[sic], the new play by hitherto unknown author Melissa James Gibson, which turned into the biggest hits in the 26-year history of the small Off-Off-Broadway outfit Soho Rep, will end its twice-extended run on Jan. 18.
For a few weeks after the New York Times' Bruce Weber called the drama "the most alluring play of the season so far" upon its Nov. 21 opening, Soho Rep became a magnate for commercial producers, agents and name actors, and talk circulated that the show would transfer to a larger house for an open run. As of press time, however, there is no definite future for the Gibson play, though a longer life has not been ruled out. A spokesman for Gibson said the rights to the play had already been sold to agents in Germany and Scandinavia.
In [sic], Babette, Theo and Frank live in neighboring shoebox-size apartments. They are quintessentially jaded urbanites of a certain anxious age (roughly 30) who look forward to great careers as a novelist, musician and auctioneer, respectively, but are beginning to doubt whether they'll succeed at anything. To soothe their bruised egos and endangered hopes, they frequently wander into the hall and exchange witticisms, comments and observations about their mutual (but never seen) best friend, and their upstairs and downstairs neighbors. What emerges is a fragmented, slightly absurdist portrait of the anxiety every would-be artist feels after four or five stagnating years living in New York.
The original cast featured Dominic Fumusa, James Urbaniak, Christina Kirk, Jennifer Morris and Trevor Williams. Fumusa left mid-run to take a role in Stephen Belber's Tape at Naked Angels. Replacing him was Richard Crawford.
Crawford is known at Soho Rep. He has acted there in Signals of Distress, Archipelago and works by The Flying Machine, a company he formed. Obie winner and sometime film star James Urbaniak stars in [sic], which began previews Nov. 14. Urbaniak toiled for years in Off-Off Broadway haunts like Nada and HERE, before winning an Obie Award for The Universe by Richard Foreman. Soon after that, he began popping up in films such as Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool" and Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown." He was a co-founder of the Arden Party theatre company, a troupe which also produced director Karin Coonrod and actor-director Randall Curtis Rand.
Kirk made an impression as the star of Emma Griffin's recent revival of Kaufman and Ferber's Stage Door.
The show's success came at an opportune moment for Soho Rep, which is situated only blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, and was direly affected by the events of Sept. 11.
[sic] was originally commissioned by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and then developed in Soho Rep's 2000-01 playwrights-directors lab and given a reading this past spring. "[sic]" is an editorial term meaning, roughly, "intentionally so written." It is typically placed after a misspelled or archaically spelled word to indicate that the spelling is that of the original writer or speaker, not the publication or editor which has reprinted the quote.
—By Robert Simonson