The eclectic, young Off-Off-Broadway troupe Rude Mechanicals may have its biggest hit yet on its hands. The company has extended to Aug. 18 its production of Don DeLillo's play Valparaiso. Performances were to have ended three weeks earlier.
DeLillo's work, about a man who took the wrong plane to a mysterious destination and now finds himself the obsessive focus of interviews and talk shows, debuted at Boston's A.R.T. and was produced at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company two years ago. Its belated New York debut earned a positive review from the New York Times. That, and a sold-out initial run lead to the extension.
Hal Brooks directs a cast including Andrew Benator, Julie Fitzpatrick, David Fitzgerald, Carla Harting, Matthew Lawler, Kate Nowlin and Elizabeth Sherman.
RM was one of the first companies in New York City to produce the work of Charles L. Mee, Jr.; in 2000, one year before the wave of Mee plays in Gotham, it produced The Bacchae 2.1. The company has also staged A Mouthful of Birds, English scribe Caryl Churchill's own rendition of Euripides' work, which tells seven separate stories of contemporary folks falling under the spell of Dionysus; and Company, Samuel Beckett's prose work of the same name. Audience members at Company were required to lie down on the floor blindfolded, just as the man in the story finds himself prostrate in the dark. They were then poked and stroked as they tracked the play's several subplots told by a variety of voices.
Performances are at the Blue Heron Arts Center. For information, call (212) 206-1515.
—By Robert Simonson