One of the Hudson Valley’s more intriguing stage troupes these days is the Tangent Theatre Company, known for its annual NEWvember Festival showcasing the best newly written plays and its regular pub reading series, which has been running since the Traghaven Whiskey Pub in Tivoli was still known as the Black Swan. But Tangent’s mainstage productions at the intimate Carpenter Shop Theater are also consistently fine and something to anticipate with relish.
Well, spring has sprung, which means that it’s time for Tangent to unveil its next character-driven mainstage show. This year’s selection is a timely one, considering the issues of police brutality that have dominated the news in recent months: Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, a comedy/drama that examines the thorny ethical challenges and choices confronting a young security guard in a Manhattan apartment building, his supervisor, a policeman and a policewoman. Sometimes no choice available – even telling the truth – is a good one, and the play grapples with nuances of race, sex, class and professional status and the moral conundrums inherent in corrupt social systems.
Lonergan’s play The Waverley Gallery was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, but he may be better-known for his screenwriting. He co-wrote Analyze This with Harold Ramis, collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and picked up a slew of festival and industry awards and a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for You Can Count on Me, which he also directed. Lobby Hero received Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle and Olivier Award nominations in the Best Play category.
Tangent’s production is directed by the ubiquitous Amy Lemon Olson. The ironically titled protagonist (portrayed, incidentally, in the 2002 London version by David Tennant, beloved of Whovians as the Tenth Doctor) will be played in Tivoli by Jacob Horstmeier. Artists’ Equity members Brandon Jones, Kelsey Landon and Tangent’s artistic director Michael Rhodes round out the cast.
Lobby Hero opens on Thursday, April 2, and will run through Sunday, April 26, with performances beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays (except Easter, April 5, when there will be no show). All tickets cost $25 and are available by calling (845) 230-7020 or visiting https://tangent-arts.org. The tiny Carpenter Shop Theater, where every seat is a good one, is located at 60 Broadway in downtown Tivoli.
Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, Tangent Theatre Company, Thursday-Saturday, April 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 8 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 19, 26, 3 p.m., $25, Carpenter Shop Theater, 60 Broadway, Tivoli; (845) 230-7020, https://tangent-arts.org.