Theatre at St. John’s In Association With Yorick Theater Company
FIRST EVER REVIVAL OF
Ridiculous Theatrical Company’s
Iconic Sendup of an Opera Superstar
Starring and Directed by
Celebrating World Pride in NYC and
50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings
Previews Begin June 13th
Opening Night June 16th
At Theatre at St. John’s on Christopher Street
Theatre at St. John’s, in association with Yorick Theater Company, is pleased to announce the first ever revival of Charles Ludlam’s GALAS, starring and directed by Everett Quinton in celebration of Stonewall 50 and World Pride. GALAS will play a limited engagement from June 13th through June 28th at the Theatre at St. John’s (81 Christopher Street), a stone’s throw from Stonewall and the play’s original home, Ridiculous Theatrical Company. In this grand finale of a series saluting Quinton’s artistry, opera diva extraordinaire Maria Magdalena Galas (rhymes with Callas) once again storms into the West Village with style, flair, and a whole lot of high comedy. Tickets are $25 and are available online at galas.brownpapertickets.com.
As New York City gears up to welcome the world to simultaneously commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings and celebrate World Pride, Theatre at St. John’s hails the return of legendary actor, director, playwright, and designer Everett Quinton to its stage in GALAS by Charles Ludlam. An icon of New York theatre, West Village history, and LGBTQ+ culture, Quinton brings to life one of the world’s most demanding artists in this uproarious combination of pop culture and high art.
In the mid-Twentieth Century, when naturalistic conventions and societal preconceptions dominated the theatre, Ridiculous Theatrical Company (RTC) came along and rocked the New York stages with radical, gender-bending, yet classic and bold, theatrical works. In RTC’s original, iconic 1983 production, GALAS was praised by Frank Rich of The New York Times as “a comic creation of a high order,” with playwright Charles Ludlam in the title role. In this production, the first ever since, Everett Quinton—Ludlam’s partner in art and life—moves from playing the lead character’s devoted maid at his “bizarre best” (The New York Times) to the narcissistic, whirlwind of a woman at the center of the action. From her dramatic star turns in opera houses around the world to her turbulent off-stage antics, Maria Magdalena Galas is a force to be reckoned with. Expertly navigating melodrama and satire, GALAS paints a hilarious yet honest portrait of a deeply-troubled diva from the days of her highest praise to the last spent in lonely despair.
“With events happening all over the city commemorating Stonewall 50, as a West Village theater, we felt the need to honor another neighborhood icon—Ridiculous Theatrical Company,” says Mark Erson, Artistic Director of Theatre at St. John’s. “The world is coming to New York this year for World Pride, and Ridiculous will be here to greet them in all her glory thanks to Everett Quinton, who keeps its revolutionary spirit alive.”
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Park Slope, Everett Quinton moved to the West Village in 1975, a neighborhood he still calls home. That same year, he met Charles Ludlam and subsequently made his theatrical debut with Ridiculous Theatrical Company (RTC) the following year. After Ludlam’s death in 1987, Quinton took up the mantle of RTC and led the company into its next generations, with contemporary theatre luminaries such as Taylor Mac, Bette Midler, Charles Busch, and Tony Kushner citing RTC as an artistic influence. Following readings of Quinton’s Twisted Olivia and Bitch Slapped by God this spring, this fully-staged production of GALAS celebrates his legacy and showcases his imprint on the New York theatre scene for the world.
Joining Everett Quinton in the title role are Shane Baker, Maude Lardner Burke, Beth Dodye Bass, Géraldine Dulex, Christopher Johnson, Jenne Vath and Mark Erson, Pastor of St. John’s and Artistic Director of Theatre at St. John’s. Scenic design is by Jim Boutin; lighting design is by Robert Neapolitan; costume design is by Ramona Ponce. Karen Oughtred serves as Stage Manager.
Everett Quinton is an actor, director, and playwright and was a longtime member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, where he was an actor, director, and costume designer, appearing in over 75 productions. Everett and Ludlam collaborated perhaps most famously on the wildly successful The Mystery of Irma Vep, co-starring in the two-hander written by Ludlam, which has gone on to have multiple international productions and revivals, including a 1998 Lortel Award-winning Off-Broadway revival, starring Everett Quinton. In addition to his numerous New York and regional theatre credits, Quinton has starred in in his own one person shows Bitch Slapped by God at London’s Drill Hall; Twisted Olivia at The Zachary Scott Theater in Austin (Austin Critics Table Award) and the Empty Space in Seattle; and Phreadre at Theater for the New City. He also starred in the critically-acclaimed Penguin Rep production of Drop Dead Perfect. He is the recipient of multiple Obie and Drama Desk Awards, as well as the Bessie, Drama League, Helen Hayes, and Actors’ Equity Joe A. Callaway Awards. Quinton was also honored in 2011 with the inaugural “Legend of Off-Broadway Award” by the Off-Broadway Alliance, recognizing sustained achievement in the world of Off-Broadway theatre.
Theatre at St. John’s – is a ministry initiative by St. John’s Lutheran Church to engage, celebrate, and support the artistic spirit of the West Village and those who contribute to it. Through collaboration with five resident companies, a rich series of plays is presented throughout the year. Their Readings with a Purpose series uses staged readings to memorialize, teach, and honor while presenting great works of theatre. Regular fellowship events work to offer care and community for theatre/performing artists. www.stjohnsnyc.org
The playing schedule for GALAS is as follows: Monday through Sunday evenings at 8pm, with official opening scheduled for Sunday, June 16th. There is an additional matinee performance on Sunday, June 16th at 3pm. There will be no performances on Tuesday, June 18th; Monday, June 24th; and Thursday, June 27th. Tickets are $25 and are available online at galas.brownpapertickets.com.