The Whale Gets Final Extension in NYC; Rebecca Henderson Joins Cast

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21 Nov 2012

Shuler Hensley
Shuler Hensley
Photo by Joan Marcus

Demand for tickets has prompted a second and final extension of the New York City premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The run will now end Dec. 15.

Originally set to play a limited engagement through Sunday, Dec. 2, the production initially extended to Sunday, Dec. 9.

The play by Hunter (A Bright New Boise) explores the roots of an Idaho man's morbid obesity. Tony winner Shuler Hensley has been lauded for his performance as a 600-pound man; he wears a padded costume. Previews began Oct. 12. It opened Nov. 5.

Director Davis McCallum's cast includes Theatre World Award winner Cassie Beck, Reyna de Courcy, Tony Award and Obie Award winner Hensley, Tasha Lawrence and Cory Michael Smith. Beck will play her final performance with the production Nov. 25. Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 27, the role of Liz will be assumed by Rebecca Henderson (The Retributionists at PH, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays by Harold Pinter at The Atlantic, the recent Red-Handed Otter).

Here's how PH bills the play: "On the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, a six-hundred pound recluse (Hensley) hides away in his apartment eating himself to death. Desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter (De Courcy), he reaches out to her, only to find a viciously sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen. Big-hearted and fiercely funny, The Whale tells the story of a man's last chance at redemption, and of finding beauty in the most unexpected places."

Off-Broadway's PH, devoted to new plays, presents at 416 W. 42nd Street.