There can be no crazier place on earth to inhabit than Will Eno’s brain. This great American playwright is a Salvador Dali of the stage. He takes everyday language and so warps and bends the ordinary that the result is entirely new and revealing. First rate production from Third Rail.
Paving the way for an additional third venue in which they will be performing during the 2014-15 season, Third Rail has moved around the order of a few shows and will now open with Will Eno’s MIDDLETOWN in the Winningstad Theater on September 26. THE NIGHT ALIVE by Conor McPherson, the originally scheduled opener, now moves to CoHo in the first winter slot.
Part of JAW at Portland Center Stage in 2009, MIDDLETOWN was one of the most memorable theatre events in Portland in recent years. Anyone who saw that brilliant moment of furniture disassembling won’t soon forget it. The house was laid low.
The show went on to open at the Vineyard Theatre in 2010 and has played successfully around the country since, including most recently at Seattle’s ACT Theatre.
In Third Rail’s capable hands, this metaphysical tragicomedy is sure to be one of the fall season’s highlights.
Will Eno, author of some of the most interesting and original plays on the American scene in recent years, is headed for Broadway next year.
Are throngs of tourists in Times Square ready to digest (along with that super size pretzel and bag of burned chestnuts) the metaphysical desperation and loneliness that reign supreme on planet Eno?
We’ll find out.
The play is THE REALISTIC JONESES, a story about two suburban couples adrift in Eno’s typical blend of the particular and universal cosmos of existential meaning, and is directed by Sam Gold. The world premiere last year at Yale Rep was extremely enjoyable and featured Tracy Letts and Parker Posey in the cast. While actor/playwright Letts (who, assuming he can’t dance and sing, must be one of the the most dangerous double threats in American theatre history) is coming along with the new production, the other three cast members will be new.
Eno’s previous play TITLE AND DEED was produced by Signature Theatre and featured Ireland’s standout actor Conor Lovett (of GARE ST LAZARE PLAYERS) in the solo role.
Eno’s work has been championed in Portland by Our Shoes Are Red / The Performance Lab. And his marvelous MIDDLETOWN was workshopped at JAW several years ago.
Mercifully, this immensely talented playwright has thus far avoided the artistic cul de sacs of as-the-grass-grows hyper realism, dumb-n-dumber anti drama, and wacky/wistful “magical realism” that suck in (and paralyze) so many of his contemporary writers in the American theatre.
Eno is the real deal.
But is Broadway ready?