Dillon, Harding & Balk Keep Killer Joe Firing Away Off-Bway

News   Dillon, Harding & Balk Keep Killer Joe Firing Away Off-Bway
Hey Joe, where ya goin' with that knife in your hand?

Hey Joe, where ya goin' with that knife in your hand?

If the Joe in question is that of Tracy Letts' play, Killer Joe, the answer is nowhere for some time to come.

One of the surprise Off-Broadway hits of the season, Killer Joe has survived the recent change-over of its name leads -- from Scott Glenn and Amanda Plummer to Paul Dillon and Jan Leslie Harding -- and continues in an open run at the Soho Playhouse on Vandam Street. Previews began Oct. 1 for an Oct. 18, 1998 opening.

Killer Joe is the story of a dysfunctional Texas tralier park family: son Chris, who needs quick cash to pay off a drug debt, his father Ansel who's in no position to help him; his manipulating step-mother (Jan Leslie Harding) and his innocent sister Dottie (Fairuza Balk). Chris' real mother has stolen the only "assets" he has, leaving him only one way out, until Killer Joe (Paul Dillon) enters the scene.

Dillon originated the role of Killer Joe in Chicago. Harding is a veteran of several works by avant-garde director Richard Foreman. Wilson Milam helms the piece, with Greg MacPherson designing the lights, George Xenos (set) and Jana Stauffer (costumes). David Brimmer will serve as fight choreographer.

Killer Joe premiered at the Lab space of Evanston, IL's Next Theatre in 1993. Michael Shannon and Marc Nelson, who appeared in that staging, continue to appear in the NY mounting. Letts' play was staged in New York in 1994 by 29th Street Repertory. Their mounting was directed by Wilson Milam, who directed the original and again stages the Off-Broadway Joe.

[Killer is certainly an appropriate title for a show at the Soho Playhouse on Vandam St., since its last full-time tenant was Grandma Sylvia's Funeral.]

Peter Rybolt, managing director of Chicago's Next Theatre, told Playbill On-Line Killer Joe was a big hit for the company. "It ran eight or nine months and sold out every night."

For tickets ($37.50-$47.50) or more information on Killer Joe call (212) 239-6200.

-- By Sean McGrath and David Lefkowitz

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