Our Lady of 121st Street Starts Off-Bway Commercial Run Feb. 18, 2003

News   Our Lady of 121st Street Starts Off-Bway Commercial Run Feb. 18, 2003 Stephen Adley Guirgis' Our Lady of 121st Street, previously seen in a 2002 Off-Broadway by LAByrinth Theater Company, gets a commercial Off-Broadway run beginning Feb. 18, 2003, and opening March 6 at the Union Square Theatre.

John Gould Rubin, Ira Pittelman, Robyn Goodman, Ruth Hendel, Daryl Roth, in association with Jack Thomas and Michael Filerman, present the staging directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Set in the Ortiz Funeral home, Our Lady of 121st Street "is the funny and touching story of a group of friends who are reunited after the death of Sister Rose, a much feared but beloved nun from their childhood. As the group reconnects, they must confront the reality that who they have become isn’t necessarily who they had intended to be."

The new Off-Broadway run of the play features the acclaimed original LAByrinth cast that ran Off-Broadway Aug. 20-Oct. 12, 2002, at Center Stage/NY: Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colon-Zayas, Melissa Feldman, Mark Hammer, Ron Cephas Jones, Russell G. Jones, John Ortiz, Richard Petrocelli, Portia, Al Roffe, Felix Solis and David Zayas.

Designers are Narelle Sissons (scenic), Mimi O'Donnell (costume), James Vermeulen (lighting) and Eric DeArmon (sound).

Playwright Guirgis is a longtime member of LAByrinth. His play, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, completed a critically praised Off-Broadway run, won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, moved to London's Donmar Warehouse, and transferred to The Arts Theatre in London's West End under the direction of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The play was also produced and extended by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago during their 2001-2002 season. New productions are forthcoming this season both regionally and throughout Europe and South America. Jesus is published through Dramatists Play Service, Methuen, and is included in the Smith and Krauss anthology Best Plays of 2001. His previous play, In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings, was also produced by LAByrinth, directed by Hoffman, and published through DPS. It was named one of the Ten Best Plays of 1999 by Time Out NY Magazine and is being premiered in London by the Hampstead Theatre this season.

He is the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory, and is a member of MCC's Playwright's Coalition. TV writing credits include "NYPD Blue," "The Sopranos," David Milch's "Big Apple" and NBC's "UC:Undercover." Hoffman, best known as a stage and film actor who will appear on Broadway in 2003 in Long Day's Journey Into Night, is a member and co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company.

THE LAByrinth Theater Company began in 1992 when 13 actors joined forces to form a place to work. The goal was to create a home where the group, for three hours each week, could engage in a variety of theatrical exercises designed to "push each others' limits and bind together into a tight-knit, uninhibited and impassioned ensemble - one in which each member is given the opportunity and support, not just to act, but to write, direct, produce, sweep, paint, hang lights, etc." The company now consists of 64 members from a wide array of cultural perspectives (including Puerto Rican, Japanese, Israeli, Dominican, Egyptian, Italian, Jewish, Irish, Korean, African-American, etc.)

LAByrinth has produced over 20 mainstage productions.

Performances play 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 7 PM Sundays and 3 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets range $30-$65. For information, call (212) 307-4100. Union Square Theatre loses its current tenant, Burn This, Jan. 5.