Len Cariou and Craig Bierko star in Harry Townsend’s Last Stand

Harry Townsend’s Last Stand (www.HarryTownsendsLastStand.com) a new play written by George Eastman (The Snow Job; Bitter Exchange) and directed by Karen Carpenter (Love, Loss and What I Wore; Handle With Care), will premiere at New York City Center Stage II (131 West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) it was announced today by Dennis Grimaldi (A Gentlemen’s Guide…; Love Letters, Angels in America, Other People’s Money). Starring Three time Tony® Award Nominee and Tony® Award winner, Len Cariou  (title role in Sweeney ToddA Little Night Music with Glynis Johns and Hermione Gingold; Applause starring Lauren Bacall; “Blue Bloods”) and Craig Bierko (Tony® Award  and Drama Desk Award nominee, Music Man; “The Long Kiss Goodnight, “UnREAL,” “Blue Bloods”), Harry Townsend’s Last Stand begins a strictly limited engagement on November 18 with opening night set for December 4. 

A comedy with heart, Harry Townsend’s Last Stand centers around 85-year-old Harry Townsend, a widower, living alone in the Lakeside home he builtin Vermont. While he still possesses a sharp mind and a dry wit, he is getting up there in age. Beside his daughter, Sarah, the one happiness in his life is his son, Alan, who is finally coming home after an 18-month absence. Yet Alan’s return is accompanied by an agenda that puts the aging father and his concerned son at odds. Harry Townsend’s Last Stand tells a story of complex family dynamics, passion, humor and the shorthand of communication that we have with our loved ones. 

Harry Townsend’s Last Stand features scenic design by Lauren Helpern (Skintight; 4000 Miles), costume design by David C. Woolard (Broadway: West Side Story; The Who’s Tommy), lighting design by Jeff Davis (Newsies; Sister Act) and sound design by John Gromada (Broadway: The Trip to Bountiful; Seminar). General management is by Brierpatch Productions.

LISTINGS INFORMATION:Harry Townsend’s Last Stand begins a strictly limited engagement at New YorkCity Center Stage II (131 West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) on November 18. Opening night is December 4. Performances are Monday-Tuesday at 7:30PM, Thursday at 2:30PM and 7:30PM, Friday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 2:30PM and 7:30PM and Sunday at 3:00PM. Tickets are from $59-89.00 with premium reserved seating available. All tickets are subject to a $2.50 facility fee. Tickets are available online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office.

Len Cariou (Harry Townsend) is The Tony Award-winning veteran of the stage and screen with a career lasting more than five decades. Cariou made his Broadway debut in The House of Atreus, and starred in Henry V. Two years later, Cariou landed his first starring role opposite Lauren Bacall in Applause, a musical adaptation of the film “All About Eve”, which earned him a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical and won him the Theatre World Award. In 1973 he garnered his second Tony nod for Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical A Little Night Music; he repeated the role of Fredrik for the 1977 film version opposite Elizabeth Taylor. Six years later he won both the Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of the title character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, another Stephen Sondheim musical in which he starred opposite Angela Lansbury. His other stage projects included the Alan Jay Lerner-Charles Strouse musical Dance Little a Little Closer, Arthur Miller’s sole musical Up From The ParadiseNight WatchCold StorageThe Speed of Darkness, Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party(with Henry Winkler and John Ritter) and Proof (with Anne Heche and Neil Patrick Harris). He worked as a director for Don’t Call Back on Broadway. His off-Broadway appearances include Master ClassPapa (Ernest Hemingway one man show) and Mountain (Justice William O. Douglas). On the small screen, he is known for his role as Harry Regan, The Police Patriarch of The Regan Clan on hit CBS television series “Blue Bloods,” as well as appearing in multiple episodes of the popular television mystery series “Murder She Wrote,” where he united with Angela Lansbury. Cariou’s film credits include “Flags of Our Fathers,” “About Schmidt,” “Thirteen Days,” “The Four Seasons,” “Secret Window,” in which he starred alongside Johnny Depp, and the Academy Award winner for Best Picture “Spotlight.” Cariou portrayed Franklin D. Roosevelt in the HBO movie “Into the Storm,” earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Craig Bierko (Alan Townsend) was last seen on television in the critically acclaimed Lifetime/Hulu series “UnREAL.”Other television credits include: “Unhitched” (FBC), “Boston Legal” (ABC), Damages” (FX), “The Good Wife”(CBS), “Necessary Roughness” (USA) and “Sex and the City”(HBO). Theater: On Broadway, Craig has starred in Des McAnuff’s Guys & Dolls (Sky Masterson), Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man(Professor Harold Hill) and most recently Matilda (Miss Trunchbull). Craig was also seen starring in Stephen Sondheim’s Company directed by Lonny Price with The New York Philharmonic which aired on PBS. For his extraordinary performance in The Music Man Craig received a nomination for the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama League Award. He was the winner of The Theater World Awardfor that same year. Film: Anthony Fabian’s Louder Than Words opposite David Duchovny, Hope Davis and Timothy Hutton, The Change Up (Universal), The Three Stooges (20th Century Fox), Scary Movie 4 (Weinstein/Disney), Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration, Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man (Universal), Renny Harlin’s Long Kiss Goodnightand Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (Universal), amongst several others. 

