By Adam Hetrick
09 Nov 2012
Lucille Lortel and Obie Award-winning director David Cromer (Our Town, The House of Blue Leaves) directs the intimate, in-the-round production about a young deaf man who escapes the emotional cacophony of his dysfunctional family when a woman who is losing her hearing transforms his life. It began previews Feb. 16, 2012, and opened to raves March 4 at the Barrow Street Theatre. The celebrated production has been extended twice. Jan. 6, 2013, marks the final date of the second extension.
Another tenant for the Barrow Street Theatre has not been officially announced; however, an October casting noticed stated that Ike Holter's rock-propelled gay rights drama Hit the Wall, which premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Garage Theatre last winter, will debut Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in early winter 2013.
Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter, who also produce Tribes, are producing Hit the Wall. The team flew to Chicago last spring to see Hit the Wall and had expressed interest in giving it a future New York life, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tribes features original cast member, Theatre World Award winner Russell Harvard ("The Hammer," "There Will Be Blood") as Billy, with fellow original cast mate Will Brill as Daniel through Nov. 18. Nick Westrate, who previously subbed for Brill, will take over the role Nov. 19 for the remainder of the run.
The cast is completed by Susannah Flood (A Civil War Christmas) as Sylvia, Lee Roy Rogers (Orson's Shadow) as Beth, Jeff Still (August: Osage County) as Christopher and Dina Thomas (See How They Run) as Ruth.
Tribes received the Drama Desk Award for Best New Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play. It also received an Olivier Award nomination for its 2010 London debut.
The play surpassed Cromer's hit staging of Our Town, as well as Bug and No Child, to become the fastest-selling show in Barrow Street Theatre's history. It previously broke all Barrow Street box-office records last spring.
Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter, who produced Cromer's acclaimed staging of Thornton Wilder's Our Town Off-Broadway, are among the producers of Tribes. The producing team also includes Patrick Daly, 2Manocherians, Christian Chadd Taylor, Burnt Umber Productions, Roger E. Kass and Marc & Lisa Biales.
The creative team includes Tony Award-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Tristan Raines, lighting designer Keith Parham, sound designer Daniel Kluger and projection designer Jeff Sugg.
Here's how the play is billed: "In Tribes, Billy was born deaf into a hearing family, and raised inside the fiercely idiosyncratic and unrepentantly politically incorrect cocoon of his parents' house. He has adapted brilliantly to his family's unconventional ways, but they've never bothered to return the favor. It's not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be understood."
Cromer staged Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as the Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves. His credits also include Adding Machine, When the Rain Stops Falling, Picnic and the short-lived 2009 Broadway revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs.
For tickets visit Smarttix.com. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street.