The American premiere of Richard Nelson's drama, Goodnight Children Everywhere, produced by Playwrights Horizons, will say goodnight June 20, dropping three-quarters of an announced four-week extension.
Ticket sales for the serious-minded drama, about an emotionally-fraught reunion of British siblings separated by World War II, were not as strong as hoped, despite solid critical notices.
The Off-Broadway production began previews May 7, opened May 26 and an extension to July 11 was announced. It was originally scheduled to run to June 13.
The 1997 work, seen in 1998-99 in a separate staging at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Barbican Centre space, is about fragile siblings reconstructing the idea of family after war. After the death of their parents, a 17-year-old brother and three sisters separated by World War II are reunited in 1945 London. Nelson directs his own work, which mainly focuses on a needy pregnant sister and her maturing younger brother as they cross a physical and emotional line.
American playwright Nelson has often seen his work produced in England first. Anglo-American relations is a favorite subject of his plays. Past plots have features a group of American academics touring England (Some Americans Aboard); expatriate Brits living -- miserably -- in America (New England); and the famous rivalry between English tragedian William Macready and American actor Edwin Forrest, which resulted in the bloody Astor Place Riot of 1849 (Two Shakespearean Actors). He also wrote the libretto for the musical, Chess, among other works and adaptations.
The company includes Jon DeVries, Heather Goldenhersh, Kali Rocha, John Rothman, Chris Stafford, Robin Weigert and Amy Whitehouse. Stafford is currently seen as the lead in the independent film, "Edge of Seventeen."
Designers are Thomas Lynch (set), Susan Hilferty (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lighting) and Raymond Schilke (sound).
Performances are the Playwrights' Anne G. Wilder Theatre, 416 W. 42nd St. For ticket information, call (212) 279-4200.
The staging follows the popular Playwrights Horizons run of Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, which closed April 18 after three extensions and curiosity from commercial producers.
-- By Kenneth Jones