THE FLICK by Annie Baker coming to Barrow Street Theatre in May

Right after Annie Baker won the Pulitzer last year for THE FLICK, there was brief talk of a Broadway run. Then there was talk of a fall (2014) run at Barrow Street. Then nothing happened.

The good news is THE FLICK is indeed coming to Barrow Street Theatre starting May 5. It’s the original cast from Playwrights Horizons. There could be no better venue for this play than Barrow Street, so if you missed the PH show, here’s your chance.

Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village.
Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village.

TEWS Alert! | Seattle’s New Century Theatre Company to produce west coast premiere of Annie Baker’s THE FLICK in March 2015

Well, who says our T.E.W.S. (Theatre Early Warning System) doesn’t work any more? It just jumped to full alert status with some big – nay giant – PNW news.

Seattle’s top notch New Century Theatre Company (kind of the Jet City equivalent of Third Rail, though smaller and more experimental) is the first theatre to bring Annie Baker’s THE FLICK (Pulitzer 2014) to the west coast. And they are doing it in the company’s brand new home, and Seattle’s brand new community arts center, 12 Ave Arts.

NCTC has been around for a while now and reliably cranks out the best possible small scale theatre. Last year their production of Enda Walsh’s challenging THE WALWORTH FARCE was every bit as good as the original Druid show. And that’s saying something.

In NCTC’s capable, wildly creative hands, Baker’s non-traditional, marathon play about three kids in a fading Northampton movie theatre is sure to be a season highlight.

The cast for New Century's WALWORTH.  Blake (Peter Dylan O’Connor (Blake), Sean (Darragh Kennan) and  Dinny (Peter Crook).
“Another day, another rubber chicken.” The cast for New Century’s unforgettable production of THE WALWORTH FARCE by Enda Walsh. Blake (Peter Dylan O’Connor (Blake), Sean (Darragh Kennan) and
Dinny (Peter Crook).

Annie Baker wins Pulitzer Prize for THE FLICK at Playwrights Horizons

Even on the first night of preview performances at Playwrights Horizons last spring, it was clear that this ensemble-intensive creation featuring as much open (i.e., dead) air as dialogue was going to be something special. Annie Baker’s THE FLICK focuses in on three low level employees in a fading Massachusetts art house cinema. In characteristic Baker style, both nothing and everything happens.

In fact, for some PH subscribers, so little happened that they complained, prompting AD Tim Sanford to send an email explaining why he chose to do the play.

Well, today must be some consolation, as THE FLICK netted the 2014 Pulitzer in a 12 noon ceremony at Columbia University.

To pull off a Baker play well, a lot depends on the cast. Perhaps almost too much. But the PH cast nailed it.

And apparently the jury agreed.

Scott Rudin is remounting the show with the same cast at the beloved Barrow Street Theatre this year.

Miss that – and we’ll be forced to sit for a good 2-3 minutes of Bakeresque dead silence staring at you…wondering WTF you were thinking…

Playwrights Horizons sends email to subscribers explaining decision to produce THE FLICK by Annie Baker

Annie Baker has a new play at Playwrights Horizons in New York.

While the critical response has been good (50 words from pts), apparently the show is not for everyone. Audience members have been walking out and threatening to cancel their subscriptions.

The problem?

Nothing happens.

For three hours.

Of course, that’s not true. A lot happens.

And in drama even if something fails to happen – well, that is something happening.

But enough people have voiced their displeasure that AD Tim Sanford, in a highly unusual step, has sent an email to PH subscribers explaining why he chose to produce the play.

See the NYT story.

If there is any contemporary play that will rankle the “blue hair divide” (formerly known more politically as the generation gap), this one is it. Ironically, at issue is not sex or violence or other offensive material – but rather the absence of action. And. The. Long. Silences.

I would suspect this style does not work well for many older theatre goers.

The sign of a good play?  The audience revolts.
The sign of a good play? The audience revolts.