While NY's adobe theatre company [sic] waits to see whether its Off-Off Broadway hit, Duet!, makes a commercial Off-Broadway move to the Cherry Lane Theatre, the troupe isn't sitting on its hands. In fact, its latest piece is downright handless -- The Handless Maiden, that is, running Feb. 25-March 22 at the Ohio Theatre on Wooster St.
Written by artistic director Jeremy Dobrish and directed by Damon Kiely, Maiden is based on the Grimm fairytale of that name and takes (says spokesperson Kathryn Langwell) "a dual perspective on characters looking for a happy ending. It's not a musical, but some music is being written for it, so it should be a lot of fun." This tale of a miller and his wife fallen on hard times promises "devils, wizards and cross-country treks."
As for Duet! A Romantic Fable, the kitschy, stylized and romantic love story was planning to come to the Cherry Lane in early March, but outside producers have yet to sign on the dotted line. That's good news for the current tenant, Black Humor, which has extended its run to March 29 -- this coming after a previous extension to March 1. The show was initially supposed to run only to Feb. 15.
Said Adobe publicist and actress Langwell, who has a small role in Duet!, "It'll be basically the same show that was at the Ohio Theatre [Oct. 15-Nov. 8] with no cast changes and a similar production." Expected to repeat their roles are leads Quinn Purcell and Gregory Jackson, alongside Frank Ensengberger, Derin Basden and Chris Klimkoski, Henry Caplan, Kathryn Langwell, Beau Ruland.
Set design will be by Stephen Capone (at the Ohio, the design was by Chris Muller), sound by Chris Todd; lighting by Alex Radocchia and costumes by Sarah Foran. Michael Garin wrote the original song used in the show. Langwell describes Duet! as "a 1950s take on old movies and old values, a crazy fantasy land of the 1990s." Adobe's press release for the original run puts it this way: "The Bashful Crooner catches the eye of the Comely Girl Friday at the local Gin Joint, where He's trying to make it Big with only a tinny Piano and a swell set of Pipes. She's dreamy beyond the Heavens. He's absolutely everything a Girl could wish for. If only He didn't have a taste for...GULP!"
Duet! combines elements of vaudeville, silent film, nostalgic kitsch and puppetry.
For tickets ($12) and information on adobe's The Handless Maiden call (212) 560-7387.
-- By David Lefkowitz