The comedy's author isn't exactly obscure: He's Mitch Albom, a popular Detroit columnist and radio host whose best-sellers are "Tuesdays With Morrie" (a memoir) and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" (fiction).
Alan Lichtenstein, of Nederlander Productions, told Playbill On-Line the new comedy is raucously funny as well as touching. Its sold-out performances this summer at Purple Rose — in rural Chelsea, 60 miles west of Detroit — encouraged the Nederlander outfit to take the show to the 400-seat venue in Motown (the space used to house the Second City troupe).
The resident production and cast will move to Detroit's theatre district for a run that starts Nov. 17 and plays to Jan. 2, 2005. If sales merit an extension, you can be sure Duck Hunter will be around into 2005.
"Mitch Albom's pretty popular around here," Lichtenstein said. "It's an audience pleaser...it's just silly, it's silly!"
Originally scheduled to close Aug. 28, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel was so popular at Purple Rose that it was extended to Sept. 18. Performances began June 24 with Joseph Albright, Ryan Carlson, Greant R. Krause and Wayne David Parker, Wallace Bridges, Jessica Cloud, Randolph Fitzpatrick, James Krag and Jenny McKnight. "We're fortunate to be able to add additional September performances to satisfy Mitch's millions of fans," said PRTC executive director Jeff Daniels, in a statement. "We only wish we had a million seats."
Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is a "tender comedy about a tabloid journalist searching for two Alabama hunters who believe they shot a celestial being. Full of zany characters like Alligator Man and the Early brothers, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is an out-of-this-world tale full of magical surprises and unexpected second chances."
PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville directs.
For ticket information for the fall run, call (248) 645 6666.
Next up at the resident Equity Purple Rose Theatre, which was founded by Jeff Daniels, is The Mystery of Irma Vep, with John Lepard and John Seibert, Oct. 7-Dec. 18.
For information, call (734) 433-ROSE or visit www.purplerosetheatre.org.