(NEW YORK, NY) -- Off-Broadway premiere! How does a hapless tour guide juggle a Senator’s lofty legacy with his litany of sex scandals? That’s the question at the heart of the seriously funny one-man show, The Honorable Herbert Peabody, written and performed by Kirk McGee (Chasing Taste, “The Path,” “Sesame Street”), and developed with and directed by Corey Atkins (Lincoln Center Theatre, Cleveland Play House, The Acting Company). The limited engagement is set to begin Wednesday, January 12, 2002 at 7:00pm through Saturday evening, January 15, 2022 at Chain Theatre (312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor).
The Honorable Herbert Peabody is a very funny show about a very serious issue. It’s opening day of the Honorable Herbert Peabody Library and Legacy Center, and a well-intentioned tour guide named Joe finds himself stuck juggling the narrative of the Senator’s lofty legacy with a recently revealed litany of sex scandals. Faced with an increasingly disgruntled tour group—and a new understanding of his own actions—Joe must decide if he’s going to continue to stand idly by, or finally stand on the right side of history.
The Honorable Herbert Peabody was inspired by the collision of two important facets of Kirk McGee’s life: the #MeToo scandals of his comedy heroes Bill Cosby and Al Franken, and having grown up in a family with a (thankfully untarnished) political legacy. (His grandfather was a highly-regarded U.S. Senator from Wyoming from 1959-1977.) The idea came to a head when McGee realized that Donald Trump would one day have a Presidential Library. He wondered, would it feature the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape? Showcase the actual magazine Stormy Daniels used on the presidential posterior? As Joe the Tour Guide says, “Kinda boggles the mind, doesn’t it?” Kirk McGee is a 2021 Café Royal Cultural Foundation Spring Performance Grantee for The Honorable Herbert Peabody.
As he began writing, McGee asked himself: how does the revelation of deplorable personal behavior impact the way we feel about celebrated people’s work and legacy? And, more importantly, what was his role – and the role of all men – in supporting women in the #MeToo era and beyond? It was from these questions that Joe, and The Honorable Herbert Peabody, were born. “Peabody has genuine suspense…a captivating production,” said the AllAboutSolo.com. While the Philadelphia City Paper stated “Kirk McGee’s loose-limbed clowning is burlesque on the verge of Beckett.”
Director Corey Atkins has worked with McGee over a period of three years (with a pandemic thrown in for good measure) developing The Honorable Herbert Peabody. About the production he said, “I think of it as ‘Bill Irwin meets Mike Birbiglia meets Ted Lasso’ – a winning combination of broad physical comedy, incisive solo performance, and a powerfully human story told with honesty and warmth. We can’t wait to share it with audiences this January.”
ON SALE NOW: Tickets for The Honorable Herbert Peabody are priced at $20 and may be purchased online at www.ThePeabodyPlay.com. If you are unable to purchase online with a credit/debit card, please e-mail email@example.com for additional purchase options. Chain Theatre is a wheelchair accessible venue. Run time is approximately 70 minutes, with no intermission.
COVID POLICY: All guests must present proof of full vaccination and photo ID to enter the venue. Masks must be worn at all times inside the building.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Kirk McGee (Playwright/Performer) is an actor and a playwright based in Brooklyn, NY. As an actor he's appeared in Off-Broadway productions that include the original casts of Summer ’69, Cris Angel: Mindfreak, and The Daughter of the Regiment. Other theater credits include Twelfth Night at Philly Shakespeare, Lebensraum and Drawer Boy at StageWorks Hudson, Loves Labour’s Lost at Cherry Lane Theatre, and I’m With Stupid at Manhattan Playhouse. TV roles include “Are We There Yet?” (recurring), “Law & Order,” “The Path,” and “Sesame Street.” Kirk received nominations for Best Actor at Idyllwild International Film Festival, and The Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award at VisionFest, for his title role in the romantic comedy Chasing Taste (featured on Amazon/iTunes). As a writer, he strives to make funny, loose-limbed work that speaks to the survival of the human spirit. He believes that our flaws, follies and blunders unite us rather than divide us, and his work eschews conquering heroes in favor of fallible fools struggling to preserve their dignity while overcoming insurmountable circumstances. Kirk has a BFA in Acting from NYU-Tisch, and – even better –a clever, kind, funny, crafty, ten-year-old daughter, Layla.
Corey Atkins (Director) is a New York City-based director, creative producer, and writer. He most recently directed a workshop of Matthew Goldstein’s new dark comedy, Purgatorium (lead by Noah and Emma Galvin) for Evan Bernardin Productions. Other credits include: Lincoln Center Theatre/Institute, Noor Theatre/NYTW, The Acting Company, Cleveland Play House, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Denver Center, Hangar Theatre, and Portland Stage Company, among many others. Corey was Associate Producer for the 2015 Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House from 2011-16, and Artistic Associate at The Playwrights Realm from 2017-2018. He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and was a finalist for SDC’s Mike Ockrent Fellowship with Casey Nicholaw, and Gielgud Fellowship with Michael Greif. He has also been a volunteer for the Translation Committee of the Latinx Theatre Commons. He holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.