Stage preview: Robert Turano directs local premiere at The Rep
September 29, 2016 12:00 AM
Cathryn Dylan is Ella and Martin Giles is David in "I'm Gonna pray for You So Hard."
Actor Robert Turano .
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Robert Turano’s long association with The Rep and Pittsburgh Playhouse continues with the local premiere of “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard,” Halley Feiffer’s drama about navigating father-daughter relationships.
‘I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard’
Where: The Rep at Studio Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland.
When: Friday through Oct. 16. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets: $29, $15 seniors and $10 students; www.pittsburghplayhouse.com or 412-392-8000.
Note: Adult themes and language. There is smoking in this performance.
Mr. Turano is a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh graduate who was born Robert Koch. He made his Broadway debut playing Louis in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of “A View From the Bridge,” with Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber.
His television credits are numerous and include 11 different characters in the “Law & Order” universe. You can catch him now as Anthony in the Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” in the episode “Kimmy Goes to Her Happy Place.”
Among the dozens of shows he has acted in or directed in his hometown, in 2006 he directed and introduced David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” to Pittsburgh audiences at The Rep, the professional company of Point Park University.
Mr. Turano said he hasn’t been “this excited about the language of a new play” since “American Buffalo.”
In “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard,” Ella is a young actress who seeks to impress her once-famous playwright father, David. In a night of drugs and booze and colorful language, the two argue whether to read her stage debut reviews and, in doing so, unravel truths about themselves and family dynamics.
“Halley’s writing is a brilliant and brutally honest exploration of the relationship between a father and daughter,” Mr. Turano said.
When “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard” appeared off-Broadway in 2015 with Reed Birney and Betty Gilpin, New York Times critic Charles Isherwood called the play “a potently acted but punishing drama.” For The Rep, Pittsburgh stage veteran Martin Giles plays David, the unsparing father described by Variety as “savagely satiric,” and Cathryn Dylan, a Carnegie Mellon University grad, plays his worshipful daughter.
Sharon Eberson: email@example.com or 412-263-1960. Twitter: @SEberson_pg.
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