Adding Machine: A MusicalMarch 12 - April 10, 2010
Original Music by Joshua Schmidt
Libretto by Jason Loewith & Joshua Schmidt
Based on the play by Elmer Rice
Directed by Paul Melone
Music Direction by Steven Bergman
Choreography by David Connolly
Scenic Design by Susan Zeeman**
Costume Design by Gail Astrid Buckley**
Lighting Design by Jeff Adelberg
Sound Design by Aaron Mack
Production Stage Managed by
Victoria S. Coady*
Assistant Stage Managed by
A musical adaptation of Elmer Rice’s incendiary 1923 play, Adding Machine tells the story of Mr. Zero, who after 25 years of service to his company is replaced by a mechanical adding machine. An eclectic score gives passionate and memorable voice to this stylish and stylized show.
Runtime: 95 minutes with no intermission
Brendan McNab*…Mr. Zero
Amelia Broome*…Mrs. Zero
Liz Hayes*…Daisy Dorothea Devore
Sean McGuirk*…The Boss/The Fixer/Charles
Leigh Barrett*…Mrs. One/Mae/Prisoner’s Wife
Cheryl McMahon*…Mrs. Two/Betty/Matron
Bob Devivo…Mr. One/Prisoner
David Krinitt*…Mr. Two/Prison Guard
Cast & Crew
JEFF ADELBERG** (Lighting Design) SpeakEasy: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; Next to Normal; Red; reasons to be pretty; Nine; Body Awareness; Adding Machine: A Musical (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design); [title of show]; Blackbird; The New Century; The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig. Other recent work: The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe); The Lily’s Revenge(American Repertory Theater); John Kuntz’s The Hotel Nepenthe (Huntington Theatre Company’s Emerging America Festival); Middletown, Medea, The Hotel Nepenthe (IRNE Award)(Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Equally Divided (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Company We Keep and John Kuntz’sThe Salt Girl (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Miracle on 34th Street, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre); A Soft Murder, Noises Off, Oklahoma, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Boston Conservatory); Boston’s Christmas Revels since 2010. Jeff attended the University of Connecticut and teaches at Boston College. LDJeff.com
JOHN BAMBERY* is very happy to be back at SpeakEasy and to be working on such an exciting and interesting show! A recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory, John was last seen here as Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza. John extends his thanks to the entire cast and crew for their tireless efforts in creating such a great show.
LEIGH BARRETT is very happy to be joining the cast of Drowsy after spending time at the Lyric Stage Company in their production of Animal Crackers. Last seen at SpeakEasy in The Great American Trailer Musical (Jeannie). Other SpeakEasy shows include: Passion (Fosca), A Class Act (Lucy), Elegies, Adding Machine (Mrs. 1), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Drood). Boston area credits include: New Rep: Indulgences (Advisor 1), Dessa Rose (Ruth), Ragtime (Mother), The Three Penny Opera (Jenny Diver), Side By Side By Sondheim, Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), Into The Woods(Baker’s Wife), and The Wild Party (Madeline True); Lyric Stage: Nicholas Nickelby (La Creevy/Peg Slider), Grey Gardens (Little Edie), Souvenir (Florence Foster Jenkins), Follies (Sally), A Little Night Music (Charlotte), and Sunday in the Park with George; Stoneham Theatre: Christmas Carol, Pal Joey (Vera), and Gypsy (Rose); Gloucester Stage Company: Jacques Brel and Marry Me A Little at Gloucester Stage Company. Leigh is the grateful recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress(2004/2007) and and two IRNES. Much love to HB and the boys.
AMELIA BROOME* is delighted to be returning to SpeakEasy, where she recently appeared as Mrs. Zero in Adding Machine: a Musical, Zandra/Irene/Mary in Jerry Springer-The Opera and as Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza (2009 IRNE Award). Other credits include Becca in Two Wives in India at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me, Kate at the Lyric Stage; Katharine Hepburn in the one-woman show Tea at Five (IRNE nomination) at Worcester Foothills; I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow at the inaugural Tennessee Williams Festival; and My Old Lady at Gloucester Stage. Amelia holds an MFA from Boston University and is currently on the acting faculty at Emerson College.
