Once a powerful, hard-hearted showbiz agent, Howard Katz has lost everything he ever valued. Olivier Award winner Patrick Marber deftly traces the story of the mighty Katz through haunting flashbacks, capturing a man free-falling yet determinedly clinging to life.
Closer playwright Patrick Marber's dark comedy debuted at London's National Theatre in 2001. The Roundabout Theatre Company's production, directed by Tony winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), will mark the play's American premiere.
Howard Katz is a show business agent who at the age of fifty begins to find irreconcilable the differences between his work life and family life. He cannot square the deeper values of his Jewish parents with the superficial and temporary world of television which provides the money to sustain and maintain his father's barbershop and his own home. The play begins with Howard derelict in a park and then goes back a year and a half to gradually trace how he arrived in this condition. Scenes assemble and disassemble around him as he goes through what is a reckoning of his life. On more than one occasion it is suggested that he has 'sold his soul' to show business.
About the author
Writer (and occasional director and actor) Patrick Marber was born in London in 1964 and was educated at Wadham College, Oxford. He worked as a stand-up comedian for a number of years but his real breakthrough was in radio and television writing in the mid-1990s, on programmes such as Knowing Me, Knowing You, The Day Today, and Paul and Pauline Calf's Video Diaries. These highly self-referential shows fiercely parodied televisual genres (broadcast news, talkshows, video diaries) in some of the most scabrous comedy of recent years.
Marber later left behind television comedy and stand-up to turn to playwriting. His first play, Dealer's Choice, was first performed at the Royal National Theatre in February 1995. His other theatrical works include After Miss Julie (1995) and multiple award-winning Closer (1997).
While the subject matter of his plays is far from traditionally comic, the sometimes cold eye he casts over his distraught characters renders them so. And precisely because they often find themselves in agonizing situations, these characters lash out with ferocious and hilarious one-liners worthy of the finest stand-up. In other words, Marber's is not a comedy of situation, but of wit and bleak irony. Marber's fondness for self-destructive characters finds full expression in his third stage play, Howard Katz (2001).
Adapted from www.contemporarywriters.com
About the play
Howard Katz is a new play by Patrick Marber, who has been called "the greatest British playwright to have emerged in the 1990s." (The Financial Times) Following on the success of his play Closer, Patrick Marber's Howard Katz has been hailed as "a gripping piece of work" (Sunday Telegraph). This haunting play is centered on its title character, a hard-as-nails talent agent now down on his luck. Marber traces the story of the mighty Katz through almost dream- like flashbacks, capturing a man in freefall, while he determinedly clings to life. Marber's tale is a universal one about the search for faith and the power of love to touch even the most hardened soul. "Howard Katz is one of the most fascinating, relevant, and thoughtful plays to hit London in recent years." -- Time "A dream-play, a nightmare-play, a sad-funny life and death play. A must." -- Sunday Times (London)
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Click below to read the begining of Act 1 Scene 1 !
And guess who speaks the first line...?! ;)
Howard Katz, Act 1 Scene 1
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Selection of articles
Playbill.com (January 6th 2007) PHOTO CALL: Hi, My Name is Howard Katz new
Broadwayworld.com (January 5th 2007) Photo Coverage: Howard Katz Meet and Greet new
Broadway.com (January 4th 2007) Alfred Molina and the Stars of Patrick Marber's Howard Katz Meet the Press new
Playbill.com (January 3rd 2007) Roundabout's Howard Katz to Open a Week Earlier Off-Broadway new
Broadway.com (November 16th 2006) Morton, Hecht, Franz and Epstein Join Molina in the Roundabout's Howard Katz