Former football player Bo Eason was no runt; he played safety for the Houston Oilers and the San Francisco Giants in the1980's. But his own conflicting feelings on playing football were the inspiration of his one- man show, Runt of the Litter, which is making its New York debut at MCC Theatre Jan. 15-March 10, officially opening Jan. 31.
In Runt, Eason plays Jack Henry, the youngest child of six who is about to go out on the field against his brother, the star quarterback of the opposing team. Henry wanted to be a professional football player, and his family instilled in him the anger and drive to become the best by derisively dubbing him the "runt of the litter." It's that anger and drive that make Henry fear what he might do to his brother if they come face to face in the game.
Runt of the Litter is Eason's first play. His acting credits include "Miami Rhapsody," "Volcano" and "After Sex," as well as episodes of "ER" and "The John Laroquette Show."
As he did at the play's premiere at Houston's Stages Rep last February, Larry Moss directs. Moss staged the hit Off-Broadway solo The Syringa Tree. According to producer Ira Pittelman, Manhattan Class Company is producing the work in association with Eason, Emanuel Azenberg, Pittelman and Ulu Grosbard. According to production spokesperson Erin Dunn, the show is designed by Neil Patel (set), David Gipson (lighting) and Bruce Ellman (sound).
For tickets ($37.50) and information on Runt of the Litter, which began performances Jan. 15, call (212) 206-1515. — By David Lefkowitz
and Christine Ehren