Soho Rep, the small Off-Off-Broadway company which has collected Obie Awards two years running, will close its second hit in as many seasons on Dec. 14.
Signals of Distress, the Soho Rep-produced show by The Flying Machine theatre troupe, currently playing the Tribeca space, was extended to Dec. 14, after opening to positive reviews. The run, which began Nov. 12, was to have ended on Dec. 5.
Soho Rep's business was hit by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which took place only blocks away from its Walker Street address. Soon after, however, it bounced back strongly with the biggest success in the theatre's 28-year history, [sic] by Melissa James Gibson. The quirky show, about three nervous young tenement dwellers, extended and won three Obies—for its set (Louisa Thompson), its direction (by artistic director Daniel Aukin) and for the play itself. Gibson also won the Kesselring Prize.
Signals of Distress is based on a novel by Jim Crace about a bunch of shipwrecked Americans stranded in a small village on the isolated northern coast of England in 1830. The Flying Machine, a Brooklyn outfit, uses mime, dance, music, puppets and props in its productions.
Thompson and Aukin will team again later this season for Molly's Dream, a musical by Maria Irene Fornes, the avant garde playwright better known for straight dramatic works. Musicals are also unusual for Soho Rep. The show is described as "a fantasia of love and identity set in an old-fashioned saloon." No cast has been announced. The run begins Feb. 10, 2003. For more information, call (212) 206-1515.
— By Robert Simonson