The high-altitude comedy The Man in the Flying Lawn Chair officially opens at Off-Off-Broadway's 78th Street Theatre Lab on July 20. The show began performances on July 6, and it will run through August 12.
The ensemble-created piece investigates the life of Larry Walters, who, with the help of fifty surplus weather balloons, launched himself to the height of 16,000 feet in an aluminum lawn chair. He was spotted by two airplane pilots, and one called the Federal Aviation Administration. He had to pay $1,500 in fines for violations of the FAA. After his fifteen minutes of fame were up, he still secured himself as a cult hero for outcasts and daredevils.
Eric Nightengale, Theatre Lab’s Artistic Director conceived and directed the show. The production is the newest installment of 78th Street Theatre Lab’s ongoing series “From Page to Stage.” Here, work is developed from newspapers, and inspiration is pulled from events on the front pages.
Toby Wherry stars as Larry Walters. Wherry was seen in Lab’s production of The Packwood Papers. Other cast members include Carey Cromelin, Monica Read, Kimberly Reiss, and Troy W. Taber.
Director Nightengale has directed The Packwood Papers, The Undoing and The Frog Prince at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, as well as several other productions there. Outside credits include the Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago Dramatists Workshop and Second City. He also served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Developing Artists Series at the Drama League of New York. Man in the Flying Lawn Chair tickets are $12. The Theatre is located at 236 West 78 Street. Ticket information and reservations can be made by calling (212) 873-9050.
-- Daniel Fischer