KC's Unicorn Toots Horn: Leight's Side Man Plays June 9-July 2

News   KC's Unicorn Toots Horn: Leight's Side Man Plays June 9-July 2 Side Man, Warren Leight's 1999 Tony-winning drama, which has since become popular on the regional circuit, now gets a gig in Kansas City, MO. The Unicorn Theatre began previews of the play June 7 and officially opens Side Man June 9, for a run through July 2.
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Side Man, Warren Leight's 1999 Tony-winning drama, which has since become popular on the regional circuit, now gets a gig in Kansas City, MO. The Unicorn Theatre began previews of the play June 7 and officially opens Side Man June 9, for a run through July 2.

One of the 1998-99 Broadway season's most consistently acclaimed dramas, the play deals with a dying breed of 1950s-vintage jazz musicians -- in particular, the chaotically dysfunctional family of one of these musicians. Leight has admitted that much of the material in the play mirrors his own childhood.

Side Man ended its lengthy Broadway run on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1999 after 23 previews and 409 performances at the John Golden Theatre. The drama began its New York life at Off-Broadway's CSC March 3, 1998, running 7 previews and 35 regular performances before its move to the Roundabout's now-defunct mainstage Stage Right space for 27 previews and 93 regular performances, before its move to the Golden. (Completionists might want to add that the show's first staging was at Vassar College, for 12 performances.) A Kennedy Center mounting followed the Broadway run.

On Broadway, Edie Falco, Frank Wood and Christian Slater were among the notable leads. At the Un Finishing up the season for Philadelphia Theater Company is Warren Leight's Tony-winning drama, Side Man, directed by James J. Christy. Previews began May 26 for the jazz-inflected piece, which officially opens May 31 and runs to June 25.

One of the 1998-99 Broadway season's most consistently acclaimed dramas, the play deals with a dying breed of 1950s-vintage jazz musicians -- in particular, the chaotically dysfunctional family of one of these musicians. Leight has admitted that much of the material in the play mirrors his own childhood. Side Man ended its lengthy Broadway run on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1999 after 23 previews and 409 performances at the John Golden Theatre. The drama began its New York life at Off-Broadway's CSC March 3, 1998, running 7 previews and 35 regular performances before its move to the Roundabout's now-defunct mainstage Stage Right space for 27 previews and 93 regular performances, before its move to the Golden. (Completionists might want to add that the show's first staging was at Vassar College, for 12 performances.) A Kennedy Center mounting followed the Broadway run.

On Broadway, Edie Falco, Frank Wood and Christian Slater were among the notable leads. At the Unicorn, David Fritts plays Gene, the father, and Greg Jackson is Clifford, the son. Also in the cast are Cheryl Weaver (as the alcoholic mom, Terry), Molly McGuire, Shawn Halliday, Scott Cordes and Kyle Mowry. Theodore Swetz directs.

For tickets ($10-$20) and information on Side Man at the Unicorn, 3828 Main Street in Kansas City, call (816)531-PLAY.

Next up at the venue will be Alan Brown's National Playwright Award winning Light:Damage, July 19-Aug. 6.

-- By David Lefkowitz