GAIL ASTRID BUCKLEY** (Costume Design) SpeakEasy designs include The Motherf**cker with the Hat, Red, Xanadu, andAdding Machine: A Musical (2010 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Design). Other recent designs include:Death of a Salesman (Lyric Stage); The Cunning Little Vixen (The Boston Conservatory); Spring Awakening, North Shore Fish, This is Our Youth and Driving Miss Daisy(Gloucester Stage); Something’s Afoot, Miracle on 34th Street (Stoneham Theatre); Insignificance (The Nora Theatre); and A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theatre). Gail received the 2002 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Costume Design and the 2002 IRNE Award for Costume Design for Twelfth Night with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and the 2006 IRNE Award for Costume Design for her work on both Caroline, or Change and The Women for SpeakEasy Stage.
VICTORIA S. COADY* SpeakEasy: The Drowsy Chaperone (IRNE Award – Best Musical); Striking 12; Body Awareness; Adding Machine: A Musical (Norton & IRNE Awards – Outstanding Musical Production); [title of show]; The Wrestling Patient. Regional: afterlife: a ghost story; DollHouse (New Repertory Theatre); A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre);Uncle Vanya: Finita La Comedia (Boston Art Theatre), and three seasons as PSM at Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theater. Off-Broadway: The Merchant of Venice (NY & Royal Shakespeare Company, UK with TFANA), The Jew of Malta, Sore Throats, and All’s Well That Ends Well (TFANA). Victoria is Producer and Director of Operations for toUch Productions. A native Bostonian, she received her BFA in Stage Management from CalArts.
DAVID CONNOLLY SpeakEasy: The Drowsy Chaperone (direction and choreography — 2012 IRNE Award); Nine; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Adding Machine: A Musical; [title of show]; Jerry Springer – The Opera; The Light in the Piazza; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Zanna, Don’t! (Elliot Norton Award nomination). He is co-director of Dance Explosion Studio of Performing Arts in Dedham, MA; a member of the dance faculty at Boston University; and artistic director of the theater program at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA. David has worked as a master teacher, guest artist, and adjudicator for numerous organizations including Boston College, The Boston Conservatory, Dance Masters of America, and Dance Ovations Performing Arts Competition.
PAUL DAIGNEAULT (Producing Artistic Director) was the recipient of the 2014 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence by the Boston Theater Critics Association. Since founding SpeakEasy in 1992, he has produced over 100 Boston premieres. SpeakEasy directing highlights include: The Color Purple; In the Heights; Xanadu; Next to Normal; Nine; Body Awareness; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer – The Opera; The New Century; Some Men; Zanna, Don’t!; Parade (2008 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Midsize Company); Almost, Maine; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance (co-production Súgán); Bat Boy: The Musical (2003 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Small Company); Passion; A New Brain; Violet; Songs for a New World; Floyd Collins; Jeffrey; and Love! Valour! Compassion! Regional credits: Grand Hotel and Nine (The Boston Conservatory and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music); Rent, City of Angels, Sunday in the Park with George, and Merrily We Roll Along (The Boston Conservatory); and Into the Woods, Urinetown, and Blue Window (Boston College). Paul is also on the faculty at The Boston Conservatory where he teaches musical theatre and directing. He has also been honored with the Boston College Arts Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2007, and served as the 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theatre Arts. Outside the theatre, Paul serves on the Boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
BOB DE VIVO is delighted to be back for his third SpeakEasy production, having previously appeared in Parade and Passion. Other recent credits include Boeing, Boeing (Robert, Hovey Players); The Producers (Leo, Turtle Lane Playhouse); The Music Man (Harold, Riverside Theatre Works); 1776 (Charles Thompson, Lyric Stage); On the Twentieth Century (Max Jacobs, Overture Productions); and Chicago (Billy Flynn, Fiddlehead Theatre).
LAUREN DUFFY SpeakEasy: Other Desert Cities, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, Adding Machine: A Musical. Other select credits: Little Shop of Horrors; A Christmas Story; afterlife: a ghost story; Frankie and Johnny and the Claire de Lune; andKite Runner (New Repertory Theatre). Company One debut: special effects for Bengal Tiger and the Baghdad Zoo. Lauren has served as a scenic artist and properties coordinator for Boston Children’s Theatre as well as properties coordinator for Central Square Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, and The Barnstormers Theatre. Lauren is also Charge Artist for the Des Moines Metro Opera in Iowa where she will be returning for her third season in June.
LIZ HAYES* SpeakEasy: The Women. Other local credits include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Three Tall Women, Shakespeare in Hollywood, A Little Night Music and The Spitfire Grill (Lyric Stage); Look Back in Anger (Elliot Norton Award, Best Production) and Marisol (Orfeo Group); 4:48 Psychosis (Fort Point Theatre Channel); Present Laughter (u/s, Huntington Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest and Almost, Maine (Village Theatre Project); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Boston Theatre Works). Liz holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting. She is a founding member of Orfeo Group.
