Rent's Greif to Direct U.S. Premiere of LaBute's Teen Angst Drama Distance From Here

News   Rent's Greif to Direct U.S. Premiere of LaBute's Teen Angst Drama Distance From Here Michael Greif, who is currently at work on the upcoming Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance, will bounce back to Off-Broadway to direct the MCC Theatre staging of Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here.

The American premiere of the LaBute work — originally scheduled for last season — will begin at The Duke on 42nd Street, April 14 and open April 29, 2004. Distance was replaced by the more timely The Mercy Seat as part of MCC's 2002-2003 season.

Never Gonna Dance marks the second Broadway staging for the Off-Broadway mainstay Greif ï¿1/2 following Rent which transferred from OB's New York Theatre Workshop. His other credits include Machinal, A Bright Room Called Day, Casanova, Marisol, Pericles, Dogeaters and Fuckin' A ï¿1/2 all at the Public Theatre. The former La Jolla Playhouse artistic director also helmed Bright Lights Big City (NYTW), Monster (Classic Stage Company), A Few Stout Individuals (Signature Theatre), Betty Rules (Zipper Theatre) and Cavedweller (NYTW).

LaBute's The Distance From Here, which had its world premiere at London's Almeida, centers on a teen-aged slacker and his struggle with the discord in his family life: a mother who doesn't remember his childhood, a stepsister who wants to become sexually involved with him, and the boyfriend of his mother who is sleeping with his stepsister.

Playwright LaBute is known for his gritty dramas, which include The Mercy Seat, The Shape of Things and bash: latter-day plays. His film works include "In the Company of Men," "Your Friends and Neighbors" and "Nurse Betty."

For more information on MCC, visit www.mcctheater.com.

Michael Greif.
Michael Greif.