Eric Bogosian has made his name as a film actor ("Talk Radio") and playwright (subUrbia), he remains best known as a solo performer, starring in such self-penned manifestos as Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee and Drinking in America.
If the uninitiated want to know what it's like to see Bogosian alone on stage, they had better hurry. The artist has stated that his upcoming tour, entitled The Worst of Eric Bogosian, will be his last. The piece is a collection of excerpts from his previous efforts.
The tour begins on Feb. 2 at the University of California at Davis. Subsequent dates include:
Feb. 3 and 4: Center Stage, San Raphael, CA
Feb. 5-9: UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles
March 15: Center East Performing Arts, Skokie, IL
May 9: University of California at Santa Barbara
May 25: Broward Center for the Arts, Ft. Lauderdale
At present, no New York dates are planned, though Bogosian told Playbill On-Line that P.S. 122 had expressed interest. *
Kathryn Meisle and Bruce Norris head the five-person cast of Humpty Dumpty, the new Eric Bogosian play which will premiere at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre this spring. Running dates are March 26 through April 14. Jo Bonney directs.
Both Meisle and Norris were most recently seen at Lincoln Center Theater’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. Meisle co-starred in the premiere of Wendy Wasserstein’s Old Money, while Norris appeared in the New York debut of John Guare’s Chaucer in Rome.
Humpty Dumpty concerns a quartet of urban hot-shots who retreat to a remote country house and, as the nursery rhyme goes, have a great fall (existentially speaking) when an unknown calamity cuts off the electricity and phone lines. Robbed of the treasured technical means of survival, and with not enough gas to drive away from the cabin, they find themselves increasingly at the mercy of a local man who looks after the property.
Bogosian told Playbill On-Line that he, at one time, urged the McCarter to remove the play from its roster. Though Humpty was written long before the Sept. 11 disasters, the script included eerily prescient dialogue — particularly the characters’ suppositions about what sort of catastrophe might have caused the blackout. Emily Mann, artistic director of the McCarter, instead urged Bogosian to make a few critical alterations to the text, which he did.
Bogosian, who made his name starring in fiery one-man shows penned by himself, made an impressive debut as a conventional playwright with subUrbia, which eventually played Lincoln Center Theater and was later made into a movie. Other works include Griller and one of the one-acts in the omnibus Public Theater evening Love's Fire. His first novel, “Mall,” was recently released in paperback.
—By Robert Simonson