Stonewall Drama Hit the Wall Closes Off-Broadway April 21 at Barrow Street Theattre
By Adam Hetrick
The Off-Broadway production of Ike Holter's Hit the Wall shutters April 21 at the Barrow Street Theatre. The kaleidoscopic piece, which imagines the events of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the dawn of the modern gay rights movement, began previews Feb. 19 in the West Village.
The play premiered in Chicago last season to acclaim; however, New York critics offered a cool response to Holter's piece, which presents a series of archetypal characters living in and around the West Village who claim, "I was there" as the events of June 28, 1969, unfold.
The Barrow Street Theatre is located just blocks away from the Stonewall Inn – where the play is set – seen by many as the heart of New York's Gay Pride celebration.
Hit the Wall was originally scheduled to run through early July at the Barrow Street theatre, coinciding with New York City's Gay Pride Week in late June. Soft ticket sales prompted producers to announce April 17 that the production would conclude two months shy of its scheduled closing performance.
Eric Hoff, who staged the Chicago premiere, directs the environmental Off-Broadway production that opened March 10. The production has original music and music supervision by Dan Lipton.
Original Chicago cast members Rania Salem Manganaro and Arturo Soria are joined by Nick Bailey, Jessica Dickey (The Amish Project), Ben Diskant, Nathan Lee Graham (Wig Out, Priscilla), Matthew Greer (Seminar), Gregory Haney (Bring It On, Wicked), Sean Allan Krill (On A Clear Day You Can See Forever), Ray Rizzo, Carolyn Michelle Smith (WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!) and Indigo Street.
Here's how it's billed: "It's the early hours of June 28, 1969 when a routine police raid on The Stonewall Inn, a popular underground gay bar in Greenwich Village, sparks a full-scale riot. Violent protests and street demonstrations continued for the next several days in what became known as The Stonewall Riots, thrusting a group of unlikely revolutionaries onto the frontlines of history and igniting one of the most influential social and political movements of the 20th Century. Hit the Wall focuses on that wild and enigmatic first night of the riots, placing the audience just on the periphery of the conflict. With an imaginative and theatrical blend of history and mythology, Hit the Wall shines a contemporary light on the legacy of Stonewall."
The design team included Lauren Helpern (set design), David Hyman (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design), Daniel Kluger and Brandon Wolcott (sound design) and J. David Brimmer (fight director).
Hit the Wall was produced by Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Patrick Daly, Burnt Umber, Roger E. Kass, BarLor Productions, Starry Night Entertainment, Christian Chadd Taylor, SKandal Theatrical, and Marc & Lisa Biales.
For tickets visit Smarttix.com. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street.
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