Stupid Kids, John C. Russell's Off-Broadway satire of teen peer presure, will re-open Aug. 25 at the Century Center Theatre, according to the James Morrison press office (July 29). The cast is expected to stay the same from its June premiere engagement at WPA Theatre: Shannon Burkett, James Carpinello, Keith Nobbs and Mandy Siegfried. Tickets go on sale Aug. 17.
The production continues director Michael Mayer's hot streak. Not only is his Side Man a critically acclaimed hit for the Roundabout Theatre, his staging of A View From The Bridge, which was supposed to close July 19, got a new lease on life when Tony Danza agreed to join the Broadway cast.
In June, Mayer even had three shows running in Manhattan, when Stupid Kids played at the WPA.
Director Mayer won the New York Outer Critics' nod as 1997-1998's Outstanding Director for Bridge and Side Man, also took a Tony nomination for Bridge. Stupid Kids began previews June 2, opened June 13 and ran through July 18 at the WPA. It extended first from June 28, then from July 5.
The play fulfills a deathbed promise Mayer made to author John C. Russell. "John was a friend of mine and a member of New Dramatists," he said. "I knew him at Brown University when he was in Paula Vogel's playwriting program. He died at age 31 in 1994, three years after he wrote this play. This production is actually the result of a promise that I made to him when he was in the hospital. We were doing a reading of it, and I told him, 'I will do this play. Don't worry. I will make sure it's done.' It's a really beautiful and important play about four Long Island high school kids -- sorta Rebel Without a Cause Meets Clueless." The teens in question walk a fine line between "hipster-conformists" and "rebel-queers" until the "in" crowd forces them to choose.. Designing the show are David Gallo (set), Kevin Adams (lighting), Michael Krass (costumes) and Laura Grace Brown (sound). Ken Roberson serves as choreographer.
The WPA will present Stupid Kids at the Century Center in tandem with other producers. The company's last production, Dinah Was, transferred to the new Gramercy Theatre, where it's currently playing an open run.