CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Stephen Adly Guirgis found his theatrical voice as a student of Roxy Regional Theatre Artistic Director John McDonald. Now that the Roxy is presenting Guirgis’ play The Motherf**ker with the Hat he’s decided to pay a visit to his teacher’s theater during the production’s March run.
The playwright is scheduled to attend the troupe’s “Wine and Theatre Night” on Saturday, March 23. Guirgis will participate in a question and answer session with the audience following the show. His high-octane, verbal cage match about love, fidelity and misplaced haberdashery pushes the envelope at the Roxy’s theotherspace for four performances only March 20-23.
Guirgis’ plays, which have been performed on five continents and throughout the United States, include The Little Flower of East Orange (which enjoyed an extended run at New York’s The Public Theater starring Ellen Burstyn and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman); Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Laurence Olivier Nomination for London’s Best New Play); Our Lady of 121st Street (one of 10 Best Plays of 2003; Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations), In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 best, Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly).
In Hat Anthony Michael Irizarry stars as Jackie, a petty drug dealer just out of prison who’s trying to stay clean while still living with his volatile and far-from-sober soul mate Veronica (Tamiko Robinson). Shawn Whitsell as Ralph D is Jackie’s too-smooth, slightly slippery sponsor who’s married to the bitter and disaffected Victoria (Mary McCallum) – who, incidentally, has the hots for Jackie. And then there’s Jackie’s cousin Julio (J. Robert Lindsey), a stand-up, “stand by me” kind of guy.
Nominated for six 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play, Hat has garnered critical acclaim from such notable publications as the Wall Street Journal (“…tight, smart and splendidly well-made, a tough-minded, unromantically romantic comedy that keeps you laughing, then sends you home thinking…”); USA Today (“…a slice of hard life that’s as provocative as it is absorbing…”); and the New Yorker (“Guirgis, a brilliant comedic talent…”). Among the accolades during its New York run were an Outstanding Actor in a Play Drama Desk Award for Bobby Cannavale as Jackie and an Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Outer Critics Circle prize for Elizabeth Rodriguez as Veronica.
The show is presented in theotherspace (the 50-seat black-box theater situated upstairs at the Roxy, which is located at 100 Franklin St.) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, March 20 and 21, and at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23. Seating is very limited, so early reservations are strongly recommended. The performance on Thursday, March 21, is already sold out. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theater during regular box office hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Roxy’s “Wine & Theatre Night” on March 23 provides patrons with the best of Beachaven Winery accompanied by light comestibles along with the 8 p.m. performance for $40. Show-only tickets are also available for that performance.
This production contains strong language and mature subject matter that is not appropriate for all audiences.
*Poster art and photos of Anthony Michael Irizarry and Tamiko Robinson courtesy Roxy Regional Theatre.