New York Stateâ€™s boxing tsar breaks a leg on Sept. 7
â€œO Commissioner, Commissioner! Wherefore art thou Commissioner?â€?
From Commissioner and Juliet (II, ii, 33)
Shakespeare, Ibsen, Eugene Oâ€™Neill, Arthur Millerâ€¦ and Ron Scott Stevens?
The fact that the Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission Ron Scott Stevens was just reappointed to another three-year term by Governor George Pataki tells you all you need to know about the job heâ€™s doing. He took a moribund commission on autopilot or worse and pumped some serious life into the local scene. Stevens didnâ€™t clear all the dead wood hereabouts â€“ heâ€™s a boxing guy, not Paul Bunyan â€“ but things are healthier than theyâ€™ve been in awhile. The club shows may not be thriving, certainly not like the old days, but thanks to Lou DiBella and his superb venue on 34th Street thereâ€™s fairly regular action on that front, and big fights come to Madison Square Garden, both the big and small halls, with a regularity undreamed of a few years ago.
Those familiar with Stevensâ€™ 30 years in the biz, where he has literally done it all â€“ boxing writer/editor, ring announcer, publicist, matchmaker, promoter â€“ also know that heâ€™s been a not-so-closeted playwright. He has written several plays, the most significant of which was his 1985 boxing drama, â€œLippe,â€? which starred William Hickey, an old school New York acting coach best known, if known at all, as the geriatric mob boss in John Huston s â€œPrizziâ€™s Honor,â€? the film where Jack Nicholson portrayed a love-besotted Brooklyn hitman opposite pistol-packing Kathleen Turner.
And now Ron Scott Stevens, while not neglecting his day job, has returned to one of his lifelong loves. On September 7, 2006, his most recent play, â€œCherryâ€™s Patch,â€? will premiere at the Soho Playhouse, located at 15 Vandam Street, in New York City, and will run through September 17 in a limited engagement.
â€œCherryâ€™s Patchâ€? tells the story of a Fire Captain and his crew in a Brooklyn Heights engine company in the nine months leading up to the 9/11 attack. His untimely death caused by a cowardly lieutenant compels the firefighters to mete out justice, not according to the law, but according to the old-fashioned way, by doing it themselves.
Although the tale is fictional, the play is steeped in the events that shook New York City, and have subsequently shaken the world.
â€œBoxing is theatre in its purest form,â€? Stevens said. â€œThe ring approximates the stage and the audience can become captivated as the events evolve until they reach their conclusion.â€?
According to the NY Times, Stevens described himself as â€œa dramatist by nature because I see things in those terms,â€? and described the writing of â€œCherryâ€™s Patchâ€? as â€œa calling. It just felt right: the creation of a story with a dramatic structure that can just penetrate you.â€?
Tickets for Ron Scott Stevens' â€œCherryâ€™s Patchâ€? are priced at $25 and $50, and are available by calling 212-691-1555, or at www.sohoplayhouse.com. Read more at the BLOG
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