"A Haunting Loneliness": Gatz Begins Previews at the Public Theater Sept. 26 | Playbill

News "A Haunting Loneliness": Gatz Begins Previews at the Public Theater Sept. 26
Gatz, Elevator Repair Service's office-set marathon theatrical work that recounts F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," begins previews Sept. 26 at the Public Theater.

Gary Wilmes and Scott Shepherd
Gary Wilmes and Scott Shepherd Photo by Mark Barton

The six-and-a-half-hour theatrical reading of Fitzgerald's American classic will officially open Oct. 6 and play an extended run through Nov. 28. The production extended twice prior to the start of performances.

The Public Theater engagement marks the Off-Broadway debut of Gatz, which was previously unable to play to New York audiences due to restrictions from the Fitzgerald estate (a previously authorized dramatic incarnation of the novel was Broadway-aimed).

The cast of Gatz features Laurena Allan (Myrtle), Jim Fletcher (Jim), Ross Fletcher (Henry C. Gatz), Mike Iveson (Ewing), Vin Knight (Chester), Aaron Landsman (George), Annie McNamara (Catherine), Kate Scelsa (Lucille), Scott Shepherd (Nick), Susie Sokol (Jordan), Victoria Vazquez (Daisy), Ben Williams (Michaelis) and Gary Wilmes (Tom).

The design team includes Louisa Thompson (set design), Mark Barton (lighting design), Colleen Werthmann (costume design) and Ben Williams (sound design).

Here's how ERS describes the work: "One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of 'The Great Gatsby' in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him. Gatz is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of a single 6 1/2 hour production, Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations." Gatz was created by the theatrical ensemble Elevator Repair Service in 2004 and has toured internationally to the Sydney Opera House, the Holland Festival, the Vienna Festival, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

Presented in marathon format (two intermissions and a dinner break), Gatz is broken into Acts 1 & 2 (presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 2 PM); and Acts 3 & 4 (presented Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM).

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

The cast of <i>Gatz</i>
The cast of Gatz Photo by Mark Barton

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