George Eastman (Playwright). After seeing two plays on Broadway that his uncle Carroll Moore had written (Make A Million and Send Me No Flowers), George Eastman decided he wanted to be a writer. His first full-length play, The Snow Job, was published by Samuel French and has been produced in several community theaters throughout the country. His next play, Lost In The Field, was produced at the Northampton Center For The Arts. His one-act play, Bitter Exchange, won a performance at the New Works Play Festival in Pittsburgh.  When he retired after four decades of teaching French to fidgety eighth-graders, he enjoyed his restored energy and wrote his first novel, The Penelope Peters Effect, and he is currently shopping it for representation. After winning several short fiction contests in Western Massachusetts, his wife convinced him to turn one of the stories, “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand,” into a play. It was recently given a staged reading by the American Theatre Group at the SOPAC and starred Len Cariou and Warren Bub, and was directed by Dennis Grimaldi. He is now working on three other full-length plays: Last Call, about the strength and weakness of old friendships in the last politically incorrect bar in town – Molly and Max, about a snappy old coot and a sparkling old cootette who fall in love in cautious steps, and Creature Comforts, about three old codgers by a fire-pit who try to sum up their lives before they die. Mr. Eastman lives on Cape Cod with his wife Susan.

Karen Carpenter (Director). Upcoming NYC productions include the new plays Harry Townsend’s Last Standand Re-Wire, and the new musicals Brave New World and American Twistory. Delia and Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss And What I Wore, produced by Daryl Roth (Drama Desk Award: Best Unique Theatrical Experience, New York Times Critic’s Pick); Handle With Care (New York Times Critic’s Pick); Bulldozer: the Ballad of Robert Moses; and Witnessed by the World. Regional: Wizard of Oz, Surflight, where she returns this fall to direct the new musical Boynton Beach Club, based on Susan Seidelman’s film of that title; Vagina Monologues, Bucks County; Steel Magnolias, Paper Mill Playhouse; premieres of Admit One, New Jersey Rep; Sex, Death and the Beach Baby, Contemporary American Theater Festival. Festivals: The 24 Hour Plays, starring Michael Keaton; The 24 Hour Musicals, starring Bridget Everett; Former Artistic Director, William Inge Center for the Arts & the Inge Festival, where she instituted the New Play Lab, and honored David Henry Hwang, Arthur Kopit, Beth Henley, and Donald Margulies for lifetime achievement. Former Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre, where she produced over 40 plays and musicals, revived their annual Shakespeare Festival, and directed Abi Morgan’s Splendor (American premiere, Critic’s Choice, L.A. Times), Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano (Critic’s Choice, L.A. Times), Jeffrey Hatcher’s Smash (Patté Award), and Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (The Reader’s “Best Bet”). Her other productions at the Old Globe include As You Like It, named Best of the Year by San Diego Magazine. Ms.Carpenter served on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama from 1991-1996. Alum of Boston University. kcdirector.com; @kcdirector 

Dennis Grimaldi (Producer). His Tony, Pulitzer, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Obie  Award winning Broadway and Off Broadway productions include: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,  The Heidi Chronicles (Elisabeth Moss, Jason Biggs), On the Town, The Realistic Joneses (Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, Tracy Letts), A.R Gurney’s Love Letters (with Mia Farrow, Brian Dennehy, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergman) , Nice Work If You Can Get It (Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Estelle Parsons), Godspell;  Angels in America, The  Rise and Fall of Little Voice, (Rondi Reed),  Sally Marr … and her escorts  (Joan Rivers), Frank Gilroy’s Any Given Day (Sada Thompson) The High Rollers (Vivian Reed), Tom Stoppard’s Artist Descending a Staircase  and A Christmas Story, the Australian tour of Driving Miss Daisy (Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones). With Emanuel Azenberg: Lost in Yonkers (Kevin Spacey), Jake’s Women (Alan Alda) and London Suite  (Carole Shelley), It’s Only a Play (Nathan Lane Matthew Broderick), Associate Producer on A.R Gurney’s Sweet Sue (Mary Tyler Moore, Lynn Redgrave), With the Producer’s Circle: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life. the New York and Los Angeles productions of Girl’s Room (Carol Lawrence and Donna McKecknie). Off Broadway, Leslie Jordon … The Pink Carpet, Grace & Glorie (Lucie Arnaz and Estelle Parsons); Other People’s Money (Mercedes Ruhel), The Boys in the Band, the musicals Nunsense Jamboree, Annie Warbucks (Harve Presnell and Donna McKechnie), which had the distinction to also perform at The White House. Burning Blue, Fanny Hill , Like Love, the musical adaptation of A.R. Gurney’s Richard Cory by Ed Dixon and David Mamet’s The Cryptogram among others. His many London productions on the West End include The Boys in the Band, John Lahr’s Diary of a Somebody, Jack Gilford in Look To the Rainbow and Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me A Little . US National & Australian  tours of Ghost, The Musical. Producer for  Candid Productions, a television production company, for 15 years; producing  for ABC, NBC and HBO. He was also awarded the Robert  Whitehead Award for Excellence in Theatre Production, The NY Film and Television Gold Medals, and The Carbonell Award. 


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