Though it had been extended to Mar. 29 at Off-Broadway's Cherry Lane Theatre, Lewis Black's stand-up comedy show, Black Humor, won't quite make it to that date. The show is closing Mar. 8, after 10 previews and 46 regular performances, according to spokesperson Karen Greco.
The news isn't so bleak for Black, though, since Black Humor was initially supposed to run only to Feb. 15 and by its closing will have run a week past its first extension, Mar. 1.
No word, though, on whether the Cherry Lane's long-intended tenant, Duet!, would finally take up residence at the Commerce St. address.
Black, a Conan O'Brien regular, began previews of his solo on New Year's Eve and opened the piece Jan. 10. Lewis' specialty is topical and political comedy, satirizing America as "The Land of the Ridiculous." Recent themes in the show have included Christmas vs. Chanukah (including a rant against dreidels), and an idea for a bizarre new cable network.
A Yale School of Drama grad, Black is the author of more than 40 plays, including The Laundry Hour, staged at the Public Theatre with Mark Linn-Baker. Black Humor is produced by the Cherry Lane Theatre Company, formed in 1996 by Susann Brinkley and Angelina Fiordellisi at the Cherry Lane Theatre (usually a commercial Off-Broadway rental house).
For tickets ($25-$27.50) and information on Black Humor call (212) 239-6200.
As for Duet!, though it opened Off-Off-Broadway at the Ohio Theatre during the onslaught of Broadway and Off-Broadway openings this fall, Duet! A Romantic Fable didn't quite get lost in the shuffle. A kitschy, stylized and romantic love story, the adobe theatre company [sic] show was targeting the Cherry Lane in early March, but outside producers haven't signed on the dotted line yet.
Said Adobe publicist and actress Kathryn Langwell, who has a small role in Duet!, "It'll be basically the same show that was at the Ohio Theatre [Oct. 15-Nov. 8] with no cast changes and a similar production." Expected to repeat their roles are leads Quinn Purcell and Gregory Jackson, alongside Frank Ensengberger, Derin Basden, Chris Klimkoski, Henry Caplan, Langwell, and Beau Ruland.
Set design will be by Stephen Capone (at the Ohio, the design was by Chris Muller), sound by Chris Todd; lighting by Alex Radocchia and costumes by Sarah Foran. Michael Garin wrote the original song used in the show.
Langwell describes Duet! as "a 1950s take on old movies and old values, a crazy fantasy land of the 1990s." Adobe's press release for the original run puts it this way: "The Bashful Crooner catches the eye of the Comely Girl Friday at the local Gin Joint, where He's trying to make it Big with only a tinny Piano and a swell set of Pipes. She's dreamy beyond the Heavens. He's absolutely everything a Girl could wish for. If only He didn't have a taste for...GULP!"
The show combines elements of vaudeville, silent film, nostalgic kitsch and puppetry.
As if the adobe company weren't busy enough, they're also running [Feb. 25-March 22] the well-received fantasy, The Handless Maiden, at the Ohio Theatre. Written by artistic director Jeremy Dobrish, Maiden is based on the Grimm fairytale of that name and takes (says Langwell) "a dual perspective on characters looking for a happy ending. It's not a musical, but some music is being written for it, so it should be a lot of fun."
-- By David Lefkowitz