Stick Fly, With Dulé Hill, Mekhi Phifer and Condola Rashad, Clips Its Broadway Wings Feb. 26
By Adam Hetrick
Lydia R. Diamond's Stick Fly, about a summer weekend of awkward family moments and secrets revealed over scrabble and cocktails, ends its Broadway run Feb. 26 at the Cort Theatre.
Stick Fly arrived on Broadway following regional engagements at the Huntington Theatre Company and Arena Stage. Tony-nominated director Kenny Leon (The Mountaintop, Fences, A Raisin in the Sun), who also helmed those productions, returned for the Broadway run, which began Nov. 18, 2011, and officially opened Dec. 8.
Stick Fly played 24 previews and 92 regular performances.
The next tenant in the Cort Theatre will be Nicky Silver's The Lyons.
Grammy Award-winning songwriter Alicia Keys, who is among the producers of Stick Fly, authored an original musical score for the play. Set during a three-day summer weekend in the LeVay family's generations-owned summer home on Martha's Vineyard, Stick Fly lifts its title from the ways in which entomologists study fast-flying insects: by gluing a stick to them in order to clearly observe flight patterns.
The cast features Tony nominee Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean, Jelly's Last Jam, Lackawanna Blues) as family patriarch, neurosurgeon Joe LeVay, alongside Emmy nominee Dulé Hill ("Psych," "The West Wing") and Mekhi Phifer ("ER," "8 Mile") as his sons Kent and Flip, respectively.
Tracie Thoms (Rent, The Exonerated "The Devil Wears Prada") plays Taylor, Kent's fiancée, and Condola Rashad (Ruined, "The Good Wife") is cast as the maid, Cheryl. Rosie Benton, who was part of the original Huntington-Arena Stage productions, returns to play Flip's girlfriend, Kimber.
"This play is so much about class," Diamond previously told Playbill.com. "Especially my orientation to class as one who is often right on the margins or right on the peripheries of converging class realities. I really write from a character-driven perspective. I get to know them really well, then I put them in rooms with each other and they kind of tell their own stories."
The Broadway production reunited original regional creative team members David Gallo (scenic design) and Reggie Ray (costume design), who were joined by the fresh talents of Beverly Emmons (lighting design) and Richard Fitzgerald/Sound Associates (sound design).
According to producers, "It was supposed to be a relaxing weekend at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard… until the baggage got unpacked. Set at the elegant summer home of the well-to-do LeVay family, Stick Fly begins when two adult sons bring their significant others (one a fiancée, the other a new girlfriend) home to meet their parents for the first time. Soon, secrets are revealed, civilities are dropped and identities are explored in a harsh new light. Race and rivalry, class and family, all come together for an explosive comedy of manners about today’s complex world."
Stick Fly premiered at Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago in 2006. In 2008 it was performed at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Stick Fly is the recipient of the 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play.
Diamond's works also include Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Stage Black and Harriet Jacobs. She is a faculty member of Boston University and has had her works produced at Arena Stage, The New Victory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, the Huntington Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Chicago Dramatists, Congo Square, MPAACT, True Colors Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works and Company One.
In addition to Keys, the play was produced by Nelle Nugent, Samuel Nappi, Reuben Cannon, Jay H. Harris/Catherine Schreiber, Huntington Theatre Company, Dan Frishwasser, Charles Salameno, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia Klausner/Rick Danzansky in association with Joseph Sirola, Eric Falkenstein, Kenneth Teaton.
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