Not only is his The Weir one of relatively few shows to survive into the post-season, author Conor McPherson is having even better luck Off Broadway. This Lime Tree Bower received good to excellent notices, leading to its latest and third extension, to Aug. 15. The show, which started previews May 5 and opened May 19 was originally supposed to run through June 6 but was then extended to June 27, and later to July 18.
The current cast features Jamie Bennett (who replaced T.R. Knight, June 27), Thomas Lyons and Drew McVety (Titanic, Corpus Christi), under the direction of Harris Yulin. The latter is best known as an actor, having most recently appeared on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank.
A tale of the drunken misadventure of three men who become entangled with local thugs and the police, This Lime Tree Bower is currently being adapted into the film, "Salt Water," the first feature directed by McPherson. Lime Tree Bower was first produced at the Crypt Theatre, transferred to the Bush Theatre in London and won the Meyer Whitworth and George Devine Awards for Best New Play. McPherson's current Broadway offering, The Weir, won an Evening Standard Award, Critic's Circle Award and two Oliviers including Best Play. Other plays include St. Nicholas, which Primary Stages hosted last season, Rum & Vodka and The Good Thief.
Designing Lime Tree are Walt Spangler (sets), Debra Stein (costumes) and Deborah Constantine (lighting). Marienne Chapman is the production stage manager. For tickets ($35), call the Primary Stages box office at (212) 333-4052. Primary Stages is located at 354 West 45th Street.
-- By Robert Simonson and Christine Ehren