The Common AIR, written by Lyras and McCaskill, has been extended through February 26th. The comedy, directed by Mr. McCaskill, features Alex Lyras portraying 6 diverse characters caught in an airport delay. It opened November 6th at 45 Bleecker Street Theatre and plays every Friday at 8 pm.
The Common AIR ran for six months in Los Angeles in 2008 where it was nominated for Best Original Play and Best Acting by the L.A. Ovation Awards and won for Best Original Score. The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Lyras, a muscular and compact steel spring of a performer who coils himself around his characters with tensile energy and unflagging skill in this well-crafted, must-see show". And Daily Variety called it "An emotionally involving, finely detailed performance. A tour de force exhibit of verbal and physical dexterity."
The play links six characters during the mother of all delays at JFK airport. The reason is unknown and a spiraling game of "telephone" ensues in an effort to uncover the truth. Characters include an Iraqi Cab Driver with a winning Reality show idea, an Art Gallery Owner seduced by ancient Greek cave art, a Corporate Attorney imparting rapid fire, ethically gray advice, a sample stealing DJ named PJ, a sinister Philosophy Professor mixing logic and irrationality in a west Texas accent, and an Iraqi-American just returned from civil war in Baghdad.
Lyras & McCaskill have been collaborating in the theater for the past 11 years. Their first play, Desperelics, was produced in New York and Los Angeles. Warren Littlefield and NBC commissioned the play for a comedy pilot based on the characters. Their second effort, Unequalibrium, also ran on both coasts, and was published in Best Plays of 2002 and Best Men's Monologues for the Twenty First Century. Their work has received raves from THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, LA WEEKLY, VARIETY, (available at http://www.unequalibrium.com/reviews.html). They have sold drama pilots to FOX, Brillstein Grey, and Dawn Parouse Productions (Prison Break). In 2007, they produced their first feature film, Mona, written by McCaskill, starring Lyras and produced by both. Mona won Best Picture at Malibu Film Festival in 2008 and received distribution from John Sloss and Cinetic Media. Heterosexuals, their second feature project, written and directed by McCaskill, produced by and staring Lyras, just completed post-production.
ALEX LYRAS has performed on New York stages for the past fifteen years. Most recently, he appeared in Showtime's Californication. On screen, he starred in Mike Nichols' What Planet Are You From? and S.W.A.T. Lyras' screenplay ALVA, a drama about Thomas Edison, recently won the Alfred P. Sloan Grant from the Tribeca Film Institute. He is a member of The Classical Theater Lab and The Writer's Guild west. He lives part-time in Los Angeles.
Director/co-author ROBERT McCASKILL is an acting coach and writer, living in New York City. As a coach, he has worked with Bernadette Peters, Montel Williams, Michelle Rodriguez and hundreds of other actors. As a sketch writer, he worked at the West Bank Café Downstairs Theater Bar with comedian Lewis Black and screenwriter Lisa Loomer (Girl Interrupted). He was an improvisation actor with the professional company Chicago City Limits and directed the company for four years. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America.
Tickets for The Common AIR at $35 are available through TeleCharge.com or (212) 239-6200. For additional info go to www.thecommonair.com.