The Bat Theatre Company's current run of The Guys continues to bring news to the small Off-Off-Broadway company. Now, former cast members Susan Sarandon and her beau Tim Robbins unite on stage in the two-hander May 1-8 and for a special performance at Alice Tully Hall April 28.
Robbins just finished his run April 19 opposite Swoosie Kurtz — who still plays four more performances through April 27 with the role's consistent understudy Tim Cummings. The son of a fireman, Cummings has played the role, filling in for the big names.
The four performances with Robbins and Sarandon are already sold-out as tickets were released prior to the announcement of the cast according to Bat associate producer Erik Sniedze. The downtown stalwart duo will also play a special performance for the families and friends of those lost on Sept. 11 as part of the AFL CIO sponsored Workers' Memorial Day tribute. The invitation-only event was moved from the 86-seat Flea to Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall to allow for a larger audience.
This news proceeds the recent release of a new block of tickets for a May 8-24 run, with a cast yet to be announced.
The Guys, based on scribe Anne Nelson's real experiences, is a dialogue between a New York City fire captain — who has lost most of his men in the Sept. 11 attack — and an editor who helps him write the eulogies, as she struggles to come to terms with the event. Both find out, as quoted from the text, "We have no idea what wonders lie hidden in the people around us." The rotating casts of big name stars have lifted the little-known Off-Off Broadway troupe headed up by artistic director Jim Simpson to headlines. Following a workshop in December 2001 at the Bat's 80-seat venue, the play by first-time playwright Nelson, returned in January with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver (Simpson's wife) in the leads. Subsequent performers included Bill Irwin, Anthony LaPaglia and Susan Sarandon.
Bat artistic director Jim Simpson helms the work. Costumes are by Claudia Brown, set and lights are by Kyle Chepulis.
The play's not the only thing for this little-show-that-could. ContentFilm has signed on to finance, produce and distribute the screen version of the play starring Weaver and LaPaglia. Bat-man Simpson, who directed the play, adapted the screen version with some additions and will also take the helm for the film.
The Guys will also hit bookshelves in August as the play will be published by Random House. The paperback will also include two new essays by Nelson and photos from the theatrical production.
The hot tickets are $55. Limited $15 tickets for firemen and Port Authority workers with ID. Rush Tickets ($25) are sold on the same day, based on availability. The Flea is at 41 White Street in Tribeca. For reservations, call (212) 206-1515 or visit www.thebat.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez