Marlo Thomas and Stephen Lang — the current cast of The Bat Theatre Company's production of The Guys by Anne Nelson — will play their final performance Aug. 28. The show will take a brief hiatus before returning in Sept. Cast and dates are yet to be determined according to production spokespersons.
Though the New York run of The Guys — as well as the Los Angeles production at The Actors' Gang — will take a break from the stage, the 9/11-themed drama will not soon leave the headlines.
Actress Sigourney Weaver will reprise the role she originated in a special Lincoln Center Theatre free performance of The Guys at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on Sept. 11 at 8PM in observance of the anniversary of the events of last Sept. 11. Terrence Mann and Charlotte d'Amboise will star in a production of The Guys for the Carolina Arts Festival Sept. 11-12.
The Guys has also crossed genres as ContentFilm financed, produced and will distribute the screen version of the play, set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 5-14. The movie features Weaver and fellow former cast member Anthony LaPaglia under the direction of Bat artistic director (and Weaver's husband) Jim Simpson. The Guys also hit bookshelves in Aug. 13 as published by Random House.
The Guys, based on Nelson's real experiences, 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. Both find out, as quoted from the text, "We have no idea what wonders lie hidden in the people around us." New York City's Bat Theatre Company was a little-known Off-Off Broadway troupe headed up by artistic director Jim Simpson. But in December 2001, when the theatre was still struggling in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the company — just blocks from Ground Zero — workshopped The Guys penned by first-time playwright Anne Nelson. The play — which became a full production — revitalized the little company with its big name casts.
The New York casts of The Guys has included Bill Murray, Weaver, Bill Irwin, LaPaglia, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Swoosie Kurtz, Tom Wopat, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Marlo Thomas and Stephen Lang. The Los Angeles production has featured Robbins, Helen Hunt, Sarandon, Philip Baker Hall and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Robbins and Sarandon also performed the work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
— by Ernio Hernandez