Oscar Winner Helen Hunt Takes Classic Role of "Stage Manager" in NYC's Our Town

By Kenneth Jones
06 Jul 2010

Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt

Off-Broadway's Our Town gets a woman "Stage Manager" — and an Academy Award winner — on July 6, when Helen Hunt joins the acclaimed production at Barrow Street Theatre in Greenwich Village.

Hunt — who won her Best Actress Oscar for "As Good As It Gets" and is also known for the TV series "Mad About You," for which she won the Emmy Award — succeeds Michael McKean (who left as scheduled on July 4) as the narrator and guide of Thornton Wilder's humane tale of life in small-town America.

Hunt will continue in the David Cromer-directed production through Aug. 1.

Hunt becomes the sixth performer to assume the iconic role (usually played by a man) in this record-breaking production, the longest-running production of the 1938 play. Hunt performed the role of Emily in the Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Our Town, in which Spalding Gray was the "Stage Manager." Her last Broadway appearances were in Yazmina Reza's Life (x) 3, and as Viola in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Twelfth Night.

The current cast of Our Town includes (in alphabetical order) Elizabeth Audley as Mrs. Soames, Jeremy Beiler as Simon Stimson, Robert Beitzel as Howie Newsome, Kati Brazda as Mrs. Webb, Will Brill as Joe Crowell, Jr., Nathan Dame as Sam Craig, Roger E. DeWitt as Joe Stoddard, Ann Dowd as Mrs. Gibbs, Emma Galvin as Rebecca Gibbs, Jennifer Grace as Emily Webb, Mark Hattan as Constable Warren, Jake Horowitz as Wally Webb, David Manis as Mr. Webb, Daniel Marcus as Professor Willard, James McMenamin as George Gibbs, Jeff Still as Doc Gibbs, Jason Yachanin as Si Crowell, with Dana Jacks, Lynn Laurence, Kathleen Peirce, Keith Perry and Mark Shock.



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The New York production of Our Town — for which the Barrow Street Theatre was gutted and reconfigured to accommodate Cromer's vision of a three-quarter space where audience and actors commingle — began performances on Feb. 17, 2009, with an official opening night on Feb. 26. Critics praised the production, which both honors and reinvents the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

This Our Town won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction and Obie Award for Outstanding Director.

Our Town is produced by Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Ted Snowdon, Eagle Productions, Dena Hammerstein/Pam Pariseau, The Weinstein Company, and Burnt Umber Productions.

The performance schedule is Tuesday-Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM, Sunday at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Tickets are priced at $69 & $49.50 and are available through SmartTix (212) 868-4444, www.smarttix.com, or at the Barrow Street Theatre box office (open at 1 PM daily).

Student tickets at $20 are available on the day of performance only at the box office. Tickets are now on sale through Sept. 12.