Off-Broadway Roulette Cancels Feb. 5-7 Shows

News   Off-Broadway Roulette Cancels Feb. 5-7 Shows
Roulette, a new play by screenwriter Paul Weitz that was presented in August 2003 at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre and is being produced Off-Broadway by Ensemble Studio Theatre, has canceled its Feb. 6 show and Feb. 7 matinee and evening shows, making four nixed performances in a row for the play.

The Feb. 5 show was canceled when an unnamed member of the cast fell sick. A play spokesman declined to name the actor or the nature of the illness. The production hopes to be back up and running on Feb. 8.

In the cast are Anna Paquin, "Saturday Night Live" alum Ana Gasteyer, Proof's Larry Bryggman, "Murphy Brown" actor Grant Shaud, Shawn Hatosy and Scotland Road's Leslie Lyles for the Off-Broadway run.

Roulette began performances at the John Houseman Theatre Jan. 30, toward an official opening scheduled for Feb. 15. The limited engagement ends Feb. 29. Roulette marks EST's first commercial venture. The venerable Off-Broadway nonprofit is famed for its annual one act marathon and for its ensemble, deep with seasoned New York actors and playwrights.

Roulette concerns a suburban father who thinks a good way to stir up his life is with a good round of Russian roulette. Needless to say, there is some fallout. Paquin, who received an Academy Award for her performance in "The Piano," told the New York Times, "I laughed hysterically [when I read the script]. But I laughed at parts in which I wasn't sure I should be laughing."

The playwright added, "It's a very dark comedy set in the suburbs . . . A cross between A. R. Gurney and Joe Orton." The John Houseman Theatre is located at 450 West 42nd Street. Tickets are available by visiting

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