Broadway's Hand to God Closes Today; Next Stop: London

News   Broadway's Hand to God Closes Today; Next Stop: London Hand to God, starring Steven Boyer in his acclaimed performance as a young man named Jason and his foul-mouthed hand puppet Tyrone, plays its final performance on Broadway Jan. 3. The Tony-nominated show has run nine months (337 performances) at the Booth Theatre.

He was joined for the last two months of the run by Bob Saget, longtime host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and star of the TV series "Full House," who replaced Marc Kudisch as the amorous Pastor Greg.

Who's Dirtier — Bob Saget or Tyrone? Next Hand to God Star Spills the Beans in 5 Questions

The show opened April 7, 2015, at the Booth Theatre, marking the Broadway debuts of playwright Robert Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel.

Upon closing, Hand to God will transfer to London’s West End, with performances beginning Feb. 5, 2016, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Harry Melling, who appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise as Harry's viciously spoiled cousin Dudley, has been tapped to play Jason/Tyrone. Von Stuelpnagel will recreate his Tony-nominated direction.

Steven Boyer
Steven Boyer Photo by Joan Marcus

"Having played an extraordinary 9-month run on Broadway, London is the natural next step for a new American play that is this exciting. We are thrilled that Hand to God will soon be experienced by audiences all over the world," said producer Kevin McCollum in an earlier statement. Read the Playbill magazine feature with playwright Askins, who continued to tend bar by day to pay the bills

Producer McCollum's three years of development on this play included its previous acclaimed productions at the Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) in 2011 and its Off-Broadway debut at MCC Theater in 2014. Broadway previews began March 14, 2015.

The provocative play features the complete cast of the 2014 MCC Theater production. Boyer ("The Wolf of Wall Street," King Lear) stars as Jason/Tyrone with Geneva Carr (Broadway debut) as Margery, Sarah Stiles (Into the Woods, Avenue Q) as Jessica and Michael Oberholtzer (Broadway debut) as Timmy.

The play landed in the news in early July when an audience member tried to charge his cell phone in a prop electrical outlet on the set. A video clip of the action went viral.

Read the Playbill magazine feature with Boyer, in which he talks about playing both puppet and person.

Hand to God, according to producer McCollum, "centers on shy, inquisitive student Jason, who finds an outlet for his burgeoning creativity at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason's complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door and — most especially — his mother are thrown into further upheaval when Jason’s hand puppet Tyrone — once soft-spoken — takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. As Tyrone’s influence over Jason steadily grows, Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us."

The design team for Hand to God includes scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costumes by Sydney Maresca, lighting by Jason Lyons, sound by Jill BC Du Boff, puppet design by Marte Johanne Ekhougen and fight direction by Robert Westley. Casting is by Telsey + Company. 

The Booth Theatre is located at 222 West 45th Street. Visit HandToGodBroadway.com.

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