Philip Seymour Hoffman Helms Our Lady of 121st Street; Opens March 6

News   Philip Seymour Hoffman Helms Our Lady of 121st Street; Opens March 6
Director Philip Seymour Hoffman and playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis — the team behind In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train — reunite in the new Off-Broadway run of Our Lady of 121st Street.
A reflective David Zayas in Our Lady of 121st Street.
A reflective David Zayas in Our Lady of 121st Street. Photo by Joan Marcus

The LAByrinth Theater Company production opens March 6. Performances began at the Union Square Theatre Feb. 18. John Gould Rubin, Ira Pittelman, Robyn Goodman, Ruth Hendel, Daryl Roth, in association with Michael Filerman and Jack Thomas present the staging.

Set in and around the Ortiz Funeral home, Our Lady of 121st Street is the story of a group of former friends who are reunited in their old stomping grounds at a wake. The deceased is a nun from their childhood whose corpse has inexplicably gone missing. The characters in the drama deal with the sudden disappearance while trying to come to terms with their own problems in this unexpected reunion.

The new Off-Broadway run of the play features the acclaimed original LAByrinth cast that ran Off-Broadway Aug. 20-Oct. 12, 2002, at Center Stage/NY: Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colon-Zayas, Melissa Feldman, Mark Hammer, Ron Cephas Jones, Russell G. Jones, John Ortiz, Richard Petrocelli, Portia [sic], Al Roffe, Felix Solis and David Zayas.

The design team for Our Lady include Narelle Sissons (scenic), Mimi O'Donnell (costume), James Vermeulen (lighting) and Eric DeArmon (sound).

Longtime LAByrinth patriot Guirgis penned the critically-praised Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train also helmed by Hoffman. The play also won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, moved to London's Donmar Warehouse and transferred to London's West End. Jesus was included in the Smith and Krauss anthology Best Plays of 2001. Guirgis' previous play, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, was also produced by LAByrinth and also directed by Hoffman. Hoffman is best known as a stage and film actor ("Boogie Nights" and True West among his popular portrayals). He will appear on Broadway in the upcoming production of Long Day's Journey Into Night. Hoffman serves as co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company with actor John Ortiz.

THE LAByrinth Theater Company began in 1992 when 13 actors joined forces to form a place to work. The goal was to create a home where the group, for three hours each week, could engage in a variety of theatrical exercises designed to "push each others' limits and bind together into a tight-knit, uninhibited and impassioned ensemble - one in which each member is given the opportunity and support, not just to act, but to write, direct, produce, sweep, paint, hang lights, etc."

The company, now consisting of 64 members from a wide array of cultural perspectives (including Puerto Rican, Japanese, Israeli, Dominican, Egyptian, Italian, Jewish, Irish, Korean, African-American, etc.) has produced over 20 mainstage productions.

Tickets for Our Lady of 121st Street, at the Union Square are available now by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100 or visiting

Ladies of <i>Our Lady of 121st Street</i> (L-R) Melissa Feldman, Portia and Liza Colon-Zayas.
Ladies of Our Lady of 121st Street (L-R) Melissa Feldman, Portia and Liza Colon-Zayas. Photo by Joan Marcus
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