Theatre director and author. Assistant director of The Heidi Chronicles, 1990. Director of Broadway stage productions, including Wait untilDark, Broadway, 1998, The Master Class, Broadway, 1997; Dead Man Walking (opera), New York City Opera, 2002; The Stendhal Syndrome, Primary Stages, New York, NY, 2004; The Drowning Crow, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, NY, 2004; One Touch of Venus, City Centre; If Memory Serves; By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea, Manhattan Theatre Club; and Lonely Planet, Circle Repertory Company. Director of other stage productions, including The Master Class, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Canada, 2000; A Coffin in Egypt, Bay Street Theatre Festival; Dreamland … The Music of Harold Arlen, Sharon, CT, Stage; Revelers, New York Stage and Film; and The Heidi Chronicles, Reckless, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, all Trinity Repertory Company.
(With David Richards) 1 Ragged Ridge Road, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.
(With David Richards) Face down in the Park, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Accomplished stage director Leonard Foglia, who directed the popular Broadway play Master Class and the opera Dead Man Walking, has also written mystery novels with journalist David Richards. In the suspense novel 1 Ragged Ridge Road, Foglia and Richards tell the story of a military man and his wife who decide to buy a home off the army base. Carol dreams of returning the Pennsylvania Gothic mansion to its former splendor and using it as a bed-and-breakfast inn. After Blake is suddenly assigned to a base in Europe, Carol and their learning disabled son, Sammy, stay in their new home. Carol throws herself into the renovation and discovers that an unsolved murder had taken place in the mansion some seventy ears earlier. When strange things begin to happen, she is compelled to solve the decades-old mystery, in the process learning something startling about herself.
A Publishers Weekly contributor described 1 Ragged Ridge Road as "clever," praising its "adroitly constructed" plot and "resonant irony." The critic also faulted Foglia and Richards for what the reviewer judged to be "stereotyped and one-dimensional" secondary characters. Malachy Duffy, writing in the New York Times Book Review, remarked that while the novel contains clichés, it succeeds nevertheless. Likening the novel to a tuna noodle casserole, Duffy called it "just tasty enough to tempt you into wanting a bit more."
Foglia collaborated with Richards once again for the 1999 crime novel titled Face down in the Park. Waking up in New York City's Central Park after being attacked, Brent Stevens discovers that he is suffering from amnesia with no memory of who he is or how he came to be nearly killed. Stevens eventually hooks up with Tina Ruffo, a big-hearted aerobics instructor from Queens who decides to help the stranger. As the two struggle to piece Brent's life back together again, they find that Brent has associations with an assortment of characters, including a mysterious resident of the exclusive Dakota apartments, a female TV interviewer, and a couple who are Hollywood's biggest stars. Eventually they uncover some dangerous secrets and find themselves running for their lives from a guy named "Spiff."
Jenny McLarin, writing in Booklist, called Face down in the Park a "fascinating, multidimensional crime novel." McLarin commended the authors for "bringing characters to life without overdoing it." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted, "Despite slow-motion character descriptions at the beginning and relentlessly chirpy but stiff dialogue, the authors' adept pacing and their smart parceling out of clues ratchets up the suspense."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Back Stage, February 20, 1998, Peter Shaughnessy, "Brokaw, Mantelo, Foglia Discuss 'Collaborating with Playwrights,'" p. 3.
Booklist, February 1, 1999, Jenny McLarin, review of Face down in the Park, p. 964.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 1997, review of 1 Ragged Ridge Road; January 15, 1999, review of Face down in the Park.
New York Times Book Review, August 31, 1997, Malachy Duffy, review of 1 Ragged Ridge Road, p. 14.
Opera News, May, 2002, Joshua Rosenblum, review of Dead Man Walking, p. 79.
Publishers Weekly, May 19, 1997, review of 1 Ragged Ridge Road, p. 69; February 1, 1999, review of Face down in the Park, p. 75.
Variety, February 23-29, 2004, Charles Isherwood, review of The Stendhal Syndrome, p. 44.
Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2004, Terry Teachout, review of Drowning Crow, p. 7.
ArtScope.net,http://artscope.net/ (October 20, 2004), "Northlight to Remount Master Class at Toronto's Historic Royal Alexandra Theatre."
CurtainUp.com,http://www.curtainup.com/ (August 26, 2004), Elyse Sommer, review of The Master Class.
Internet Broadway Database (IBDB),http://www.ibdb.com/ (August 26, 2004).
Newsday Online,http://www.newsday.com/ (February 17, 2004), Linda Winer, review of The Stendhal Syndrome.*