Roughly Speaking, a new play with rap by Shara Ashley Zeiger based on over 200 interviews with the New York City Homeless announces its full cast and creative team.
The Roughly Speaking cast will feature Franz Jones (Broadway’s Big River), Danny Bolero (Broadway’s In the Heights & Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat), Christopher Michael McLamb, Steven J. Michel, Michael Twain (European Tour of West Side Story), Madeline McCray, Troy Valjean Rucker (National Tour, Jesus Christ Superstar), Shara Ashley Zeiger and Joanie Anderson.
Roughly Speaking will be directed by Celine Rosenthal. Set Design is by Joseph Napolitano. Lighting Design is by Sophie Talmadge Silleck. Costume Design is by Shirlee Idzakovich. Roughly Speaking is presented by The Platform Group, in cooperation with Xavier Mission.
Roughly Speaking depicts a world we often walk by through the eyes of Lightning.Bolt, a rapper bound only by his wheelchair on a not so typical day at the soup kitchen. An existential struggle of survival begs questions of love, loss, and what’s next. Roughly Speaking is a play with rap about those who are caught in a system which exists more to maintain the status quo, rather than offer a way out.
The Platform Group previously presented a successful staged reading of Roughly Speaking this past June at Manhattan Theatre Club. Those who attended the reading called the work “funny, sad and moving”, “well-written, with good comic timing and heartfelt stories of anguish and struggle” and that “it captured the magic, sadness, reality, pain and humanity of the guests of Xavier.”
All Sunday and Wednesday performances of Roughly Speaking will include a post-show talk back featuring members of the cast and creative team, along with experts on homelessness, community partners and volunteer staff of Xavier Mission’s Welcome Table Soup Kitchen. Audiences will also experience the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS art installation of homeless signs by Willie Baronet set up in the lobby of Tada Theatre. (TEDx Talks, Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Upworthy viral video of 6 million hits, documentary film Signs of Humanity).
Roughly Speaking will be presented at Tada Theater, located at 15 West 28 Street from October 29 through November 20. Show times are Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. There will be an additional performance on Monday, November 14 at 8pm and no performance on Sunday October 30, or Wednesday, November 16. All tickets are $25.00, with $3.00 from each ticket sold going towards purchasing backpacks for the homeless. Reservations: 212-868- 4444 or www.platformgroup.org. The approximate running time of the show is 90 minutes.