Christopher Shinn's Four begins its second life in New York City Jan. 29, when Manhattan Theatre Club begins previews for the relationship drama, seen in summer 2001 in a staging by Worth Street Theatre Company downtown.
Worth Street artistic director Jeff Cohen directs the production at MTC's Stage II with two-thirds of the original cast, including Keith Nobbs, Armando Riesco, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. and Pascale Armand. All but Armand were in the original staging, which had Vinessa Antoine in the cast.
Opening is Feb. 19. MTC rescheduled its planned January 2002 staging of John Corwin's Gone Home to next season and replaced it with Four, which "focuses on the isolation and desires of four average individuals from a cross section of American life: a successful father, a studious young daughter, a frustrated boy from a bad neighborhood and a shy and lonely teenager, at odds with his sexuality," according to MTC. The play takes place in Hartford, CT, Shinn's home town, on the Fourth of July in 1996, as the four characters "pair off into two parallel relationships."
The play was written when Shinn was 23. It received its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in 1998 and its American premiere at About Face Theatre, Chicago, in 2000. Shinn was born in Hartford in 1975. He lives in New York. Other plays include Other People (Royal Court, Playwrights Horizons), The Coming World (Soho Theatre, London) and What Didn't Happen. He has current from commissions South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum and Royal Court. His plays are published in the UK by Methuen.
Nobbs is probably the best-known cast member, having appeared in Fuddy Meers, Stupid Kids and the Broadway revival of The Lion in Winter. Whitlock's Broadway credits include the recent Iceman Cometh revival and A Lesson Before Dying. *
Designers for Four are Lauren Helpern (set), Veronica Worts (costumes), Traci Klainer (lighting) and Paul Adams (sound).
Director Cohen's selected credits include Isn't it Romantic?, Snapshots 2000, Small Craft Warnings, Snapshots '98 and the premiere of The Coyote Bleeds.
Tickets are $45. Stage II at City Center is at 131 West 55th Street. For information, call (212) 581-1212, or visit ManhattanTheatreClub.
John Corwin's Gone Home, to be directed by MTC artistic director Lynn Meadow, will play the 2002-2003 season. Her decision to postpone the Corwin play "was in response to the administrative responsibilities she is now taking on to assemble the artistic team for MTC's new Biltmore Theatre and its existing City Center theatres," according to the announcement.
— By Kenneth Jones
and David Lefkowitz