Dare Clubb's four-hour adaptation of Oedipus sounds like the unlikeliest hot ticket of the season, but previews Oct. 8-10 are sold out and so is the Oct. 11 opening, presented Off-Broadway by the Blue Light Theater Company.
It's easy to think stars Billy Crudup (as Oedipus) and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand (as his adoptive mother, Merope) are the reason for brisk ticket sales, but publicist Charlie Siedenburg (of Springer/Chicoine) said Oct. 9 that writer-director Clubb's provocative adaptation, described as "darkly humorous" and "sensual," is the reason buzz is building.
It's not the stars people are talking about, necessarily, Siedenburg suggested, it's the Sophocles-inspired story.
There are only 130 seats in the Classic Stage Company space, where Blue Light is squatting, so tickets are indeed limited. According to Siedenburg, the Oct. 11 opening and performances Oct. 15 and Oct. 18 are sold out, snatched up by groups and single ticket buyers.
The show must absolutely close Oct. 25 due to shooting schedules of the production's stars and the November opening of CSC's Waiting for Godot . Refinements in previews have brought the onetime four-and-a-half-hour show down to four hours even, Siedenburg said. Changes in costuming have also been made in previews.
Seidenburg said the Sophocles-inspired production has been marketed to area schools, inviting a new generation to look at and talk about the age old story about identity, destiny and self-knowledge.
To address the four-hour running time, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances of the show will commence at 7 PM, while Wednesday and Sunday will feature 2 PM matinees only.
CSC Theater is at 136 E. 13th Street in New York City. For information, call (212) 279-4200.
* Jeffrey Donavan has been cast as Tiresias and Johanna Day will be Periboea. Also in the cast are Jon De Vries, Alex Draper, Jonathan Fried, Carolyn McCormick, Larry Nathanson, Camilia Sanes, and Alan Tudyk.
Crudup was last seen on stage as Solyony in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 1997 Broadway production of Three Sisters. Since making his Broadway debut in Lincoln Center's production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, Crudup has forged a growing film career, appearing in such movies as Inventing the Abbotts, Grind and Everybody Says I Love You. He is also a member of the Drama Dept. theatre company, though he has yet to appear in one of its productions.
McDormand won an Oscar in 1997 for her performance as a pregnant, Midwestern sheriff in Fargo. Her other films include Mississippi Burning and Short Cuts. Among her stage roles are Masha in Three Sisters at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. Clubb and McDormand met at Yale University, where both attended school. Clubb decided the Blue Light was the right troupe to stage his version of the Oedipus myth after seeing its production of Howard Barker's Scenes from an Execution in 1996.