“Stick Fly” made headlines earlier this year when pop songstress Alicia Keys stepped on as co-producer. Now the Broadway play is under lights again, following its December 8 opening at Cort Theatre.
Playwright Lydia R. Diamond’s book is under the direction of Kenny Leon, who also helms this season’s “The Mountaintop.” In addition to her co-producer credit, Keys also composed incidental music for the play.
The two-act dramedy centers on the dysfunctional LeVay family, an affluent African-American family with a summer home in the most posh of Martha’s Vineyard neighborhoods. When brothers Kent (Dulé Hill) and Flip (Mekhi Phifer) bring their significant others to meet the family, issues of race, class and family come to a head.
The aforementioned significant others are Kent’s entomologist fiancée Taylor (Tracie Thoms) and — providing one of the play’s points of contention — Flip’s WASP girlfriend Kimber (Rosie Benton). Ruben Santiago-Hudson is the cold LeVay family patriarch, Joe, and Condola Rashad appears as the housekeeper’s 18-year-old daughter, Cheryl.
“Stick Fly” entered previews November 18. Since then, attendance has been average at best, middling between 64 and 73 percent capacity at the 1,079-seat Cort.
Weekly grosses have also trended toward the disappointing. The production’s cumulative ticket sales through December 4 totalled just $772,187 (out of a $2.4 million potential), according to the Broadway League. Regular ticket prices range from $35 to $121.50, while premium seats are set between $226.50 and $251.50.
The play’s runtime is roughly two and a half hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Evening performance times are 7 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), and 7:30 p.m. (Sunday). Matinees are staged at 2 p.m. on Saturday and at 3p.m. on Sunday.
The landmark Cort Theatre is located at 138 West 48th Street in New York, NY. “Stick Fly” is booked into an open-ended run. More details are available on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “Stick Fly”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“The proceedings are rarely surprising and never compelling.”|
|New York Times||Charles Isherwood||“The discovery of the evening is the quietly captivating Ms. Rashad.”|
|TheaterMania||Dan Bacalzo||“…A trifle melodramatic. But the dialogue is witty…”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“[Rashad] commands attention with grace, humor and naturalness compared to the effortful work of the more seasoned cast members.”|
|The Wall Street Journal||Terry Teachout||“Flawed though it is, ‘Stick Fly’ is never dull.”|
|New York Magazine||Scott Brown||“[Condola Rashad] delivers a performance that anchors a show with a wide draft and a tendency to drift in tone and focus.”|