"The Bilbao Effect, a play that puts contemporary architecture on trial and written by Oren Safdie, will make its off-Broadway debut with a four-week run, May 12-June 5, Wednesday-Saturdays at 8 p.m. at the Center for Architecture in New York City.
The Center is located at 536 LaGuardia Place. To purchase tickets online, go to www.theatermania.com or call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111. All tickets are $18.
"The Bilbao Effect" became a popular term after Frank Gehry built the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, transforming the poor industrial port city of Bilbao into a must-see tourist destination. Its success inspired other cities to hire famous architects and give them carte blanche to design ever more spectacular buildings with the intent to repeat the formula.
In Mr. Safdie's play THE BILBAO EFFECT -- the second play of a planned trilogy focusing on contemporary architecture -- Erhardt Shlaminger is a starchitect who faces censure by the American Institute of Architects, following accusations that his urban redevelopment project for Staten Island has led to a woman's suicide. The play tackles controversial urban design issues that New Yorkers have recently encountered in Brooklyn as a result of the hotly-debated plans to redevelop the Atlantic Yards into an architecture-star mega-development. "THE BILBAO EFFECT" explores whether architecture has become more of an art than a profession, and at what point the ethics of one field violate the principles of the other.
Directed by Brendan Hughes, THE BILBAO EFFECT will be presented by the Center for Architecture in association with Jacqueline Bridgeman, Fritz Michel and Les Gutman. The play was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts, is supported by the Quebec Government Office - New York, and was developed through a column Mr. Safdie wrote for Metropolis magazine.
The cast of THE BILBAO EFFECT includes John Bolton (Broadway's SPAMALOT and CURTAINS, and TV's "Gossip Girl"), Marc Carver (BILL W. AND DR. BOB, New World Stages), Anthony Giaimo (MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Pearl Theatre Co, "The Bird Cage" w/ Nathan Lane, "Bad Boys II" w/ Will Smith), Ann Hu (PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES, TV's "Law and Order"), Joris Stuyck (SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE at Cincinnati Playhouse, GUANTANAMO at the Culture Project, BBC-TV miniseries "Tender Is the Night"), Jay Sullivan (DURANGO at The Public, ORESTES: A TRAGIC ROMP, TV's "The Good Wife"), Lorraine Serabian (Broadway's CABARET and ZORBA, Tony Nomination for Best Featured Actress), Joel Van Liew (FROM UP HERE at MTC) and Tommy Biggiani.
Set Design for THE BILBAO EFFECT is by Jisun Kim, lighting design is by Cat Tate Starmer, costume design is by Tristan Raines and sound design is by Ben Arons.