Human Fireworks Light Up the Sky in MTC's Four, Opening Feb. 19

News   Human Fireworks Light Up the Sky in MTC's Four, Opening Feb. 19 Christopher Shinn's Four, examining "the isolation and desires of four average individuals from a cross-section of American life," opens Feb. 19 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II in association with Worth Street Theatre Company, which produced the play in summer 2001.

Christopher Shinn's Four, examining "the isolation and desires of four average individuals from a cross-section of American life," opens Feb. 19 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II in association with Worth Street Theatre Company, which produced the play in summer 2001.

Hartford native Shinn was 23 when he wrote Four, focusing on 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. The play is set on the Fourth of July in 1996 in Hartford. Its second life in New York City began with the first MTC preview Jan. 29. Performances continue to March 31.

Worth Street artistic director Jeff Cohen directs the production at MTC, with two-thirds of the original Worth Street 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.

MTC rescheduled its planned January 2002 staging of John Corwin's Gone Home to next season and replaced it with Four. Shinn's work had 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 1975. He lives in New York. His 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. Riesco appeared in Four and Bash at About Face Theatre in Chicago. Armand appeared in Kia Corthron's Breath, Boom at Playwrights Horizons and in such regional theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville and Syracuse Stage. *

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