William Saroyan's allegorical and infrequently performed play, The Cave Dwellers, which was a failure in its initial 1957 Broadway outing, has reached the ripe old age of 40 and is today a hot ticket in Los Angeles, where its engagement at the 24th Street Theatre has been twice extended.
The show, now on holiday hiatus, is scheduled to resume performances on Jan. 9 and continue its run through Jan. 25.
The play is about a ragtag group of broken-down performers who seek refuge on the stage of an abandoned New York theatre (ironically named The World) that is about to be torn down.
Philip Brandes of the Los Angeles Times was enthusiastic in his review of the production: "William Saroyan's boundless compassion and optimism may seem like alien territory these days, but Stephanie Shroyer's heartfelt staging reminds us that we can be creatures of great generosity."
The original 1957 Broadway production opened on Oct. 19, 1957, and ran for 97 performances. It was directed by Carmen Capalbo with a cast including Wayne Morris, Barry Jones, Gerald Hiken, and Eugenie Leontovich. The Cave Dwellers is at the 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St. in the North University Park district of Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 658-4050.
-- By Rebecca Paller