As Clock Winds Down in Grover's Corners, Michael McKean Steps Into Our Town Aug. 3

News   As Clock Winds Down in Grover's Corners, Michael McKean Steps Into Our Town Aug. 3
 
Michael McKean, of Broadway's Superior Donuts and Hairspray, returns to the acclaimed Off-Broadway run of Our Town on Aug. 3. After an earlier summer engagement in the Greenwich Village staging, McKean again plays the classic's narrator and guide, the Stage Manager, now to Aug. 22.
Our Town stars James McMeniman, Michael McKean and Jennifer Grace
Our Town stars James McMeniman, Michael McKean and Jennifer Grace Photo by Carol Rosegg

Producers of the long-running Greenwich Village production of Our Town previously announced that the production will end its run at the Barrow Street Theatre on Sept. 12, but not before McKean and director David Cromer respectively step back into the role of the Stage Manager.

Helen Hunt played the narrator of Thornton Wilder's classic in recent weeks, to Aug. 1.

McKean will be followed by Obie and Lucille Lortel Award winner Cromer, who directed and originated the role in this production, on Aug. 24, for the play's final weeks. Scott Parkinson, who appeared in the role last summer, will return to play matinee performances on Aug. 28 & 29 and Sept. 4 & 5.

McKean told Playbill.com that he'd never played the role before. In the intimate Barrow Street space, where the Stage Manager commingles with the audience as never before, does McKean get distracted by the sobs and sniffles of the crowd?

"I'm an emotional guy, but I also know the responsibility of the Stage Manager, and I sort of can't go there," McKean told Playbill.com. "It's not so much what the audience is feeling that gets to me, it's the story. It's such a beautiful story and the actors on the stage are just so phenomenal. It's such a thrill to be on stage with these people because they're so invested. They're just the best." *

Cromer's award-winning staging of Wilder's portrait of small-town life began performances on Feb. 17, 2009, with an official opening night on Feb. 26, 2009, when it received rave reviews at the downtown venue.

Our Town went on to win the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction and Obie Award for Outstanding Director. This staging became the longest-running production of the play in its 72-year history with its record-breaking 337th performance on Dec. 16, 2009.

The current cast of Our Town includes (in alphabetical order) Elizabeth Audley as Mrs. Soames, Jeremy Beiler as Simon Stimson, Robert Beitzel as Howie Newsome, Kati Brazda as Mrs. Webb, Will Brill as Joe Crowell, Jr, Nathan Dame as Sam Craig, Roger E. DeWitt as Joe Stoddard, Ann Dowd as Mrs. Gibbs, Emma Galvin as Rebecca Gibbs, Jennifer Grace as Emily Webb, Mark Hattan as Constable Warren, Noah E. Galvin as Wally Webb, David Manis as Mr. Webb, Scott Parkinson as Professor Willard, James McMenamin as George Gibbs, Jeff Still as Doc Gibbs, Jason Yachanin as Si Crowell, with Dana Jacks, Lynn Laurence, Kathleen Peirce, Keith Perry and Mark Shock. For tickets and information, visit www.smarttix.com.

Michael McKean (center) and the cast of <i>Our Town.</i>
Michael McKean (center) and the cast of Our Town. Photo by Carol Rosegg
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