The World Premiere of CLUTTER received rave reviews. The Los Angeles Times selected the play for the “Critic’s Choice” Award stating, “This examination of the Collyer brothers—the world’s most famous packrats—is shamelessly entertaining… richly comic… brilliant.”The Hollywood Reporter raved that “CLUTTER is charming [and] delightful… wise, generous and witty.”KABC enthused that CLUTTER is “a riveting play… As a study in bizarre behavior and obsession, the play is engaging and engrossing… hilarious… an intoxicatingly theatrical milieu… scores a clean dramatic sweep.”
CLUTTER is based on the compelling true story of the wealthy, reclusive Collyer brothers whobecame hoarders in their Fifth Avenue mansion in 1920s Harlem. After years of compulsive collecting, the brothers have become notorious shut-ins in their aristocratic New York neighborhood. Langley Collyer is missing and Homer Collyer is found dead amongst floor-to-ceiling piles of newspapers, books, and junk. The police investigating the case, two brothers with a strained relationship mirroring that of the Collyers, are simultaneously making discoveries about themselves. Narrated by the brothers and the police investigating the bizarre case, this darkly fascinating tale is a poignant and profound exploration of human behavior.
There will be a talkback session immediately following the performances every other Thursday evening beginning on January 19. Dr. Scott Kaplan, an Illinois licensed clinical psychologist, will facilitate talkbacks to address questions about hoarding and other themes addressed in the play.
CLUTTER stars Andrew J. Pond as “Langley Collyer” (Metropolis, Citadel, Piccolo, Redtwist, Blue Heron, and Circle Theatre); Northwestern and University of Chicago graduate Edward Kuffert as “Homer Collyer” (Center Stage, City Lit, Inconceivable, Halcyon, Hubris, GroundUp, Big Noise, Citadel, and Jeff nominated as “Danforth” inThe Crucible at Infamous Commonwealth); Joe Mack as “Sgt. Reilly Dolan”; and Michael Jay Bullaro as “Patrolman Keven Dolan” (Goodman, Citadel, and Harper Theatre Ensemble). The production also features Jeff Award winner Stephen M. Genovese (former Artistic Director of Bohemian Theatre Company and Tim Walsh.
The artistic team for CLUTTER is led by director Wayne Mell who has been Managing Director at Citadel since 2009, most recently directingSomething’s Afoot (which starred CLUTTER leads Andrew J. Pond and Edward Kuffert). Mell began his directing career in 1976, receiving the Talented Student Scholarship from Northern Illinois University, going on to continue his study of directing at Victory Gardens, as well as improvisation at The Second City. He continued to direct at Citadel, Attic Playhouse, and Bailiwick Repertory’s Director’s Festival.
Sound Design is by Bob Boxer, Lighting Design is by Matthew R. Godlewski, Properties Design is by Mary Odowd and Set Design is by Andrei Onegin.
Playwright Mark Saltzman, who began his career writing forThe Muppets with Jim Henson, is the winner of seven Emmy Awards for his work onSesame Street. He has also been nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award and five L.A. Ovation Awards, including Best Musical. Notable works includeA, My Name is Alice; The Tin Pan Alley Rag; Romeo and Bernadette; andMr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood. His work has been shown at Laguna Playhouse, The Ballroom, Soho Rep, 13th Street Theater, Village Gate, Pasedena Playhouse, Goodspeed, The Cleveland Playhouse, Florida’s Maltz Jupiter Theatre, New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, Miami’s Coconut Grove Playhouse, and New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse.Film credits include Disney, Showtime, SONY, and Universal, includingMrs. Santa Claus (starring Angela Lansbury), The Adventures of Milo and Otis,Three Ninjas Kick Back, and The Red Sneakers. Years after being scolded by his mother, who referred to him as a Collyer brother for having a messy room, Saltzman’s research on the famous hoarders inspired him to write CLUTTER.