No Pane, No Gain: Blue Window Won't Reopen OB This Fall

News   No Pane, No Gain: Blue Window Won't Reopen OB This Fall
Sometimes it takes three people to close a Window.

Sometimes it takes three people to close a Window.

Blue Window, Craig Lucas' 1984 comedy-drama of loneliness and shifting relationships, has not lacked for revivals. Joe Mantello staged a well-received 1996 mounting of the play at its original home, Manhattan Theatre Club, and last year, the Barrow Group workshopped a revival for 16 performances.

The latter staging went well enough to spark a commercial production, featuring most of the same cast members. Barbara Ann O'Connor, Michael Rafael and Cellar Door Productions produced the remount of Blue Window, which ran July 2-July 28 at the MCC Theatre space (the production was not an MCC presentation). Well, that mounting was so well received that the show was all set to return for a third go-`round, to start Sept. 13 at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre space in Soho. However, because three of the show's seven cast members have other engagements lined up, the production has been indefinitely postponed, according to spokespersons at Shirley Herz Associates.

Producer Michael Rafael said in a statement that the company intends to mount the show "before the end of the year in Los Angeles and possibly return to New York in the spring."

Marin Hinkle, on Broadway opposite Judd Hirsch in A Thousand Clowns and Off-Broadway opposite Michael Stuhlbarg in Tony Kushner's adaptation of A Dybbuk, played hostess Libby in the summer engagement. She was not going to be part of the new cast anyway, as she was required to return to the set of the television series "Once and Again," on which she is a co-star. Her part was to be played by Angela Reed. Additionally, Neal Huff, who played the hapless therapy addict Griever, got cast in another show. Other cast-members were to be Hope Chernov as the self-absorbed novelist Alice (As Bees in Honey Drown), Marcia DeBonis as her despairing girlfriend Boo, Josh Stamberg as gruff musician Tom, Katy Hansz as his seemingly vacant girlfriend, and Jason Kolotouros as self assured skydiver Norbert. Julia Gibson, who appeared as an actress in NYSF's Central Park Measure for Measure this summer, was to direct. With Randall Parsons (set), Josh Bradford (lighting), Kaye Grunder (costumes) and Rob Kaplowitz (sound) serving as designers.

Blue Window takes place at an urban, urbane cocktail party — the kind often thrown during the 1980s — where a group of acquaintances, including a lesbian couple, subconsciously examine their lives and relationships as they partake in chit-chat and a tacky but lethal punch. Chekhovian in its rhythms, it looks at the collective loneliness of urbanites who seek but rarely find connection in the forced social activities they participate in. In a statement, author Lucas said the show explores, "How we get from Sunday to Monday."

The Barrow Group presented the play in MCC Theater's small W. 28th Street space. The confined environs forced Gibson to have one set of furnishings serve as five separate apartments at the beginning and end of the play, with the seven actors often crossing each other's paths while remaining in their dramatic locale.

The playwright, best known for penning Prelude to a Kiss, is currently collaborating with actor-dramatist David Schulner on This Thing of Darkness, to be staged at the Atlantic Theatre this-coming season. Lucas' last two Off-Broadway shows played at the Vineyard Theatre: 2000's Stranger and 1998's well-received The Dying Gaul. He also penned the script to the film "Longtime Companion," about gay friendships and the toll taken by AIDS.

—By David Lefkowitz and Robert Simonson

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