Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Article: 'Our Town' Hits Off-Broadway

For Edge Chicago.

Here's the tease:

In late January, the Chicago Tribune reported that local theatres "remain resilent" despite the recession. In New York, too, Broadway is putting on a brave face, with an unusually high number of productions opening this spring.

This leaves the rest of New York’s theatrical strata -- Off-Off-Broadway, which struggles even in boom times, and Off-Broadway, encompassing institutional nonprofits and a handful of commercial houses -- to ride out the storm. Especially for commercial efforts, we’re talking small casts, single- or no-set shows, and maybe a two-star name to pique the tourists.

Then there’s Scott Morfee, the commercial producer who operates Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre, who opens an open-ended run of David Cromer’s revival of Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" this Thursday. The production has a New York cast and is based on the director’s widely acclaimed Chicago revival at the Hypocrites last spring. Given the project’s size, Morfee is clearly taking extraordinary financial risks.

"I don’t know the final number of union contracts we’re offering, but it’s 19 roles plus all the understudies, so we’re at least at 23 Equity contracts and that number will probably go higher," Morfee says. What’s more, the Barrow Street, an intimate house, has been totally reconfigured to accommodate Cromer’s vision, with just 150 seats available per performance.

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1 comment:

Zev Valancy said...

I never got to see "Our Town" in its two runs here, but I hope it does as well in New York as it did in Chicago--it was very tough to get a ticket. However, I'm not thrilled that only a few of the actors made the trip and that, as far as I know, the original company to produce it, The Hypocrites, is not getting either money or recognition with this production. It's legal, sure, but it would be nice for The Hypocrites to get some more reward for the risk they undertook.