Last year, for 10 consecutive Mondays, the small Off Broadway troupe, the Worth Street Theater Company, presented a "Stage Door Canteen" at the Tribeca Playhouse. The revue-like performances were the company's response to the horrors of Sept. 11, which hit the Tribeca-based Worth particularly hard.
The theatre will present one final Canteen 7 PM Sept. 9. The star-studded event will feature a $150 per person benefit reception at the nearby restaurant Fresh, designed to aid the struggling Worth Street. As with all the 2001 performances, all Ground Zero workers and volunteers, including all uniformed personnel will be admitted to the show for free. All concerned attendees, as well as those wishing to buy tickets to the reception, should call (212) 571-1576.
Last year's event attracted the cream of New York musical theatre world. The Sept. 9 show will bring back many of those performers, including Colin Quinn, Mario Cantone, Alice Ripley, Richard Kind, Jessica Molaskey and her husband John Pizzarelli, Molly Price and Daisy Eagan. More names may be added by show time.
Others who appeared last year include Phylicia Rashad, Sandy Duncan, Cady Huffman, Kristin Chenoweth, Joey McIntyre, John Pizzarelli, Daphne Rubin Vega, Alice Ripley, Crista Moore, Darius De Haas, Queen Esther, Adriane Lenox, Jonathon Dokuchitz, Lea DeLaria.
In the past year, the Worth Street has received some emergency grants, but it is still reeling financially from the impact of Sept. 11. According to a press spokesperson, the company is yet running a deficit directly related to the attacks. Ironically, the past season, the toughest in Worth Street's history, also saw the troupe's most high-profile effort—a production of Christopher Shinn's Four which transferred to Manhattan Theatre Club. The first Canteen occurred on Oct. 22, 2001, with Sandy Duncan and Daisy Eagan lending their talent. At the time, artistic director Jeff Cohen said in a statement, "I was inspired by the unflagging hard work of the brave men and women at the site and wanted to contribute in some way to their efforts. And what better way than to put on a show! I'm extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from the entertainment community so far and hope to continue the Canteen for as long as it is needed."
—By Robert Simonson