Coen's Almost an Evening Will Re-Open in Commercial Off-Broadway Run

News   Coen's Almost an Evening Will Re-Open in Commercial Off-Broadway Run Atlantic Theater Company's recent sold-out world-premiere production of Academy Award winner Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening will transfer to an Off-Broadway run at The Bleecker Street Theatre March 20.
Mark Linn-Baker in Almost an Evening
Mark Linn-Baker in Almost an Evening Photo by Doug Hamilton

The limited run will continue to June 1 and is expected to feature some of the same cast that created the trio of short works at Atlantic Stage 2. Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham ("Amadeus") was among its players. Abraham and Mark-Linn Baker are expected to return to the piece, although the transfer cast has not been announced.

Don't expect Jonathan Cake or Elizabeth Marvel to reprise their work — they're booked with other jobs.

Almost an Evening, directed by Atlantic artistic director Neil Pepe, sold out before previews began on Jan. 9 toward a Jan. 22 opening, playing to Feb. 10 at the 99-seat Atlantic Stage 2.

The commercial Off-Broadway transfer will be produced by Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, artistic director; Andrew D. Hamingson, managing director) and Art Meets Commerce (Chip Meyrelles, executive director; Ken Greiner, producing Director).

According to the producers, "In Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening, three short plays unsuccessfully tackle important questions. In Waiting, someone waits somewhere for quite some time. In Four Benches, a voyage to self-discovery takes a British intelligence agent to steam baths in New York and Texas, and to park benches in the U.S. and U.K. In Debate, cosmic questions are taken up. Not much is learned." Bleecker Street Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street between Lafayette and Mott Street.

The earlier Atlantic Stage 2 engagement of Almost an Evening also featured Jonathan Cake (who is now in Atlantic's Parlour Song), J.R. Horne (The Crucible), Jordan Lage (Inherit the Wind), Mark Linn-Baker (Losing Louie, TV's "Perfect Strangers"), Elizabeth Marvel (Seascape and Broadway's upcoming Top Girls), Mary McCann (Spring Awakening), Del Pentecost (FX's "Starved") and Joey Slotnick (The Altruists).

Almost an Evening featured scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Ilona Somogyi, lighting design by Don Holder and sound design by Eric Shim and fight choreography by J. David Brimmer.

Almost an Evening will play Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with Saturday matinees at 2 PM and Sunday performances at 3 PM and 7 PM.

Ticket prices range from $20-$50 and will be available starting Feb. 22 by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 and (800) 545-2559, online at almostanevening.com and telecharge.com or in person at The Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker Street between Lafayette and Mott Street.

For more information visit www.almostanevening.com.

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Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ethan Coen ("Fargo") has been nominated for 2008 Oscars for "No Country for Old Men" — in the categories of director and adapted screenplay (sharing both noms with his collaborator brother Joel). The film is also up for Best Picture. The Academy Awards ceremony is Feb. 24.

How did the Coen plays come to the Atlantic? Pepe told Playbill.com writer Robert Simonson, "They were sent by a literary agent. He sent the three one-acts. Ethan and I had mutual friends in common, so there were connections. I looked at them and thought they were really unique and fun and original. We put together a reading of these three, plus one other. I always find it exciting when I admire someone's work in one medium and you get to see them venture into another medium."

What about the orphaned fourth play?

Pepe said, "When we did the reading, we did another one as well. It was a longer play. It didn't fit as well with these, so we decided to just put these three together."

Coen was around during rehearsals, Pepe said. "I always welcome that. He's been very closely involved, including the casting sessions and design sessions. He's very collaborative."

To view the complete Brief Encounter interview with Pepe, click here.

Ethan Coen has made 13 movies with his brother Joel, including "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"; "Raising Arizona"; "Barton Fink"; "The Hudsucker Proxy"; and "The Big Lebowski." The brothers variously write, produce, direct and edit their films in a symbiotic relationship, even if they are not necessarily officially credited for the work they share.

The Coen brothers won the Oscar for the original screenplay of "Fargo"; Atlantic co-founder William H. Macy starred in "Fargo" (and was Oscar-nominated for it).

J.R. Horne and Jonathan Cake in Ethan Coen's <i>Almost an Evening</i> at the Atlantic Theater Company
J.R. Horne and Jonathan Cake in Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening at the Atlantic Theater Company Photo by Doug Hamilton
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