Gemini 1976

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Gemini

by Albert Innaurato

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Gemini by Albert Innaurato, most New Yorkers, who were around at the time, have fond memories of the TV commercial for the original off Broadway production starring Danny Aiello, Kathleen Turner and Wayne Knight featuring the memorable lines “I’m not hungry, I’ll just pick” and “it’s going to be some party.” It went on to be one of Broadway’s longest running plays, clocking in at 1778 performances.

 

 

Run


 

Opening & Closing Dates
Type & Version
Theatre
May 21, 1977 – Sep 6, 1981
Play / Original
Little Theatre, NY, USA

 

Opening Night Cast


 

Danny Aiello Fran Geminiani
Reed Birney Randy Hastings
Anne DeSalvo Lucille Pompi
Jonathan Hadary Herschel Weinberger
Jessica James Bunny Weinberger
Robert Picardo Francis Geminiani
Carol Potter Judith Hastings

 

Opening Night Production Crew


 

Produced by The Circle Repertory Company and PAF Playhouse (Jay Broad, Producer; Joel Warren, Associate Producer); Executive Director of Circle Repertory Company: Jerry Arrow

 

First performed in a workshop production at Playwrights Horizons

 

Written by Albert Innaurato

 

Directed by Peter Mark Schifter; Broadway Production Supervised by Marshall W. Mason

 

Scenic Design by Christopher Nowak; Costume Design by Ernest Allen Smith; Lighting Design by Larry Crimmins; Sound Design by Leslie A. DeWeerdt, Jr; Hair Design by Jose Anselmi

 

General Manager: Jerry Arrow; Company Manager: Robert Lussier; Assistant Co. Mgr: Dennis Purcell

 

Production Stage Manager: Fred Reinglas; Production Supervisor: Fred Reinglas; Assistant Stage Mgr: Michael K. Klingher and Jeff Daniels

 

Press Representative: Rima Corben; Advertising: Great Scott Advertising; Photographer: Ken Howard; Production Assistant: James M. Arnemann and Bonnie Sue Schloss

 

Plot


 

Set in the backyard of a blue collar South Philadelphia neighborhood early in the summer of 1973, the comedy-drama focuses on the 21st birthday celebration of Harvard student Francis Geminiani. In attendance are his divorced blue collar father Fran and Fran’s widowed girlfriend Lucille, next-door neighbor Bunny Weinberger and her overweight son Herschel, and Francis’ classmates, the wealthy WASP Hastings siblings; Judith (who seeks romance with Francis) and Randy (the object of Francis’ unexpressed affection), who have arrived unexpectedly, much to their friend’s dismay. All are dysfunctional to varying degrees, and the interactions among them provide the play with its comic and dramatic moments.

 

gemini-broadway-theatregold-database-1Reed Birney

 

Production History


 

Playwrights Horizons first staged the play in December 1976 with a cast that included Jonathan Hadary, Jon Polito, and Sigourney Weaver. The following March it was mounted by the Circle Repertory Company with Hadary (Herschel Weinberger), Danny Aiello (Fran), Carol Potter (Judith Hastings), and Robert Picardo (Francis Geminiani). Critical response encouraged the producers to transfer the play to Broadway.

The Broadway production, with the same cast directed by Peter Mark Schifter and supervised by Marshall W. Mason, opened on May 21, 1977 at the Little Theatre and closed on September 6, 1981 after 1,819 performances.

A 1980 screen adaptation, written and directed by Richard Benner, was entitled Happy Birthday, Gemini. The cast included Madeline Kahn, Rita Moreno, Alan Rosenberg, David Marshall Grant, and Sarah Holcomb.

A 1999 off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre revival closed after 14 performances.[1]

Awards and Nominations


 

1977 Off-Broadway
  • Obie Award
Anne DiSalvo – performance – winner
Danny Aiello- performance – winner
Albert Innaurato – playwrighting – winner
1977 Broadway

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New American Play – nomination

 

References


 

 

External Links


 

 

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