To bring a second life to an undiscovered gem, Termination Productions LLC will present “The Head Hunter,” a dramatic encounter between a screenwriter and his mobster cousin, at The Producers Club Theaters April 11 to May 4, 2014. The play is written by Mark Borkowski, a New York-based playwright, screenwriter and actor who is now best known for playing Paul Sagorsky in the third and fourth seasons of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Richard Hymes-Esposito (www.richardhymes.com) directs. It is the first revival of a horrific yet hilarious two-hander that Backstage (Elias Stimac) labeled “one of the best plays of 2000” when it debuted that year.
In the play, Casmir, a screenwriter, has sold the exclusive rights of his screenplay to a sleazy Hollywood producer. He confesses what he has done to his cousin Salvatore, a hit man for the mob. The screenplay, a bio-pic, contains truths about Sal’s father that are more then incriminating. Enraged, Salvatore vows to get the screenplay’s rights back to Casmir even if it means eliminating the producer. The two cousins are forced to deal with issues that tore their family apart and drove them to be who they are: one an artist, the other a ruthless killer.
The play debuted Off-off Broadway 14 years ago to little notice. In its only review, Elias Stimac announced in Backstage, “The new year has barely begun, and already one of the best plays of 2000 has emerged on the New York theatre scene at The Common Basis Theatre. Mark Borkowski’s ‘The Head Hunter’ is an intensely inventive and fiercely funny new drama which mixes shades of Shepard and Mamet while painting a horrific yet hilarious portrait of both modern-day mob life and the equally precarious film industry.” He continued, “Borkowski fills his play with wicked twists and turns that catch viewers off-guard each step of the way. He also has an uncanny ear for dialogue, resulting in sly soliloquies and rapid-fire repartee.” The review ended in a call for an extended stage run and an “inevitable big screen adaptation.”
In this revival, Robert Mobley plays Cashmir, the writer. Sal Inzerillo plays Sal, the mobstah.
Mark Borkowski is now well-known to TV audiences as Paul Sagorsky, a drunken war veteran with a broken heart and a penchant for fighting, on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” His playwriting career is not without note. “A Gravedigger’s Tale” (Hudson Guild Theater, 2009) was published in Best One Acts of 2009 and “Don’t Listen to What It Sounds Like” is published in Best One Acts of 2007, both issued by Smith & Krauss. Other NY productions include “The Daughters of Eve” (Cherry Lane Studio Theatre), “The Mutilation of St. Barbara (Gene Frankel Theatre), “Twilight’s Child” (Playwright’s Horizons), “Within the Skins of Saints” (Common Basis Theatre), “The Rude Man” (Kraine Theatre), “The Godling” and “The Shadow Keeper (Tribeca Lab). He grew up in Philadelphia, where his productions include “Suicide, Inc.” at The Walnut St. Theatre. In Los Angeles, his “Lonely Vigil for a Stranger” ran at The Burbage Theatre, where LA Times heralded it “Fireworks and Poetry.” He is the winner of the Playwrights Fellowship Award from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and The Rod Serling Award for “The Godling.” His screenplays include “The Perfect Witness” (First Look Studios), which is now available on Showtime and DVD. He has acted in the films “The Ungodly,” “Mean Guy,” “Cost of a Soul” and “Listen to Your Heart.”
Salvatore Inzerillo (Sal, the mobstah) is a member of The Actors Studio and The LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City. His theater credits include Rocky Pioggi in “The Iceman Cometh” with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy directed by Robert Falls at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago; Charlie in “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” Charles D’amico in “Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, St. Simon in “The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot” all written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Dutch in “Dutch Heart Of Man” by Robert Glaudini at The Joseph Papp Public Theater. He has performed internationally on London’s West End, The Donmar Warehouse (under Sam Mendes) and in The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His television appearances include “Damages,” “The Black Donellys,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Law & Order: SVU.” His films include Federic Cannoli in “Jack Goes Boating,” directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Robert Mobley (Casmir, the writer) is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. He has appeared in “Major Crimes” directed by Arthur Penn and played the title role in “Hamlet” at The Actors Studio. He played Trigorin in “The Seagull” Off-Broadway and screen legend John Garfield in a critically acclaimed LA stage production of “Names.” Other credits include “Manipulation” at The Cherry Lane Theater, Tennessee William’s “Suddenly Last Summer” (George Holly), “Macbeth” (Banquo) at The New York Classic Theater, “Coriolanus” (Tullus Aufidius) at The Shakespeare Project, “Red Roses” at The Common Ground Theater; “Till The Day I Die,” “Waiting for Lefty” and “The Gentle People” at The Group Theater Festival; Eugene O’Neill’s “The Thirst” (Gentleman) at The Provincetown Playhouse, “Turandot” (Calef) at La MaMa, “The Indian Wants The Bronx” (Joey) at The 13th Street Theater and “Rockbound” (Jay Byrd) at The South Street Theater. His films include: “Hollywood Dreams,” “The Commission,” “Facing East,” “People in the Sun,” “The Story of Rats,” “Blue Funk” and “Be My Boy.” On TV, he has been seen on “Dellaventura,” “Sex and The City,” “Law and Order,” “Strapped” and “One Life to Live.”
Termination Productions, LLC, will present “The Head Hunter” at the Producers’ Club Theaters, 358 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) April 11 to May 4, 2014. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.smarttix.com or 212-868-4444.