What happens when great men of history get locked up in a room with no exit and are made to hash out their views of Scripture and the true meaning of existence? Audiences can find out by coming to Scott Carter’s new play, “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord.” May 5–29, the Arizona Theatre Company will bring the blistering battle of wits to the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe in Phoenix, Arizona. Carter is an executive producer of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
“How delightful to welcome Scott Carter back to his home in Arizona with this real firecracker of a new play,” says ATC’s artistic director, David Ira Goldstein. “‘Discord’ is a play of rare wit and intelligence, wrapped in a package of sheer tightrope-walking theatricality.”
The production is directed by Matt August, whose other credits include Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Broadway and work for such regional theaters as Geffen Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, L.A. Theatre Works, the Acting Company.
Goldstein adds that though “Discord” is a play of real depth because it deals with life-and-death issues of faith and belief, “it is also a sparkling entertainment as three icons of history spar, preen, debate and engage in a cage-match for the ages.”
“Discord” stars Armin Shimerman as Count Leo Tolstoy, Larry Cedar as Thomas Jefferson and Mark Gagliardi as Charles Dickens.
Shimerman has appeared on Broadway in such shows as “Saint Joan,” “The Threepenny Opera” and “I Remember Mama” and in numerous regional theater productions, such as “Seafarer” (San Diego Critics Circle Award for Best Actor) (San Diego Repertory Theater) and “Richard II” (Mark Taper Forum). He also has numerous TV credits, and fans will recognize him as Quark on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
Cedar’s theater credits include “Discord” (Geffen Playhouse), “American Misfit” (Boston Court) and Lear in “King Lear” (Porters of Hellsgate), among others. He played the opium addict Leon in the HBO series “Deadwood” and starred for six seasons in PBS’s “Square One TV.” He also has a starring role in the upcoming independent feature “She Sings to the Stars.”
Making his ATC debut, Gagliardi has numerous other theater credits, including Croach the Tracker in “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” (Largo at the Coronet) and Strider in “Fellowship: The Musical” (Steve Allen Theater). Some of his television credits include “According to Jim,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Life with Bonnie.” He is a graduate of the Theatre School at DePaul University and the Second City Training Center.
Purchase tickets ($28 and up) for “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord” online or by calling the box office at 602-256-6995.