DAVID KRINITT* is excited to return to SpeakEasy, where he has been seen in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Durdles), Parade (Hugh Dorsey), Company (Paul), The Moonlight Room (Adam), Saturday Night (Hank), Putting it Together (Featured Soloist), Violet (Monty), and Bat Boy: The Musical (Sheriff Reynolds). Other regional credits include Cabaret (Clifford Bradshaw) and The Gifts of the Magi (City Him) with New Repertory Theatre; Funny Girl (Nick Arnstein) and My Fair Lady (Pickering) with Fiddlehead Theatre; Forever Plaid (Smudge) with American Stage Festival; Crazy for You (Bobby Child) with New Bedford Festival Theatre; Noises Off! (Tim) and Shakespeare in Hollywood (Joe E. Brown) with The Lyric Stage; and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Linus) with Gloucester Stage Company. David is a native of California, and has served on the theater faculties of Stonehill College and The Boston Conservatory.
AARON MACK is glad to be back at SpeakEasy for his 5th season. Aaron is a freelance sound designer and composer based in greater Boston, and has two Elliot Norton Awards for Best Design for his work on The Adding Machine: A Musical at SpeakEasy, and The Aliens with Company One. Aaron is also the Titles Administrator at the Santa Fe Opera Company. Recent notable work includes: The Drowsy Chaperone (SpeakEasy), I Speak Therefore I Am (A.R.T. Institute), The Foreign Play Festival (Apollinaire Theatre Company), Nine (SpeakEasy) and Xanadu (SpeakEasy). As always, Aaron would like to thank the entire SpeakEasy family for their love and support, and his family and friends.
SEAN McGUIRK* (Terry/Theodore) returns to SpeakEasy Stage after having previously appeared in Adding Machine: a Musical; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Caroline, or Change; Company; and A Man of No Importance. In New England, he has appeared at Lyric Stage, Stoneham Theater, New Rep, Charles Playhouse, Ocean State Theater Company, Theater By the Sea, Gloucester Stage as well as Commonwealth Shakespeare. Other theatrical highlights include working with Lou Diamond Philips in A Few Good Men and touring in Mame with Juliet Prowse. His love and gratitude to Marsha for her beauty tips!
CHERYL MCMAHON* is delighted to return to SpeakEasy Stage, having last appeared here in 2005 in The Moonlight Room, directed by Paul Melone. Other local credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Stage); Marty and The Rose Tattoo ( Huntington Theatre); Cabaret (New Rep); Monsters! The Musical (CentaStage); On the Twentieth Century (Overture Productions); and numerous shows at both Wheelock Family Theatre and Stoneham Theatre. Regionally, Cheryl has also appeared in A Christmas Carol and Sweeney Todd for North Shore Music Theatre, and Half a Sixpence and High Button Shoes for Goodspeed Opera House. Last fall, she also reprised her role in Jack Neary’s critically acclaimed comedy The Porch at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield. A two-time IRNE Award recipient, Cheryl has also appeared in Theresa at Home and Better Off Dead for Village Theatre Project, of which she is a founding member.
BRENDAN MCNAB* SpeakEasy: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Neville/Victor); Parade (Leo Frank), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Valentin). Other local credits include Gutenberg! The Musical! and Side by Side by Sondheim (New Rep); Adrift in Macao, See What I Wanna See, 1776 (Lyric Stage); Pal Joey, Strangers on a Train, The Good War (Stoneham Theatre); A Grand Night for Singing (Gloucester Stage); and My Fair Lady (Fiddlehead). He has also been a featured soloist with the Boston Pops and is a recipient of an IRNE Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Chicago credits include The Human Comedy, The Cradle Will Rock, Sweeney Todd and Pope Joan. Love you Bec.
PAUL MELONE (General Manager/Production Manager) has managed over 80 plays, musicals, concerts, cabarets, and special events for SpeakEasy Stage. His SpeakEasy directing credits include: CARRIE the musical; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2013 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director); reasons to be pretty; Adding Machine: A Musical(2010 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director); The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig: The Moonlight Room; Our Lady of 121st Street; and The Shape of Things. Other local directing credits include The Apple Tree (The Boston Conservatory),Curse of the Starving Class (Apollinaire Theatre Company), and Things Beyond Our Control (Brandeis University). Paul is a graduate of Boston University’s Theatre Department.
