Star turn by UB’s Steve Henderson back on stage in February

Release Date: December 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The musical version of the grim, witty and bloody “American Psycho,” which was to open this winter off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theater, has been killed by its commercial producers.

The closing is good news for University at Buffalo Professor and Tony Award nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson, who stars in “Between Riverside and Crazy,” the much-praised new play selected to fill the gap in the Second Stage season.

The play by Stephen Adly Guirgis opened for the first time in July at New York’s Atlantic Theater to much critical acclaim, particularly for Henderson, and was called one of the best plays of the year.  

Guirgis is known for his films, which include “Jack Goes Boating” and “Synechdoche, New York,” and the plays, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” and “Our Lady of 121st Street,” among others.

Previews for the upcoming production begin Jan. 16, 2015 in anticipation of a Feb. 11 opening.

“Between Riverside and Crazy” concerns the battle of a recent widower and disabled ex-cop named Walter “Pops” Washington (Henderson) to hang onto one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments on Manhattan’s upscale Riverside Drive. His difficulties are aggravated by his newly paroled son, sketchy houseguests, pursuit by both the city and his church, increasing bills and an ultimatum from his landlord.

Henderson’s work in “Between Riverside and Crazy” was praised by The New York Times, Newsday, New York Daily News, Variety, USA Today and many other publications. Henderson’s “Pops” joins his elegant repertoire of stage characters in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including “Bono” and “Tumbo” in August Wilson’s “Fences” and “Jitney,” respectively.

At the time of the first production of “Between Riverside and Crazy,” Variety editor Gordon Cox said a future life for the play seemed likely and a London production was a possibility.

"It's always a nerve-wracking challenge and an ecstatic joy to work with a major playwright while a play is under construction," says Henderson, a faculty member in the UB Department of Theatre and Dance. And he should know. Now that the play is finished and proven, it is taking on a life of its own.

Henderson is best known on Broadway and beyond for his excellent work in supporting roles. Among them are his performances in nearly all of Wilson’s cycle of 10 plays about the lives of African Americans in 20th-century America, notably “Jitney,” for which he and the rest of the cast received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble and an Olivier Award (London’s Tony).

Henderson performed in the 2014 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” and was nominated for a Tony for his work in the 2010 production of Wilson’s “Fences.” Both plays starred Denzel Washington.

He has also appeared in such films as “Lincoln,” “Tower Heist,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and notably, in television, in  HBO’s acclaimed film “Everyday People,” on “Law & Order,” “ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Newsroom,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Tyler Perry's “House of Payne,”  “Third Watch,” “New Amsterdam” and “Blue Bloods.”

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