After 13 years in London's West End, the mysterious Woman in Black finally opens Off-Broadway June 4 at the Minetta Lane Theatre. The production, which began performances May 29, originated at San Diego's Globe Theatres, where the Stephen Mallatratt thriller had a sold-out run.
The Woman in Black is set in a theatre where Arthur Kipps, a middle-aged solicitor, attempts to exorcise the ghosts of his past by paying an actor play them out. The actor, between conversations with Kipps in the present, becomes him in past, reliving a long-ago journey from London to the desolate mansion of an elderly recluse in the North. There, Kipps encounters the Woman in Black, a haunt obsessed with revenge for her dead child and who pursues him for the rest of his life.
Chichester Festival Theatre artistic director and author Patrick Garland directs. Garland's many credits on both sides of the Atlantic include Forty Years On starring Sir John Gielgud, A Doll's House in London and New York, Broadway's My Fair Lady starring Rex Harrison, Kipling in London and New York and two Simon Callow projects, The Mystery of Charles Dickens and Chimes at Midnight.
Keith Baxter stars as Kipps. A New York and London veteran, he won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards as Milo in Sleuth (a play he also performed in the UK), He also appeared on Broadway in A Man for All Seasons, A Meeting by the River, Corpse! and The Affair. As a playwright, he has written 56 Duncan Terrace, Cavell and Barnaby and the Old Boys.
Jared Reed is The Actor. He played in the Globe's As You Like It, directed by Stephen Wadsworth, and in the Roundabout Theatre's The Play's the Thing. Playing the Woman in Black is Leslie Kalarchian. Designing The Woman in Black are James Noone (sets), Noel Taylor (costumes), Ken Billington (lighting) and Chris Walker (sound). D. Adams is the stage manager.
Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100. The Minetta Lane Theatre is located at 18 Minetta Lane between Bleecker and West 3rd Street off of Sixth Avenue.
-- By Christine Ehren