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Indian Wants the Bronx

Friday, October 19, 2001
01h: 19m:21s | 4665 views

Directed by Michael Cesarano

Playwright Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx is a study in sadism. It is about an Indian man named Gupta. As the play begins, he is alone at a bus stop in Manhattan on a chilly September night. He has missed his son, Prem, who several hours earlier was to pick him up. To make matters worse, this is Gupta's first day in the county and he speaks no English, only Hindi. At the bus stop, he encounters Murph and Joey, both in their early twenties, and both delinquents. They are as much fascinated as they are repulsed by Gupta. With nothing else to do, they decide to have some fun by teasing this stranger. However, their inability to communicate with him rouses their anger. The situation turns ugly. The intensity builds as they savagely terrorize and torment him, building to a chilling climax.

The Indian Wants the Bronx began as a workshop production in Connecticut in 1966. The play was produced Off-Broadway in January of 1968 at New York's Astor Place Theater. It won the Drama Desk Award, Obie Award, Vernon Rice Award, and The Jersey Journal Award for Best Play of 1968. The cast of unknowns included John Cazale as Gupta, and Matthew Cowles and Al Pacino as the two young hoods. Cazale and Pacino both received Obie Awards for their performance. Al Pacino won rave reviews. Martin Bregman saw the show and took on Pacino as a client. Four years later Pacino broke through as a major star in the film, The Godfather. One of his co-stars was John Cazale who played his brother Fredo. Bregman became a producer. His association with Pacino continued with the films Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, Sea of Love, and most recently Carlito's Way. In 1982 Pacino starred in the film, Author! Author!, written by Israel Horowitz. Pacino portrayed playwright Ivan Travalian, a character Horovitz loosely based on himself.

Queensborough Community College actors Gary Gonzalez and David Holliday play the roles of Murph and Joey, respectively, while the role of Gupta is played by guest artist Sridhar Shanmugam. QCC faculty member Michael Cesarano directs.

Gonzalez and Holliday's recently-begun theatre company, Elevated Stages, just completed its inaugural production, which was of Private Wars by James McLure. Sridhar Shanmugam, who appears as Gupta, is also an accomplished dancer and choreographer. He recently performed in this year's edition of Lincoln Center's annual Out Of Doors dance series.

Michael Cesarano has been an actor and a director for fifteen years, and a professor of speech and theatre for seven years. He appeared for a year in the New York production of Isarael Horovitz' Line, the longest-running Off-Off Broadway show. In 1991, Cesarano worked directly with Horovitz on Line's notable 15-Year anniversary performance-celebration in which the play ran with a performance of Horovitz' play Spared, starring William Hickey.

The Indian Wants the Bronx will be presented as part of the Short Play Festival at Queensborough Community College's Humanities Theater, which is located in the Humanities Building, on Friday, October 19 th at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 20 th at 8 p.m., Wednesday, October 24th at 1:15 p.m., Thursday, October 25th at 8 p.m., Friday, October 26th at 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 27th at 2 p.m. and 8p.m. Tickets are available at the Box Office (Library 1st floor) or one hour before performance at the door. Ticket prices: QCC students, staff and faculty with ID - $3.00, General Admission - $8.00, Seniors and Performing Arts Subscribers - $5.00. Special Bargain Matinee on Wednesday - $1.00. For more information or group sales call 718-631-6311 or 718-631-6284.