Inferno! Off-Broadway Play Debuts in New York City

The Core Theatre’s Off-Broadway Debut of James Prince’s Original Play Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942

Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942 an original play written by James Hanson Prince is set to make its New York City debut off-Broadway from November 21, 2018 – December 16, 2018, at Theatre 80 St. Marks.

The play takes place on November 28, 1942, almost one year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the night of one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history. 

On this particular night, Boston was alive with excitement as Boston College battled archrival Holy Cross College on the football field.  Cocoanut Grove, the popular, swank Boston nightclub was hopping with nearly 1,000 people: Students fresh from the game, servicemen on a weekend pass, newlyweds celebrating the beginning of their new lives, and even a Hollywood star making the rounds to promote his upcoming film.  In the midst of such gaiety, who could have predicted that a split-second mistake and greed could spark an inferno that would claim 492 lives, changing fire code safety forever!

The 76th anniversary of the tragic and fatal fire at Cocoanut Grove takes play on November 28th and there is no better, more immersive way to learn about this historic event, and watch a fascinating story unfold, than to see the original play. 

“The story has never been told like this before. It truly is a behind the scenes look into what happened that night in the Cocoanut Grove,” says Prince, Artistic Director and Founder of The Core Theatre. “It brings this immense tragedy down to the human level, revealing the lives of those who perished and the ways their stories echo down the through time.” 

Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942 has had successful runs in Boston in 2017 and Dallas in 2016. 

The cast features Director James Hansen Prince, the ensemble cast features Penny Gunther as the Stage Manager/Hilde Grey, Katie Lummus as Goody Goodelle, Kara Rainer as Margaret Wilson, Jake Bowman as Edward Yurkanis/Dan Weiss/Jimmy Jenkins, Matt Gunther as Barney Welanski/Buck Jones, Gabriel Ethridge as Al Willet/Mayor Tobin/Ben Ellis/Angelo Lippi, James Hansen Prince as Lt. Linney/Hewson/Red Grainger, Zoe Settle as Ann Clark, Robin Clayton  as Louise Bouvier, Steven Prince as Stanley Tomaszewki/Marshal Cole/Saul Davis, Hannah Matusow as Bunny and Stephanie Oustalet as Pepper Russel/Lynn.  

Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942 will be performed Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets will range from $50 for adults, $40 for seniors over the age of 65 and $35 for students. Tickets can be purchased online here. https://theatre80.wordpress.com/core-theatre-presents-inferno-fire-at-the- cocoanut-grove-1942/

James Hansen Prince is the Artistic Director and Founder of The Core Theatre, a professional theatre company located in Richardson (Dallas), Texas. He had his first taste of acting as a child at Chris Wilson’s Actor’s Theatre in Houston. He studied theater at the University of Texas at Dallas. From 1992-1994, he had his own traveling theatre company, “Theatre on the Square,” in Houston. In July 2008, he held a public reading of his first play, “A Reason to Believe.” In 2009, he opened The Core Theatre, a nonprofit 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) theatre company. Mr. Prince has acted and directed more than 300 productions, and written 9 full-length plays, including “Mother, Middle America and Men,” “Behind the Cotton

Curtain: Remembering Medgar Evers,” “A Debt that led to Home,” “Reason to Believe” and “Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942.” In addition to his writing, he has directed several new productions from local Dallas playwrights along with other well- known plays.

The Core Theatre Company’s mission is to create quality theatrical productions that entertain, educate and elevate society by instilling hope and understanding using primarily original scripts by local playwrights. The Company casts professional actors, directors, and playwrights to work on its productions. www.thecoretheatre.org 


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