Metropolitan Playhouse Produces First Revival of Owen Davis's ICEBOUND, 9/19 - 10/19
Obie Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse revives Icebound, the 1923 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in drama by Owen Davis. Directed by Artistic Director Alex Roe at Metropolitan Playhouse: 220 E 4th Street. Previews begin 9/19/14 with an official opening on 9/26/14. The run will end on 10/19/2014.
Tickets are $25 general; $20 students/seniors; $10 children, and may be purchased at www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/tickets or 800-838-3006.
When the cold, reigning matriarch of a rural Maine first family dies, she leaves her fortune and estate to a shrewish second cousin, stranding her three grasping and entitled eldest children. To compound the injury, the new heiress refuses them any assistance, and she takes on as a hand the black sheep of the family: their ne'er-do-well brother on the run from the law. She proves a stern task-master; he a resentful partner, yet they begin to envision a better future in spite of themselves. But nature will out in a play that asks whether our habits and fears will always defy our highest aspirations.
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 that year's The Detour, revived at Metropolitan in 2011, 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." 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 his 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 Icebound since a revival directed by W. H. Macy in 1981 by the Meat and Potatoes Company.
Icebound premiered in 1923 at the Sam Harris theater, and met immediate success. Called "intense" and "unusually good" in a New York Times review that praises Davis for rebounding from the mixed reception for The Detour with a serious play that promised to be popular as well. Icebound won the the Pulitzer Prize in Drama that year, and it played 145 performances. A London presentation in 1928 was Gertrude Lawrence's first major role in a straight play. The play was made into a film by William C. DeMille in 1924.
Under the direction of Alex Roe (The Hero, Self, The Henrietta, The Boss, The House of Mirth, and Uncle Tom's Cabin) the cast features: Connor Barth (The Addams Family tour), Anne Bates, Quinlan Corbett,Ashton Crosby, Gregory Dann, Sidney Fortner (Self, One Third of a Nation, The Pioneer), Michelle Geisler, Kelly King (House of Mirth, Both Your Houses, The Henrietta), Olivia Killingsworth (Within the Law), Maria Silverman (House of Mirth, The Contrast), Alyssa Simon, and Rob Skolits (The Contrast). Stage Manager Katy Moore. Set design is by Alex Roe. Lighting by Christopher Weston. Costumes bySidney Fortner.
Metropolitan Playhouse, now its 23rd season, devoted to Progress, 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 Grantfrom The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Other awards include Outstanding Performance Art Group from the Victorian Society New York, and 15 nominations for NYIT Awards since 2010, with Sidney Fortner winner for costumes andFrank Anderson winner for lead actor. Recent productions include Within the Law, The Hero, Self, A Man's World, The Henrietta, The Detour, 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, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural
Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This production is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state Legislature.