the brain of someone who is raised on multitasking,” says “Pee-wee” producer Scott Sanders. “It’s a very planned, deliberate version of chaos.” Legiters who have worked with the helmer note the unusual sense of energy and drive with which he approaches his work. “He is a 24-hour-a-day force of nature,” Friedman says. “And he has an uncanny ability to make everything he works on into an event. I think part of his heart is a producer’s heart.” After opening his two Main Stem shows, Timbers has returned to hopping the subway to downtown. Next up is a stint at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop, where “Peter Pan” prequel “Peter and the Starcatchers” will open later this season. Co-directed with Roger Rees from a script by Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”), the production will have a pared-down, “Nicholas Nickleby”-like vibe that might seem surprising for a title developed by (and presented by special arrangement with) megatuner producer Disney Theatrical Prods. Timbers has a handful of other legit projects brewing beyond that. Plus, after the Broadway splash this fall, the logical question becomes: What about film and TV? Yes and yes, Timbers says. Deals for his first screen project are coming together, with details to emerge soon.