A scholar investigating and piecing together events of long ago has been a theme of works as disparate as Arcadia and "Citizen Kane." Now the idea can be found in a one-man show, penned by Glen Berger and starring Brian T. Finney, arriving at Off-Broadway's Soho Playhouse Sept. 18. (The Sept. 11 terrorist attack on NYC's World Trade Center did not alter the production's playing schedule.) Underneath the Lintel, directed by Randy White, tells of a librarian who notices that a book left in the return slot is 123 years overdue. That the book would have racked up (according PBOL's calculations, made at 10 cents a day for roughly 365 days per year for 123 years) approximately $4,489.50 in late fees is of less interest to the protagonist than the story behind its disappearance. As the Shirley Herz office press release puts it, the librarian then "rents stage time to present impressive evidence...that many years ago, underneath a lintel, one man told another man to `shove off.'
Playwright Berger is also author of the much-produced Great Men of Science Nos. 21 & 22, a Best Play Ovation Award-winner for its L.A. mounting. Canadian-born director White founded the Live Bait heatre in Sackville, NB. For tickets and information on Underneath the Lintel, which officially opens Sept. 30 for an open run, call (212) 239-6200.
— By David Lefkowitz