New York City's Bat Theatre Company has been shuffling film stars for the cast of its hit show, The Guys, which ended another leg of its run March 14 in downtown Manhattan. But, the 9/11 inspired drama will return with its next set of stars, Swoosie Kurtz and Tim Robbins, April 2-19. Associate producer Erik Sniedze also confirmed to Playbill On-Line, "There is active thought to keep it open past the 19th."
Kurtz, though familiar to both the big and small screen, has a rich life upon the stage. Her Broadway credits include Love Letters, Fifth of July, The House of Blue Leaves and a revival of Ah Wilderness! The actress, last seen Off Broadway in The Mineola Twins, is probably more widely known for her turns in "The World According to Garp," "Against All Odds," "Dangerous Liaisons" and in TV's "Sisters."
Robbins, who formed the experimental theatre group called the Actors' Gang, has been seen in films such as "Bull Durham," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Player." Also a screenwriter-director, Robbins penned and helmed the film versions of "Cradle Will Rock," "Bob Roberts" and "Dead Man Walking."
The Guys was workshopped at the Bat Theatre Company in Tribeca in December 2001 and returned Jan. 17-26 with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver. Bill Irwin took over Murray's role Jan. 29 Feb. 9, and played opposite Weaver. The production reopened Feb. 18-March 14 for another run with stage and screen star Anthony LaPaglia playing opposite Susan Sarandon (the wife of Robbins). Irwin once again took over the male role for the final week of performances.
At one point Gerry Bamman (Nixon's Nixon) was announced to step in, but when LaPaglia's film shooting schedule freed up, Bamman was nixed. The world premiere play by Anne Nelson was commissioned by The Bat in response to the events of Sept. 11. The Guys is a dialogue between a 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 herself to come to terms with the event.
(The Bat was among the New York City theatres hardest hit by the aftermath of Sept. 11. The company is located in the Flea Theatre on White Street in Tribeca, just blocks from Ground Zero.)
Bat artistic director Jim Simpson helms the work. Costumes are by Claudia Brown, set and lights are by Kyle Chepulis.
The Flea is at 41 White Street in Tribeca. Tickets are $55. Limited $15 tickets for fireman and Port Authority workers with ID. Rush Tickets ($25) are sold on the same day, based on availability. For reservations, call (212) 206-1515 or visit www.thebat.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez