Metropolitan Playhouse Closes UNDER THE GASLIGHT 12/19

Metropolitan Playhouse Closes UNDER THE GASLIGHT 12/19

Metropolitan Playhouse, "theatrical archaeologist extraordinaire" (Backstage), presents a revival of Under the Gaslight, by Augustin Daly. First presented at the New York Theatre in1867, Under the Gaslight will be revived in Metropolitan's home at 220 E 4th Street November 20th through December 19th, 2009.

Under the Gaslight follows the perilous journey of virtuous Laura Courtland: raised as a daughter of Society, she discovers on the eve of her marriage to upstanding veteran Ray Trafford that she was taken in from the streets as a child. High society rejects her when her secret is exposed, and she hides in New York's underbelly, pursued by both her distraught fiancé as well the arch villain "Byke", who is determined to exploit her secret-and others-for his own gain. Beginning in a New York salon and descending into a tenement basement, Under the Gaslight features swapped cradles and mistaken identities, society swells and street urchins, a ball at Delmonicos and a sing-along under Pier 30, and most famously a one-armed man tied to the railroad tracks.

Metropolitan's production will ring all the excitement, laughter, anxiety and pathos from the ripping yarn, and to strike every major and minor chord of the roller coaster melodrama, the performance features live piano accompaniment throughout.

Under the Gaslight was a runaway success with its first production, and heralded an age of emotionally extreme and fast paced theater that, however it may be derided today, is only all the more satisfying for its good humor and lively celebration of human hope and foible. The play itself is a staple of theater history classes and the odd college performance, but Metropolitan's is the first professional performance in New York since Soho Rep's in 1983.

Augustin Daly was one of the grandest theatrical impresarios of the late 19th Century and is considered by many as the first modern American director. He began his career as a drama critic for several New York papers while penning plays such as Leah the Forsaken before the great success of Under the Gaslight. He went on to manage successful venues such as the Fifth Avenue Theatre, and Daly's Theatre in both New York and London. Known for his sensational effects, modern treatment of the actors in his company, and his propensity for extensive alteration of even the most sacred theatrical works for contemporary effect, Daly was a driving force in American theater for nearly half a century.

Metropolitan's revival is directed by Michael Hardart, director of last years critically acclaimed comedy It Pays to Advertise, as well as East Village Chronicles, Volumes 4 and 5, and whose acting work with the company includes a turn as Teddy Roosevelt in Year One of the Empire and the electrified host of last season's Power. The production stars Maria Deasy, Justin Flagg (Devil and Tom Walker, The Heiress), Brad Fraizer (The Contrast), Sarah Hankins (The Octoroon), Lian-Marie Holmes, Amanda Jones (The Heiress, The Contrast), J.M. (Marty) McDonough (Year One of the Empire), Jason Rosoff, and, returning to Metropolitan's stage, Artistic Director Alex Roe as Byke. Set Design is by Alex Roe, Costume Design is by Sidney Fortner, and Lighting Design is by Christopher Weston (The Contrast.)

Metropolitan Playhouse explores America's theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Called an "indispensible East Village institution" by nytheatre.com, Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Backstage for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Recent productions include the Federal Theater Project's Power, It Pays to Advertise, Year One of the Empire, The Pioneer: 5 plays by Eugene O'Neill, Denial and The Melting Pot, as well as the Alphabet City and East Village Chronicles series.

Under the Gaslight begins five previews on Friday, November 20, and opens Saturday, November 28 to run through Saturday, December 19. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm, with two additional Saturday matinees on December 12 and 19.

There will be a special, Pay-What-You-Will performance on Monday, November 23 at 7:30 pm.

NOTE: There will be no performance Thanksgiving night, Thursday November 26th.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students, seniors and Preview general admissions, and $10 for Children under 18. To purchase tickets online visit www.metropolitanplayhouse.org, or call The Playhouse at 212 995 5302.

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