Critical Hit Gatz Returns to the Public Theater March 14

Elevator Repair Service's Gatz, an imaginative six-hour theatrical epic reading of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," which was staged to acclaim in 2010, returns to the Public Theater March 14.

Scott Shepherd in Gatz
Scott Shepherd in Gatz (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Gatz received its New York premiere at the Public in fall 2010, garnering critical raves, which resulted in a twice-extended, sold-out run. The return engagement will play a 28-performance run in the Newman Theater through May 6 under the direction of John Collins.

Gary Wilmes, who recently starred as an American abroad in the Broadway production of Chinglish, returns to the role of Tom alongside original cast members Laurena Allan (Myrtle), Frank Boyd (George), Jim Fletcher (Jim), Ross Fletcher (Henry C. Gatz), Mike Iveson (Ewing), Vin Knight (Chester), Annie McNamara (Catherine), Kate Scelsa (Lucille), Scott Shepherd (Nick), Susie Sokol (Jordan), Victoria Vazquez (Daisy) and Ben Williams (Michaelis).

Read the Playbill Brief Encounter interview with Scott Shepherd, who has performed the piece more than 125 times.

The design team includes Louisa Thompson (set design), Mark Barton (lighting design), Colleen Werthmann (costume design) and Ben Williams (sound design).

Here's how ERS describes the work: "One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of 'The Great Gatsby' in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him. Gatz is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of a single 6 1/2 hour production, Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations." Gatz was created by the theatrical ensemble Elevator Repair Service in 2004 and has toured nationally and internationally to the Sydney Opera House, the Holland Festival, the Vienna Festival, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Presented in marathon format (two intermissions and a dinner break), Gatz is presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 2 PM.

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

<i>Gatz</i>, the Elevator Repair Service&#39;s seven-hour word-for-word adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," played a sold-out run at the Public Theater.
Gatz, the Elevator Repair Service's seven-hour word-for-word adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," played a sold-out run at the Public Theater. (Joan Marcus)