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Actors Theatre Takes Merton Play 'Glory' to New York

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New York City audiences will soon get a chance to see an original production that premiered during the 2015 Humana Festival.

Actors Theatre announced Wednesday that "The Glory of the World" by Charles Mee will be presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for three weeks in early 2016, with much of the same cast and creative team from the Louisville production.

The play was commissioned by Actors Theatre to commemorate the 100th birthday of Thomas Merton, the Catholic monk and writer who spent much of his life in Kentucky.

The play itself is a raucous birthday celebration for Merton, with a cast of 17 men who sing, dance, make out and fight. There's a smoky jazz cover of a Britney Spears song, a giant rhinoceros puppet is lead across the stage, and there's even a slip 'n' slide.

It's a spectacle that's bookended with periods of silence, presided over by a silent man seated at a wooden table. This role was performed by stage director Les Waters in Louisville, and he'll reprise the role for the previews and opening performances in New York. After that, Louisville-based singer-songwriter Will Oldham will take over the part.

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