Belber's Tape Opens at Naked Angels on Jan. 17

News   Belber's Tape Opens at Naked Angels on Jan. 17 Stephen Belber's Tape, which has a hit at the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and inspired a film version, will officially open in New York City at the hands of Naked Angels on Jan. 17. The play began performances Jan. 8 at the Jose Quintero Theatre (534 W. 42nd Street).
Dominic Fumusa, Alison West and Josh Stamberg of Steven Belber's Tape.
Dominic Fumusa, Alison West and Josh Stamberg of Steven Belber's Tape. (Photo by Photo by George Xenos)

Stephen Belber's Tape, which has a hit at the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and inspired a film version, will officially open in New York City at the hands of Naked Angels on Jan. 17. The play began performances Jan. 8 at the Jose Quintero Theatre (534 W. 42nd Street).

Actor-director Geoffrey Nauffts will direct a trio made up of Dominic Fumusa (who is leaving the hit Soho Rep staging of Melissa James Gibson's [sic] to do the play), Josh Stamberg and Alison West.

Tape was praised as one of the best presentations of the 2000 Louisville festival. But it was the recently released and highly praised low-budget film, starring Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, that really made the work's name. Richard Linklater directed the flick.

[See Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter with Stephen Belber.]

Billed as an edgy drama that delves into the ideas of social and personal responsibility, Tape concern a reunion of pals at a regional film festival. On-the-rise filmmaker Jon attends the Lansing Film Festival and meets up with hometown pal Vince, who never let go of an incident involving Jon and a high school girlfriend, Amy, now a district attorney. Fumusa played Vince in the Humana production and reprises that performance at Naked Angles. According to press material, Belber penned the piece after Fumusa and Stamberg requested something that they might perform together.

Belber told Playbill On-Line: "Well, my two friends, Josh Stamberg and Dominic Fumusa, came to me almost three years ago and said, `We really want to get a part that we can sink our teeth into. We're always losing our parts to the bigger names.' So, we sat around and decided on something kind of Sam Shepard-y and came up with the idea of a hotel room. So I went off and wrote this and we did a reading. I added a third character. We raised the money and got Access Theatre downtown to produce it. "

Belber's plays include The Death of Frank (Synchronicity Space), Through Fred (Soho Repertory), The Wake (Via Theater), Broken Fall (Juilliard), Steve ( Expanded Arts), Wind (Lincoln Center Living Room at Here) and Stone Cold Lyricism (Harold Clurman Theater). His one-act Finally won a playwriting award at the 2000 New York International Fringe Festival. He is a graduate of the Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School. As an actor, he was seen in The Laramie Project Off-Broadway.

Tickets are $25. Call (212) 244-7529.

—By Robert Simonson