Acclaimed NYC Premiere of Detroit Gets Added Weeks
By Kenneth Jones
Lisa D'Amour's suburban-set play Detroit, a tale of codependence in the recession era, has earned some of the most enthusiastic reviews of recent seasons, prompting a two-week extension at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, which is producing the New York premiere starring Tony Award winner John Cullum, Darren Pettie, Sarah Sokolovic, Tony nominee Amy Ryan and David Schwimmer.
It opened Sept. 18 following previews from Aug. 24. According to TicketCentral.com, the added weeks are Oct. 16-28.
The play, a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, is directed by Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman (Maple and Vine at PH, The Thugs, Stunning, Naked Angels' This Wide Night). Performances were originally announced to play to Oct. 7 at PH's Mainstage Theater, launching the not-for-profit's 2012-13 season.
According to production notes, "Somewhere in the suburbs of a mid-sized city, Ben (Schwimmer) and Mary (Ryan) welcome into their lives the rootless couple (Pettie and Sokolovic) who move in next door. But as this foursome bonds over backyard barbecues, the neighborly connection they find threatens to unravel the lives they've built and change them forever. An ecstatic, dangerous new comedy, Detroit exposes the nerves that live just under the surface of American life today."
D'Amour is a playwright and one half of PearlDamour, an Obie award-winning interdisciplinary performance company she runs with Katie Pearl. Detroit, originally produced by Steppenwolf Theater Company, was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. In 2008, D'Amour was awarded the Alpert Award for the Arts in theatre and in 2011, she received the Steinberg Playwright Award. Lisa received her M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a New Dramatists alumna.
Cullum is a two-time Tony Award winner for his performances in Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century.
Pettie previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in This and Spatter Pattern. His other theatre credits include Butley on Broadway, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Roundabout), The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays by Harold Pinter (CSC), and more.
Ryan appeared in PH's On the Mountain by Christopher Shinn in 2005. She made her Broadway debut in the 2000 production of Uncle Vanya, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play. In 2005, she appeared as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, earning her second Tony nomination.
Schwimmer, widely known for starring in TV's "Friends," is a co-founder of the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago, recipient of the 2011 Tony Award for Regional Theater. He has acted in and directed many productions for Lookingglass including Trust, Our Town, West, The Master and Margarita, The Jungle, Eye of the Beholder, The Odyssey, The Idiot, Of One Blood and his and ensemble member Joy Gregory's adaptation of Studs Terkel's book "Race."
At PH, Sokolovic originated the role of Betty in The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Drama Desk nomination).
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