The production, originally scheduled to run through March 30, began performances Feb. 18. Ben Brantley of the New York Times gave the show a rave review, calling it "appallingly entertaining."
Shanley directs his new work, which is described as "a savage bloody comedy about sex, politics, and the Mid-East." The ensemble cast features David Deblinger, Florencia Lozano, Chris McGarry and Michael Puzzo. Violent lovers in the play are said to represent Israel and Palestine.
The design team for Dirty Story includes Michelle Malavet (set), Mimi O'Donnell (costume), Jeremy Morris (lighting) and Elizabeth Rhodes (sound).
LAByrinth and Shanley first teamed in 2001 for Where's My Money?, the dramatist's dark-humored piece about two smalltime Brooklyn divorce lawyers and the women in their lives. The show ran at Center Stage in Chelsea and was later picked up, its LAByrinth cast intact, for a stay at Manhattan Theatre Club beginning in November 2001.
The first day of performances of Dirty Story coincides with another LAByrinth show playing Off-Broadway. Stephen Adly Guirgis' Our Lady of 121st Street, previously seen in a 2002 LAByrinth run, begins previews for its commercial at the Union Square Theatre. Shanley's other plays include Cellini, Four Dogs and a Bone and Beggars in the House of Plenty. Speaking to Playbill On-Line in 2001, Shanley said of LAByrinth, "I started going over there, saw a couple things they did and I became very impressed with them in several different ways. One of the [things] I liked very much that it was a truly multi-ethnic theatre. I liked the idea of writing a play that celebrated that multi ethnicity without ever talking about it. I feel so often that Hispanic actors get cast as Hispanic people and their identities revolve around the fact that they're Hispanic, rather than that they're people. Black actors — the same thing... And I just liked them as a group. There's a lot of talent there, and a lot of good will. So I wrote Where's My Money? for them and did it there and I had one of the more pleasant experiences I've had in a long time."
For more information on the company, visit www.labtheater.org.
Tickets to Dirty Story at the Harold Clurman, 412 West 42nd Street, can be purchased through Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or online at www.TicketCentral.com.