Pulitzer Prize Winning American Playwright ELMER RICE grew up in New York City in circumstances modest enough that he had to drop out of school and go to work at fifteen to help support the family. When he got a job as a file clerk at a law firm, he saw himself destined for a law career. The real mitigating aspect of the position, however, was the firm’s theatrical clients. Rice had always been an inveterate theatergoer. He studied on his own to pass the Board of Regents’ exams for the high school certificate he needed to start law school under the firm’s auspices. Even though he spent most of his time in the lecture halls reading (his other passion), Rice graduatedcum laude and passed the bar exam on his first try—as soon as he turned twenty-one! But he had ethical qualms about being a lawyer and found himself drawn more to literature and writing. Despite the consequence of losing his fiancée, he quit his job and devoted himself to trying to write a play. The setting, not surprisingly, was a criminal courtroom, but it was Rice’s unusual idea to reveal the story through flashbacks—the first American stage production to employ this cinematic technique—that landed On Trial on Broadway in 1914. The play was a sensational hit allowing him to move his family to an apartment where he’d have his own room for the first time and, eventually, win back his former fiancée. Promised productions of several follow-ups to his stunning debut fizzled, so Rice moved his young family to Hollywood to write scenarios for Samuel Goldwyn’s silent pictures. He spent most of his two-year stint there trying to get out of his contract. Once extricated, he returned to an idyllic setting in Connecticut and attempted to write a new play. His efforts took an unexpected turn which Rice describes in his 1963 autobiography Minority Reports: One night, long after everyone else had gone to bed, I sat wide awake on the front porch, trying to concentrate on the marriage play. Suddenly, as though a switch had been turned on or a curtain raised, a new play flashed into my mind, wholly unrelated to anything I had ever consciously thought about… In that sudden instant I saw the whole thing complete: characters, plot, incidents, even the title and some of the dialogue. Nothing like it ever happened to me before or since. I was actually possessed, my brain in a whirl, my whole being alive…. Hardly knowing what I was doing, I went to my study and began to write! He wrote in an irresistible compulsion—“as close to automatic writing as anything I’ve ever known”—for seventeen days straight. The original manuscript was in pencil on both sides of whatever paper was handy, and Rice contends that, except for a few cuts and corrections, he never changed any of it. The play was The Adding Machine. Rice knew that a Broadway production might be difficult to come by. He’d written the play in a stylized, intensified form known as “expressionism,” a type of theatre that emerged in postwar Germany as a reaction to Ibsen’s well-made plays. But the intrepid Theatre Guild offered it to its 1923 subscribers and, despite an initial run of only nine weeks, the play continues to fascinate theatergoers to this day. Since he’s so closely associated with the brief period of expressionism in the American theatre precipitated by The Adding Machine, Rice was often asked to define the term. In a note to Dudley Digges, the actor playing Mr. Zero, he explained: …in the expressionistic play we subordinate and even discard objective reality and seek to express the character in terms of his own inner life. An X-ray photograph bears no resemblance to the object as it presents itself to our vision, but it reveals the inner mechanism of the object as no mere photographic likeness can. The subsequent plays most often associated with Rice are also innovative. Street Scene, a gritty look at what takes place in a 24-hour period on the sidewalk and stoop of a Manhattan tenement, received the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was later made into an opera by Kurt Weill. Dream Girl, written in 1945 for his second wife, the actress Betty Field, is a comedy about a young woman with melodramatic, romantic fantasies trying to decide which offer to accept from the three men in her life. To achieve seamless jumps from reality to fantasy, Jo Mielziner’s set was manipulated in full view of the audience with the transitions masked by music, lighting and sound effects. During his long career Rice was often dissatisfied with writing for the theatre. He more than once threatened to—and actually did for a time—stop writing plays altogether. He assuaged his discontent by becoming a director, a producer and, briefly, a theatre owner. But the one thing he never gave up was his pursuit of American idealism and his belief in individual freedom. In 1920 he helped found the Dramatists Guild to protect writers from scurrilous producers. Although he was an instigator of the Federal Theatre Project, Rice resigned his position when threatened with government censorship. In 1938 dissatisfied with their treatment at the hands of the Theatre Guild, he, along with Robert Sherwood, S.N. Behrman, Sidney Howard and Maxwell Anderson formed the Playwrights’ Company which became a major producing force for the next several decades. In later years he characteristically opposed Senator McCarthy’s attacks on theatre artists and remained more than outspoken about the commercialism of the Broadway theatre. –Suzanne Bixby