Mostly positive reviews have greeted Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor's Off-Broadway debut, Never Swim Alone, at the Soho Playhouse. As such, the show was slated for a limited yet "open" run after starting performances July 6 and officially opening July 13.
A spokesperson of the Spin Cycle press agency, which reps Swim, told Playbill On-Line the dark comedy is still in an open run, though the New York Times' daily "ABC" Theatre Directory (an advertisement paid for by shows that choose to be listed in it) has Swim running "through Sept. 2 only!"
The spokesperson noted that producers will occasionally warn that a show is shuttering in a few weeks to help boost the box office, even though the production's intention to close isn't necessarily set in stone. In the past, Tony n' Tina's Wedding and The Fantasticks have both put up late-summer warning notices, only to rescind them when sales picked up a bit. Never Swim Alone received a mixed-to-positive review in the Times, rather than a rave, which may explain the producers' gambit.
Swim was first produced in the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival and was later produced in a late-night performance series at St. Mark’s Theatre. It's a comedic yet darkly themed play about male relationships and rivalry. Thirteen scenarios (or “rounds”) are played out between two male friends. A young woman referees; she holds a key to a dark secret in their past. Their argument mocks the style of a boxing match. They spar verbally and come closer to confronting this horrible event that has haunted them their entire adult lives.
The play is directed by Timothy P. Jones. The two men in the cast are Douglas Dickerman and John Maria. The refereeing woman is Susan O’Connor. Technical staff includes Cathy Braasch (lighting), and Kate Sullivan (set and costumes). The fight direction was done by Ian Marshall. MacIvor’s newest play, Monster, recently premiered at P.S. 122. Another play of his is Somewhere I Have Never Traveled. He has acted in several movies and television shows and was nominated for a Genie Award this year for the movie "The Five Senses."
Never Swim Alone plays at the SoHo Playhouse, at 15 Vandam Street. Tickets are $27.50. For further information and reservations, call TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200, or visit their website at www.neverswimalone.com.
-- By David Lefkowitz