Dublin Delayed: OB's Primary Stages Won't Have an Xmas Carol

News   Dublin Delayed: OB's Primary Stages Won't Have an Xmas Carol Conor McPherson's play Dublin Carol, once eyed for Broadway, has now hit a snag for its Off-Broadway debut, once planned for Dec. 3-23. The show was supposed to be the second offering of the season at Primary Stages, which began its 2001-02 roster in Sept.-Oct. with Carl Djerassi's Immaculate Misconception.

Conor McPherson's play Dublin Carol, once eyed for Broadway, has now hit a snag for its Off-Broadway debut, once planned for Dec. 3-23. The show was supposed to be the second offering of the season at Primary Stages, which began its 2001-02 roster in Sept.-Oct. with Carl Djerassi's Immaculate Misconception.

Though its venue is located on midtown's West Side, Primary Stages, like many other Off-Broadway houses, has been affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and as such, Dublin Carol has now been delayed until early next year. No specifics about the delay, or its make-up dates, are yet available, according to a company spokesperson at the Jeffrey Richards office, reached Dec. 4. In fact, details are also scarce about the rest of Primary Stages' season, which was to include (and may still include) Bridget Carpenter's coming-of-age play, Fall.

Dublin Carol premiered at London's Old Vic with Brian Cox in the lead and director Ian Rickson at the helm. Cox is familiar with McPherson's work, having starred in the playwright's St. Nicholas in London and at Primary Stages in 1998.

Other McPherson plays seen in Manhattan included This Lime Tree Bower, also at Primary Stages, and The Weir, which played eight months on Broadway beginning in March 1999. Carol tells the story of an alcoholic man whose estranged daughter offers him a final chance for redemption on Christmas Eve.

* Fall was first staged at RI's Trinity Rep and then at Baltimore's Center Stage at the end of 2000. Berkeley Rep, which co-produced with Center Stage, then mounted the play in January of this year. Obie-winner Lisa Peterson (Collected Stories, Slavs!) directed that co- production, though it's not certain she'll remain with the project, which producer Mark Balsam (Bells are Ringing) has been eyeing for a commercial run, should the Primary Stages mounting go well.

In Fall, 14-year-old scuba aficionado Lydia finds herself forced to attend a Catalina swing camp with her dance-obsessed "freak" parents, Dog (short for Doug) and Jill. But the teenager just discovering her hormones will learn more than the Lindy when she's faced with lessons about love, life and family. During the play, Lydia is shadowed by two dancer characters, Lead and Follow, who mirror her emotional state with their moves.

Carpenter's other plays include The Death of the Father of Psychoanalysis (& Anna), Mr. Xmas, West, Typhoid Mary and Tiny. She received the 1999-2000 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fall.

For tickets ($45 each production) and information on shows at Primary Stages, 354 West 45th St., call (212) 333-4052.

— By David Lefkowitz
and Christine Ehren