Theatre News: A Renegade Afternoon
Chat with Vincent Pastore
By Jeff Myhre
NY Theater Guide 3/26/2016
After almost 30 years as a highly successful actor on TV, in film and on stage, Vincent Pastore could be forgiven for spending his days fishing, gardening or golfing his retirement away. It's not in his nature though. IMDb lists 13 projects he's got for 2016 already, and he is coming off a production of A Queen for a Day and prior to that Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway .
I caught up to him between rehearsals for A Renegade Night of One Acts at the Kraine Theater in the East Village. I had my questions ready, and I had done my homework on his career, and I was all ready to talk to him about his career, his process as an actor and his work as a director and playwright for this night of one acts.
Within about two minutes of talking to him, I realized that he really was interested in talking about the project at the Kraine and the company of actors involved and that my envisioned walk down memory lane and his analysis of the craft wasn't the real story here. Instead, he's working just as hard now at acting as he ever has, and that's always a better story. The reason I talked to him between rehearsals is that he's almost always rehearsing or performing.
What I learned is that this tough guy actor is one of the most generous individuals I have run across in my years writing about theater and theater people. When talking about the Renegade Theatre Company that will present the three one acts, the first thing the Sopranos veteran told me was It's not MY company. It's OUR company.
He then went through the names of each and every actor involved, and made sure I had the spelling of the names right. It's the kind of thing I could get from website or press agent's office, but he wanted to make sure the younger actors were given their due. For good measure, he made sure I got the spelling of his stage manager right - Mary Linehan. And Maureen Van Zandt is the company's artistic director (as well as winner of the Count Basie Vanguard Award for lifetime contribution to the arts).
He had a little help with these details as a couple members of the ensemble stuck around while I interviewed him on the stage. When I remarked to them that I suspected he would have been just as effusive in his praise of them had they been elsewhere, he jumped in We're family.
So what is this family of actors doing? A Renegade Night of One Acts , presented by FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade, consists of three different plays, two comedies and a drama. The idea, Pastore said, is to offer a full evening of entertainment. With a single show, if you don't like it, you're out of luck. Three different pieces, on the other hand, means there's something for everyone.
Kids Menu is a stage adaptation of a short film by the same title. Written by Pulitzer-nominee Richard Vetere, this version of the story stars Kerry McGann, Ernest Mingione, and Nick J. Wey. Pastore himself directs this tale of Old Brooklyn vs. New Brooklyn clashing in a pizzeria. It's Do the Right Thing meets Baby Mama .
The other comedy is The Heist, written and directed by Pamela Scott. Starring Warren Bub, Peter Evangelista, Richard O'Brien, Dominic La Ruffa, James Hogan and Nick J. Wey, the play is the story of a gang of theives who set out to rob a church the robbery goes wrong when the priests discover them in the act.
On a more serious note is Mama's Chair, a play Pastore wrote about his relationship with his father after his mother passed away from Parkinson's Disease. He directs Alessandro Colla and Artie Pasquale in this revival and revision of the play that was performed in 1995 at the very same Kraine Theater.
The show will run March 29-April 3 at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) with performances Tuesday through Saturday at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets ($18/$15 students & seniors) may be purchased in advance. For more information about the Renegade Theatre Company, click here .