New York Post entertainment critic Chip Deffaa is turning the tables: Instead of going out and hunting for the best that theater has to offer, he is soon to present a festival featuring his favorites and invite the public to explore these new works.
From September 5 through October 15, The Chip Deffaa Invitational will feature 25 productions to be performed in two theaters that are part of the Chashama complex, conveniently located at 111 and 135 West 42nd Street. "We're calling it an 'Invitational' because I invited artists I respect to create or bring us work they believe in," explained Deffaa. "In the 16 years I've been writing for the Post, I've seen so much talent. I wanted to provide a showcase for it."
The event will offer a healthy mix of up-and-coming and established artists. Bat Boy composer-lyricist Larry O'Keefe will perform The Straight Man's Guide to Show Tunes: A One-Guy Show; Tony-winner Thommie Walsh will direct a musical about the life of Danny Kaye; and there will be shows featuring the songs of such stalwarts as Johnny Mercer, Stephen Schwartz, and Comden & Green. There will also be new musicals, revues, and a slew of one-act plays by writers such as Ruth McKee, Elizabeth Rheinfrank, Jeremy Soule, Daniel Talbott, Rami Metal, and Mark Schultz.
Attendees of The Chip Deffaa Invitational will not only be supporting the participating artists; they will also be helping Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which will receive 10 percent of the proceeds.
Tickets to the festival are $15 for plays, musicals, and cabaret shows, $10 for dance programs. To purchase tickets in advance, call SmartTix at 212-206-1515 or visit their website at www.smarttix.com.