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Sigourney Weaver Hosts WNET-13's 'Theater Close-Up' Off-Broadway Series Premiere October 2

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Sep 22, 2014 04:15 PM EDT

It may not be a return to the golden age of live television, but New York's PBS affiliate WNET-13 is betting that a series of "carefully filmed versions" of a variety of recent Off-Broadway successes called Theater Close-Up will attract eyeballs beginning Thursday, Oct. 2.

With Sigourney Weaver hosting, the series begins with the Mint Theater Company's revival of John Van Druten's 1931 office comedy London Wall on October 2 at 9 PM EDT on WNET-13, October 6 at 10:30 PM EDT on sister station WLIW-21, and online. Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times called London Wall "a production filled with fine performances" and singled out Julia Coffey as "smashing."

Also captured on video for the series were a mostly family-friendly selection of productions including Richard Nelson's quartet of dramas The Apple Family Plays, Hamish Linklater's The Vandal, Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson's An Iliad, Brian Richard Mori's Hellman v. McCarthy and Steven Banks's Looking at Christmas.

Film star Sigourney Weaver, a member of the Flea Theater's board of directors and an active Off-Broadway booster, has paid her own Off-Broadway dues over the years, receiving a 1979-1980 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Performance in a Musical for Das Lusitania Songspiel, a parody of Brechtian cabaret which she co-wrote and co-starred in with Christopher Durang. She has also appeared Off-Broadway in Durang's Beyond Therapy, David Rabe's Hurlyburly, The Merchant of Venice (as Portia), Gemini and Crazy Mary at Playwrights Horizons, John Guare's Marco Polo Sings a Solo at the Public Theater and more. Weaver even returned to Broadway in 2013, after an absence of 17 years, in Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Her latest duties should be a darn sight easier than eight shows a night. Or battling killer aliens, for that matter.

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TagsSigourney Weaver, Off-Broadway, PBS, Theater Close-Up

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