Though his The Weir is enduring mixed reviews, so-so (but improving) business and no Tony nominations, author Conor McPherson is having better luck Off Broadway. This Lime Tree Bower received good to excellent notices, leading to an extension through June 27.
Actor-director Harris Yulin (The Diary of Anne Frank) directs This Lime Tree Bower, following The Weir as the second American premiere of a McPherson play this spring. Lime Tree began performances May 5, opened May 19 and was initially scheduled to run to June 6 at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages.
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.
Yulin has directed Jitta's Atonement with Dianne Wiest and Calista Flockhart, the tour of Don Juan in Hell with Ed Asner and The Front Page with Brian Dennehy, among others. As an actor, he has appeared on and off-Broadway, most recently in The Diary of Anne Frank, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle nomination.
Starring as This Lime Tree Bowers's three friends are T. R. Knight, Thomas Lyons and Drew McVety (Titanic, Corpus Christi). 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 Christine Ehren