What’s new, at the Flea’s old digs
- A tried and true WASP, in a ‘Bats’ cave: A.R. Gurney’s “Family Furniture” is the playwright’s eight world premiere, at the Flea. PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Family Furniture” is playwright A.R. Gurney’s eighth world premiere at The Flea. Thomas Kail, a 2008 Tony nominee for “In The Heights,” directs a cast whose familiar ranks include Peter Scolari (“Girls” and “Newhart” on TV, and recently seen on Broadway in “Lucky Guy”). The play is described by the Flea as a return to “home territory” for Gurney — whose coming of age tale, set in Buffalo, happens over the course of a decisive summer during which an upper class WASP tribe girds themselves with gin and tonic, to navigate “tennis doubles with the Baldwins, vichyssoise and so much more, in this heartfelt tale about parents and children.”
In 2014, the Bats will be busy bees while their new three-theater hive is under construction. Back at the Flea’s “classic” White St. location, its resident acting company (named for those sleek, nocturnal, winged cave-dwellers) is prepping for a January world premiere from Brooklyn’s Brian Watkins. Helmed by resident director Danya Taymor and featuring members of the Bats, “My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer” finds Sarah, Hannah and their needy mother stuck in a forgotten prairie town with Vicky — lone survivor of the family’s formerly robust flock of sheep. Tasked with housebreaking the woolly beast, the sisters face a similar challenge: learn to behave civilly, or sacrifice their future. “We haven’t heard the howls of the prairie — that vast expanse of America — since the early days of Sam Shepard,” says Producing Director Carol Ostrow of the playwright. “Watkins,” she asserts, “is an original, and he is a real find.”
“Family Furniture” plays through Dec. 22. Tues.-Sat. at 7pm, Sun. at 3pm. Tickets are $15-$70 (Pay-What-You-Can Tuesdays, at the door). Previews for “My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer” begin Jan. 15, with the run from Jan. 25-Feb. 15, Wed.-Sun., at 7pm. Tickets are $15-$35. Both plays take place at The Flea, 41 White St. (btw. Broadway & Church). For reservations, call 212-352-3101 or visit theflea.org.