After much critical enthusiasm for the New York Theatre Workshop production of Caryl Churchill's Far Away, NYTW has announced an extension for its 2002-03 season opener.
The production — which began performances Nov. 1, opened Nov. 11 and was originally scheduled to run through Dec. 22 — will now stay through Jan. 18, 2003.
Academy Award-winner Frances McDormand currently heads up the cast in the play directed by "Billy Elliot" helmer Stephen Daldry. No word yet on whether McDormand will stay with the show. NYTW is also exploring other casting possibilities. The full-page Nov. 19 ad in The New York Times trumpeting the extension (and the rave reviews) did not mention casting.
Far Away is an anti-utopian look at the future as shown through a girl's visit to her auntie's house. The play, which originally opened in London in 2000, also features Alexa Eisenstein, Marin Ireland, Chris Messina and Gina Rose. The production runs 50 minutes with no intermission.
For more information or tickets to NYTW shows, 79 East Fourth Street (between Bowery and Second Ave.), call (212) 460-5475. Also visit their website at www.nytw.org. *
Though a screen star, marked by her Oscar nods for "Mississippi Burning," "Almost Famous" and win for "Fargo," McDormand is also familiar to the stage. Her credits include The Sisters Rosensweig, The Swan, Awake and Sing!, A Streetcar Named Desire and most recently To You, The Birdie! — the Wooster Group's adaption of Racine's Phedre. Other film credits include "Wonder Boys," "Primal Fear," "Blood Simple" and "Raising Arizona" — the latter two under the direction of her director-screenwriter husband Joel Coen.
Daldry made a name for himself as a director at London's Royal Court Theatre and on Broadway with An Inspector Calls and Via Dolorosa. He then went on to direct films, most notably, his feature film debut "Billy Elliot." He is looking to bring over the other Churchill hour-long work that he helmed for London's Royal Court Theatre, A Number. He is also currently working on a Billy Elliot musical with composer Elton John and the film's screenwriter Lee Hall — who will provide book and lyrics — as well as choreographer Peter Darling. His upcoming film, "The Hours," stars Nicole Kidman (The Blue Room), Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep (The Seagull), Allison Janney (A View from the Bridge), Ed Harris, Claire Danes, Toni Collette (Wild Party), Eileen Atkins (Indiscretions), Stephen Dillane (The Real Thing), John C. Reilly (True West) and Miranda Richardson.
— by Ernio Hernandez