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July 06, 2008


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Ah, but Kris, it's the first time anyone's done it *in New York*, and that's all that really matters, of course. I'm surprised they didn't call it the world premiere.

(p.s. Is it? If someone had even done it in NYC before, this becomes truly hilarious.)


Nah, it's SoHo Rep's blunder... it's also listed as "US Premiere" on the front page of their website


FYI - I just sent a "just so you know" email to Soho Rep.

And to add, the company that prioduced it in LA back in 2004 THEY couldn't even say US premiere - they coould only say "LA Premiere", so that means the US Premiere was over 4 years ago... somewhere in America.
(the safe money is on somewhere in NYC, and I agree with Ed, that will be truly hilarious!)

Kris Vire

When I posted this last night it was not yet listed on SoHo Rep's site. Unless they've got some claim as to this being a "new version" (unlikely, with Kane having died nine years ago now), that's a pretty big mistake on their part.


In the age of Google, yes, this is a pretty big blunder on the part of SoHo Rep, but the New York Times is not blameless here. They should have fact-checked the "US premiere" claim. I mean, Kane *did* die nine years ago, so any company claiming a US premiere in 2008 would have to be checked.


A commenter at Marisa's blog claims that Undermain Theatre in Dallas produced the play in 2004...possibly shortly before the LA company, leading to the "LA Premiere" caveat.


Thanks for your work on this, Kris.

Malachy Walsh

I worked at a prominent West Coast theatre some years ago when the AD was always hocking plays as a premiere of some sort. World, West Coast, U.S., North American, San Francisco, Bay Area - whatever.

Apparently he thought it was more likely to get a reviewer in, though I'm not sure any reviewer ever missed a show at this house since it had once been home to a Pulitzer winner.

I always thought it was crazy. And a piece of marketing foolery that most saw through. Indeed, box office was never good because something was newer to one area than another. It was only good when there was good word of mouth. And I'm pretty sure that never started with, "It's this world/west coast/whatever premiere of a really good show..."

Tangentially, I always find it a bit absurd when a small (or even mid-sized) theatre company demands that they be a "premiering" company. Like the 400 people who saw the show in Chicago will somehow keep the 200 people in Des Moines from seeing it.

Dave Barton

A writer from the LA Times called me this afternoon, asking me for clarification on Soho Rep's/NYT's error. I googlked and you guys showed up!
I'm the Artistic Director for Rude Guerrilla Theater Company and directed the second production of BLASTED done in the US, following the Seattle US Premiere by Theater Under the Influence.
Rude Guerrilla has produced CLEANSED at an earlier time and we lobbied hard for BLASTED for three years before receiving the rights. Playwright Ken Urban--mentioned here--can vouch for us, since he helped bring the situation about by talking with Sarah's brother--and executor of her estate--Simon Kane.
As for the Equity=professional bullshit...the shirts at Equity want their actors to work in Los Angeles, so they have prohibited waiver contracts in Orange County for over a decade.
If that keeps us from being professional, it has nothing to do with the quality of our work. We received a dozen reviews--most pretty sterling--all available on our website. The LA Times was especially glowing.
Just as clarification.

Eric Z.

I mentioned this on Marisa W.'s blog already, but I saw Blasted at the (beautiful) Loring Playhouse in Minneapolis back in 1997. This is the poster for that production:

Kerry Reid

Wow, my friends ran A Theatre Under the Influence and I didn't even know about this! I need to get out more. But I definitely remember Red Orchid did it.



Craig Bradshaw, from A Theatre Under the Influence here.

Our production of Blasted was, in fact, the US premiere.

And it was reviewed, and featured an Equity actor.

So there!


(Hi Kerry!)

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  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

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