Continuing its year-long commitment to the works of Sam Shepard, Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre will is coproducing a revival of The Tooth Of Crime, his surreal examination of power and celebrity, opening Dec. 23 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
To acknowledge Shepard's extensive rewrites (including new music by T Bone Burnett), this production is subtitled Second Dance.
Signature's first Shepard mounting, a double-bill of one-act plays, the New York premiere of When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable) and 1965's Chicago, directed by longtime Shepard collaborator Joseph Chaikin, was extended to Dec. 15 (it had been scheduled to close Dec. 1). World Was Green had its world premiere this past summer at the Seven Stages Theatre of Atlanta, as part of that theatre's celebration of the Olympic games.
The Tooth of Crime: is a "rewritten" revival of Shepard's 1972 play about a mythical rock musician. Directed by Bill Hart, the show features all-new music and lyrics by T. Bone Burnett (Shepard did the music for the original). "It's difficult to encapsulate the changes between the old version and the new," Chris Burney, Second Stage's literary manager told Playbill On-Line. "Shepard has updated a lot of the language, but it's still a post-apocalyptic, non-realistic, poetic piece. It tries to evoke a mood and emotion in the audience, but describing it is like trying to explain a haiku."
According to Burney, "The story concerns a gang-style fight for turf in the rock music world. Hoss, the protagonist, is nearly a superstar, but he finds himself challenged by the younger generation." Why the Second Stage, why now? "The Second Stage has been interested in the work for awhile; Carole [Rothman, artistic director] has always found the piece intriguing. And Sam Shepard wanted to go back and work on the play again."
Starring in Tooth is Vincent D'Onofrio who appeared in Open Admissions on Broadway, and who has pursued a film career that includes Full Metal Jacket, Ed Wood (as the young Orson Welles), Mystic Pizza, The Player, Adventures in Babysitting and the current Feeling Minnesota.
Also in the cast are Rebecca Wisocky, Sturgis Warner, Jeffrey Anders Ware, Jesse Lenat, Paul Butler, Kirk Acevedo and Michaell Deep. E. David Cosier designed the set, Teresa Snider-Stein the costumes, Anne Militello the lighting, and David Van Tieghem the sound. Video design is by Kevin Cunningham & Wild Kind.
For tickets and information on Tooth Of Crime, in an open run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Christopher Street, call (212) 239-6200.
--By David Lefkowitz