Off-Broadway's Douglas Fairbanks Theatre spent this summer in the late 1960s, but autumn will bring the venue back in time to the mid-1940s. As soon as the Oct. 10 closing of the musical Summer `69 was announced, word came that the next show at the Fairbanks would be Last Train to Nibroc, a WWII-era comedy-drama by Arlene Hutton. Performances began Nov. 11 for an opening Nov. 21 for the play, which had a brief run at the 78th Street Theatre Lab this past winter. Director Michael Montel staged the original production, which premiered Aug. 19, 1998 at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Last Train follows two young Kentuckians -- played by Alexandra Geis and Benim Foster -- who meet on a train carrying the bodies of Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Raleigh, the man, is inspired to leave Kentucky to seek a literary career in New York. May, on the other hand, returns to her home to maintain a life of diversion.
Author Hutton, a member of the New Dramatists, won the 1998 Samuel French Short Play Contest. Last Train was a finalist for the 1998 Denver Theatre Center's Francesca Primus Prize. Director Montel's Broadway credits include Summer Brave and The Member of the Wedding.
For tickets and information on Last Train to Nibroc at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre, 432 West 42nd Street, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Christine Ehren & David Lefkowitz