THE DETOUR Will Run 2/24-3/24 at Metropolitan Playhouse
Metropolitan Playhouse--2011 Obie Award winner--presents a revival of The Detour, by Owen Davis. Directed by Laura Livingston (The Jazz Singer) at Metropolitan's home: 220 E 4th Street.
Previews begin 2/23/13
Press Previews: 2/25/13 at 7:30; 2/28 and 3/1at 8
Tickets are $25 general; $20 students/seniors; $10 children, and may be purchased at www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/tickets or 1-800-838-3006.
In 1921, Long Island is still farmland, and there Helen Hardy dreams of glory--not for herself, but for her promising young artist daughter, Kate. Helen's husband dreams of buying more land, while Kate's would-be fiancé dreams of getting out of the dirt and profiting off the new automobile craze. Kate's own dreams are of secondary consideration. In a stirring and simple tale, The Detour plumbs deeply cherished American visions of prosperity: a better life for our children, a growing homestead, a thriving modern business. In this case, romances of the past bear a heavily mortgaged future, but in its conflicted and truthful way, the play celebrates the extraordinary ambitions of ordinary people.
Owen Davis (1874-1956) was best known in 1920 as the author of literally hundreds of light westerns, sex comedies, pot boilers and melodramas, whose great success on the turn-of-the-century touring circuit afforded him wealth and celebrity both. With The Detour, he took a decidedly different turn, in seeking to capture, as he writes in one of his autobiographies, "a simple picture of life as it is lived on a Long Island farm." A respectable run at the Astor Theater starred Effie Shannon, Angela McCahill, and Augustin Duncan (brother of Isadora, and also the play's director), and pointed the way for Davis's future efforts. This impulse to escape the vulgar characterizations of rural life presented in the popular theater of the day led to rural Maine (where was born), and to Icebound, winner of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. These two are best known serious works, but his were also the well-received adaptations of The Great Gatsby (1926); Pearl Buck's The Good Earth (1932); Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome (1926), and as well an English language version of Karel Capek's From the Life of Insects that Davis entitled The World We Live In (1922). Metropolitan knows of no other New York production of The Detour since its debut.
The Detour is directed by Laura Livingston, whose production last winter of The Jazz Singer was praised as "skillfully understated" (The Village Voice) and brilliantly realized" (nytheatre.com). The production stars Michelle Eugene as Helen Hardy, and John Ottavino (Hedda Gabler on Broadway, Blackbird at MTC, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (directed by Edward Albee), and recently Checkers at the Vineyard) as Stephen Hardy, and Alex Trow as Kate. With Micah McCain, Rowan Michael Meyer, Stu Richel, Andrea Sooch, and Mitch Tebo. Set Design is by Alex Roe (The Boss, Both Your Houses, The House of Mirth, Deep Are the Roots, The Jazz Singer); Lighting Design by Christopher Weston (Both Your Houses, The House of Mirth, Deep Are the Roots, The Jazz Singer) and Costumes by Sidney Fortner (NYIT Award winner for The House of Mirth.)
Metropolitan Playhouse is now in its 21st season, devoted to The American Dream in American theater and culture. The Playhouse explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Called an "indispensable East Village institution" by nytheatre.com and "invaluable" by Back Stage, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, and received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Other awards include nominations for 5 NYIT Awards in 2010 (The Return of Peter Grimm; Frank Anderson winner for lead actor) and 5 more in 2012 (The House of Mirth; Sidney Fortner winner for costumes). Recent productions include The Boss, Both Your Houses, The House of Mirth, Deep Are the Roots, The Jazz Singer, From Rags to Riches, One-Third of a Nation, The Great Divide, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Drunkard, Dodsworth, NYIT award winning The Return of Peter Grimm, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.