After much ado — extensions and delays — Second Stage Theatre's production of Ricky Jay: On The Stem will open at the Off-Broadway venue May 2 as originally planned. The show that reunites long-time collaborators Ricky Jay and director David Mamet was to run April 9-June 9. A second run was then added June 18-July 14, followed by a delay of its first performance to April 13 and finally an extension to July 21.
The legendary sleight-of-hand artist whose last solo show, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, sold out both runs in 1994 and 1998 hopes to pull off the same trick with his latest work. Jay's shows feature his signature card tricks and mentalist feats, as well as his Guinness Book-recorded ability to fling a playing card across the room and make it slice into the rind of a watermelon.
Jay's previous one-man work won the Obie and Lucille Lortel awards. His film work includes Mamet's "Heist," "State and Main," "House of Games," "The Spanish Prisoner" as well as non-Mamet works as "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "Tomorrow Never Dies." Jay's books on the subject of unusual magic include "Cards As Weapons" and "Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women."
Mamet, scribe of Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed the-Plow, directed the first two versions of Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. A writer of both plays and films, Mamet's work includes American Buffalo, The Old Neighborhood, Sexual Perversity in Chicago as well as "The Untouchables," "Wag The Dog" and "Hoffa."
The design team are Peter Larkin (sets) with Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lights). Effects are designed by Jim Steinmeyer and Michael Weber acts as a consultant. The stipulations, as per Jay's requests, are: Performances will begin promptly, latecomers will not be seated until intermission and no guest under the age of 16 will be admitted in the theatre.
For tickets to Ricky Jay: On The Stem at the Second Stage Theatre, 307 West 43rd Street (just of Eighth Ave.), call (212) 246-4422 or (800) 766-6048. Visit the Second Stage website at www.secondstagetheatre.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez