Back in April of 2017 at Wild Project in the East Village, a revival of James McLure’s Lone Star, by NINE Theatricals, took the stage in New York City for only the second time since it’s Broadway debut in 1979. The production was met with tremendous feedback and glowing reviews from New York City critics and audiences who had not before seen this lesser known work. Broadway World called NINE Theatricals production of Lone Star, “the reason we go to the theater.” With a demand for more shows to be added to the schedule, producers moved Lone Star, in May, to The Triad Theatre for a limited Off Broadway contract run and it returned last Tuesday for another limited engagement will run for at least two more Tuesdays (August 22 and 29). In fact, The Triad Theatre (Peter Martin and Rick Newman/Owners; Michael Doane/Managing Director) has announced that after a highly successful initial run they will be hosting NINE Theatricals’ Off Broadway revival of LONE STAR, in residency, on various dates, throughout the remainder of 2017.
Directed by Pete McElligott, Lone Star takes place in the backyard of Angel’s Bar in Maynard, Texas 1972, so producers introduced a new element to the Triad shows in the form of live music prior to the production itself. This was an attraction not featured at Wild Project shows and the idea was to convert The Triad into the inside of Angel’s bar. Live musical guests played a 30-minute set of popular music from the late 60’s and early 70’s as sold out audiences drank and enjoyed this immersive experience, and the new run will feature Joe Battista and Jack O’Hara as musical guests.
This evening of entertainment will begin at 9pm with the musical set, discounted tickets as low as $10 (using code MAYNARD at checkout) and a two-drink minimum. The roughly 60-minute play will begin after the music.
The play, written by James McLure, takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar in 1972. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and realizes that about all he has left are memories of his glory days, his adoring younger brother Ray, his wife Elizabeth, and his now crumbling 1959 pink Thunderbird. Joined by Ray, Roy sets about consuming a case of Lone Star beer while regaling his brother with tales of his military and amorous exploits. But with the arrival of Cletis, the fatuous, newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy's world gradually begin to collapse.
During the time in which Lone Star takes place, the early 1970’s, many returning Vietnam Vets were struggling with integrating themselves back into society after witnessing the horrors of war. Although there wasn’t a name for it at the time, these soldiers were suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Lone Star is a poignant look at a man’s struggles with this disorder and it raises many questions about masculinity and pride. Every bit as relevant today, if not more, than it was when it was written in 1979, James McLure’s best known work is one of the earliest plays about PTSD.
The next performances will be held on Tuesday nights August 22nd and 29th at 9pm. Performances are at The Triad Theatre, 158 West 72nd Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, New York, New York, 10023.
Matt de Rogatis who was recently called “one of the most exciting and original actors I have seen in a long while” by legendary theatre journeyman Austin Pendleton, plays the role of “Roy.” de Rogatis was most recently seen as “Frederick Clegg,” Off Broadway, in the United States premiere of The Collector at 59E59 Theatres and before that as “Hamlet” in Hamlet at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre. Both performances were met with sweeping praise.
Chris Loupos, an independent filmmaker and celebrated celebrity photographer, plays the role of “Ray”while Greg Pragel (“Horatio” in Hamlet at the 13th Street Repertory, “Dante Rossetti” in The Muse at Theater for the New City) is “Cletis.”
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