Y2K is Here: Arthur Kopit's E-Thriller Begins OB Nov. 9

News   Y2K is Here: Arthur Kopit's E-Thriller Begins OB Nov. 9 An angry young computer hacker invades the lives of an affluent New York couple Nov. 9, when Off-Broadway previews begin for Arthur Kopit's Y2K.

An angry young computer hacker invades the lives of an affluent New York couple Nov. 9, when Off-Broadway previews begin for Arthur Kopit's Y2K.

The Manhattan Theatre Club staging, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village, stars James Naughton (Chicago) and Patricia Kalember (TV's "Sisters") as victims of a hacker linked to their past. Erik Jensen, of MTC's Corpus Christi, plays the e-terrorist. David Brown Jr. and Armand Schultz play investigators.

The title refers, of course, to the year 2000, and all the menacing change the term suggests.

Rehearsals began Oct. 12 under Bob Balaban's direction. As an actor, Balaban is currently playing the title role of Mr. Happiness at New York City's Atlantic Theatre Company. His staging of Vick's Boy is now being presented in Manhattan by Rattlestick Productions.

Kopit's domestic thriller opens Dec. 7 at the Lortel, 121 Christopher Street. MTC's Stage I and Stage II are currently occupied by An Experiment With an Air Pump and Fuddy Meers, respectively. Y2K designers are Loy Arcenas (set), Tom Broecker (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Darron L. West (sound).

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Critics from around the country embraced Y2K in its March 1999 premiere at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Kentucky, where it ran 75 minutes.

Kopit's works for the stage include Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, Wings, Indians, Road to Nirvana, Nine, High Society and the Maury Yeston collaboration, Phantom.

Naughton is the Tony Award-winner who starred in City of Angels and Chicago, and Kalember starred in TV's "Sisters" and "thirtysomething."

Although not playing at MTC's City Center location in Manhattan, Y2K is technically part of MTC's Stage I season, which also includes the American premiere of Shelagh Stephenson's London hit, An Experiment With an Air Pump; the world premiere of composer lyricist-librettist Andrew Lippa's musical, The Wild Party, based on the 1928 Jazz Age narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, beginning Jan. 25, 2000; and Proof, by American writer David Auburn, about a mysterious young woman who faces the death of a genius father, an unexpected suitor and a mysterious mathematical proof, beginning May 2, 2000.

For MTC information, call (212) 399-3030.

-- By Kenneth Jones