A killer on the loose terrorizes denizens of an Arizona gas station in Robert Sherwood's drama, The Petrified Forest, which is receiving a rare New York revival at Off-Off-Broadway's Pantheon Theatre. The new mounting proved popular enough to extend by three weeks, to Dec. 16, and then one week more, to Dec. 22, when it ends its run. Performances began Oct. 20.
George Loros directs the 1935 thriller, which was filmed in 1936 with a cast including Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart as desperate Duke Mantee. The original Broadawy production opened Jan. 7, 1935, according to spokespersons at the Jeffrey Richards press office.
Director Loros is best known for his recurring role as a mob capo on cable TV's "The Sopranos," and his other acting credits include "Serpico" and "The Rockford Files." He also directed a Three Sisters at Pantheon last year.
Many in the cast are Pantheon regulars, including Sergio Cacciotti (Jackie), Vincent LoRusso (Boze), Carl Tarcangeli (the gangster Duke Mantee) and Christopher Armond (Squire), alongside Gene Burke (Gramps), Kira Jelencic, Karl Itzkowitz, Marc Gettis, Gavin Goren, John Greene, Lee Leonard, Patrick Lewis, Brian Maya, Frank Medrano, Maria Oliveares, Michele Raymond, Tyler Reign, Elizabeth Rogers and Richard Springle.
Now five years old, the Pantheon Theatre Company mixes old plays and new, with productions having included Look Back in Anger, Beirut, Loot and The Persecution of Arnold Patrick. Weeks ago, film and TV star Wilfred Brimley was announced for the Gramps role, but he is not in the cast. The last major revival of a Sherwood play in New York was a Broadway mounting of Abe Lincoln in Illinois, starring Sam Waterston.
For tickets ($15) and information on The Petrified Forest at the 99 seat Pantheon Theatre, 303 West 42nd Street, call (212) 582-5856.
— By David Lefkowitz