A production of Sam Shepard's Fool for Love that was scheduled to begin performances Feb. 5, 2001 at Off-Broadway's 29th Street Rep will instead start a year later, on Feb. 4, 2002, with an opening set for Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
Fool was initially rescheduled owing to cast-member David Mogentale battling cancer. "We as a group wanted to wait," stated director and company co-artistic director Tim Corcoran about the choice to postpone, "rather than recast." The chemistry and "energy" between the cast was the main reason for the decision and also, as he added, the "hope to help his recovery, that he would have something to look forward to."
Mogentale, who now feels "fine," told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 1) the company chose Fool for Love because, "The plays I like to do are Killer Joe-type, physical types of plays. As Sam Shepard wrote in the intro to Fool for Love: `To be performed relentlessly without a break.' I like that idea about theatre, that visceral quality. Also, they did this play at the McCarter [in NJ], and I was pissed off that I didn't get to audition for it. And my agent is Shepard's agent! They were thinking of bringing that production to New York, but it didn't work out, so I figured we'll do it here in New York, ourselves."
The troupe had looked forward to a return date for Fool in mid September — which, for equally awful reasons, had to be postponed again.
The play focuses on a chance meeting between two former lovers at a seedy motel near the Mojave Desert. But as the story unravels, we learn that it may be more than just a chance, and they may be more than just lovers. Originally produced OB in 1983 by the Circle Repertory Company, the production garnered 5 Obies for the Best New American Play, for stars Ed Harris, Kathy Baker and Will Patton, as well as Shepard's direction. Fool for Love was subsequently turned into the 1985 Robert Altman film with the same title, starring the playwright and Kim Basinger.
The current Fool for Love cast includes co-artistic director David Mogentale, company veteran Elizabeth Elkins, Stephen Payne and Tony DeVito. The design team for the initial mounting was to include CJ Howard with sets, Doug Cox on lights and Tim Cramer with sound.
Author Shepard's other plays include Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class and Simpatico.
For tickets ($35) and further information on Fool For Love, which plays through March 30, call the 29th St. Rep box office at (212) 465-1714.
— by David Lefkowitz and Ernio Hernandez