The Great White Way welcomed back one of its most acclaimed stars last night, April 21, as “Jerusalem” opened at the Music Box Theatre....

The Great White Way welcomed back one of its most acclaimed stars last night, April 21, as “Jerusalem” opened at the Music Box Theatre. Ian Rickson helms this limited engagement of Jez Butterworth’s new three act drama.

Veteran stage actor Mark Rylance, most drawing raves for his role in 2010’s “La Bete” revival (also at the Music Box), is once again drawing universal praise for his turn here as Johnny “Rooster” Byron. Rylance originated the role in “Jerusalem’s” 2009 premiere at London’s Royal Court Theatre and resumed the part for the play’s 2010 West End run.

A retired daredevil and full-time outlaw, Rooster spins mythical yarns and freely peddles dope to the band of misfits that frequent his ramshackle trailer in the English town of Flintock. But it’s not all booze and drugs, as Rooster faces eviction from his property by a neighboring real estate development, as well as pressure from his ex-lover to spend more time with their young son.

The ensemble cast also includes Mackenzie Crook as Ginger and Alan David as The Professor (two of Rooster’s frequent visitors), Geraldine Hughes as Dawn (his former flame), and Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Phaedra (a missing girl connected with Rooster).

Since previews began April 2, attendance at the 998-seat playhouse has steadily increased from 73 percent to 89 percent capacity. Regular ticket prices range from $61.50 to $126.50 on Telecharge.com, which also offers premium seating options from $176.50 up to $226.50. “Jerusalem” has grossed $604,225 so far.

“Jerusalem” runs approximately three hours, with two 10-minute intermissions. Performances are staged Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Music Box Theatre is located at 239 West 45th Street in New York, NY. “Jerusalem” is scheduled through July 24 only. More details of the production are available on its official Web site.

Opening Night: “Jerusalem”

Publication Critic Review
Variety Marilyn Stasio “It’s hard to look anywhere else when Rylance is on stage. “
New York Times Ben Brantley “Mark Rylance [gives] a seismic performance that threatens to level the old Music Box Theater.”
TheaterMania David Finkle “A must-see experience for any serious theatergoer.”
Hollywood Reporter David Rooney “A rollercoaster ride from rollicking, irreverent comedy through melancholy sobriety to stunning violence, laced with haunting whispers of mythology.”
New York Magazine Soctt Brown “A bona fide bustle in your hedgerow and not to be missed.”
New York Daily News Joe Dziemianowicz “The production at the Music Box is bold and high-spirited and boasts terrific acting.”