F. Murray Abraham, Mark Linn-Baker, Mary McCann and Elizabeth Marvel are among the players in Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Almost an Evening, made up of three short plays by Oscar winner Coen. The writer co-wrote the screenplay for "Fargo," and other pictures, with Joel Coen (they won the Oscar for the original screenplay); Atlantic co-founder William H. Macy starred in "Fargo" (and was Oscar-nominated).
The triptych is presented at Atlantic's intimate second space — Atlantic Stage 2 on West 16th Street — through Feb. 10. Opening is Jan. 22.
The Almost troupers under the direction of Atlantic artistic director Neil Pepe also include Jonathan Cake, J.R. Horne, Jordan Lage, Del Pentecost and Joey Slotnick.
According to Atlantic, "In the world premiere of 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."
Almost an Evening is Coen's Off-Broadway debut as a playwright. He 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 engagement of Almost an Evening marks Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham's Atlantic debut. He appeared on Broadway this season in Mauritius and won the Oscar for "Amadeus."
Jonathan Cake recently appeared in Lincoln Center Theater's Cymbeline on Broadway.
J.R. Horne returns to Atlantic, where he appeared in The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite. He has appeared on Broadway in The Crucible, Inherit the Wind and recently completed filming the Coen Brothers' upcoming "Burn After Reading."
Atlantic founding member Jordan Lage returns to Atlantic, where he most recently appeared in Sea of Tranquility. On Broadway, he appeared in last season's revival of Inherit the Wind.
Mark Linn-Baker appeared on Broadway in Losing Louie last season, and most recently in the new musical Romantic Poetry Off-Broadway. He starred in all seven seasons of the ABC series "Perfect Strangers."
Elizabeth Marvel last appeared at the Atlantic in Woody Allen's A Second Hand Memory. She won an Obie Award for the title role in Hedda Gabbler Off-Broadway and appeared in the Tony Award-winning revival of Seascape on Broadway last season.
Atlantic founding member Mary McCann last appeared at Atlantic in the world premiere of Spring Awakening, and recently in The Cherry Orchard and The Night Heron. She is on the CBS series "The Unit," and appeared opposite Kate Winslet in the film "Little Children."
Del Pentecost appeared on the FX series "Starved" and in the Coen Brothers films "O Brother Where art Thou?" and "Coyote Ugly."
Joey Slotnick is a member of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Co., and has appeared Off-Broadway in The Altruists and on the television series "Boston Public" and "The Single Guy."
Almost an Evening features 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.
Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street.
Almost an Evening plays Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday matinees at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM and 7 PM.
All tickets are $45 and are available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (www.ticketcentral.com).
There will be no Saturday matinee on Jan. 12. Opening night curtain on Jan. 22 is at 7 PM.
For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.