After a return engagement following a "Best Directing" Obie Award, NYC's Bat Theatre Co. will close their contemporary kabuki play, Benten Kozo, at their home space in Tribeca's The Flea Theatre, Aug. 29.
Benten Kozo is based on an 1862 Kabuki play written by Kawatake Mokuami and adapted and directed by previous OBIE-winner, Jim Simpson. Simpson received his second OBIE award for his direction of the piece, which mixes the genre of Kabuki with the stylings of musicals, rap, rock and roll, anime, and gangster violence.
After Simpson's OBIE Award, Kozo was brought back to the space for this engagement which began on June 25, and was extended twice. The production features The Bat Theatre Company's resident actors, "The Furballs," in the cast, with performers rotating roles each show.
The Bat Theatre Company was formed in 1997 as a group of veteran theatre artists acting as producers. The "Bat Pack" includes: Jim "Chairman of the Board" Simpson, Mac Wellman, Kyle Chepulis, Eduardo Machado, Jan Leslie Harding, Mike Nolan, and Laurie Stone. Previous Bat productions have included Herman Daniel Farrell III's Bedfellows, Karen Finley's Return of the Chocolate Smeared Women, Rogelio Martinez's They Still Mambo in Heaven, The Black Hole serial, and adobe [sic] theatre's serial, Larry and the Werewolf.
Tickets ($35) for Benten Kozo are available by calling (212) 226-0051. -- By Sean McGrath