Blue Heron Theatre opened its 16th season March 12 with the first preview of the play. Performances continue Off-Off-Broadway through April 4, at Blue Heron Arts Center, 123 E. 24th Street between Park and Lexington.
Jim Pelegano directs the drama, about an African-American book editor, Shelita Burns, who publishes the memoirs of an elderly, Southern black woman named Libby Price, only to discover the best-selling author is not what she seems. Having only corresponded with Libby by mail, Shelita travels South to deliver an award to the author, prompting a confrontation that leads questions of authorship, authenticity and the question, "Who owns the story of one's life?"
According to production notes, the play's title is railroad slang from the 1930s meaning a "damnable place, the next stop after Hell." It can also refer to an absurd or ironic situation.
The cast includes Perri Gaffney as Shelita and Thomas James O'Leary as Sean Leonard, with Gha'il Rhodes Benjamin as Libby Price. Catherine Eaton and Lance Spellerberg complete the cast.
Designers are Roman Tatarowicz (set and lighting), Karl A. Ruckdeschel (costumes) and Dean Gray (sound). Bee-Luther-Hatchee has been seen around the country at such theatres as Northlight Theatre in metro Chicago, Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Meadow Brook Theatre in metro Detroit. Playwright Gibbons has been resident playwright at Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre since 1993.
Blue Heron Theatre was founded in 1986 and defines its work as "thinking person's theatre."
All seats are $15. Performances play 8 PM Wednesday Saturday, 3 PM Sunday. For ticket information, call (212) 868-4444.