1001 at Just Theater

Oops. I went to see Just Theater‘s production of Jason Grote’s 1001 way back on Friday, but things have been so busy since then, I neglected to mention it until now — its last week! Only four shows left!

1001 had its world premiere back in 2007 at the Denver Center, and I remember it making quite a stir. Crazy good reviews, great word of mouth, etc. Because I’m in-the-know and finger-on-the-pulse and have-access-to-email, I was able to get a copy of the script, and after reading it, I spent two years dying to see it.

So I was psyched to hear Jonathan Spector was able to get the rights to it for Just Theater. It’s the perfect kind of show for Jonathan, who’s particularly good at directing plays with intricate language and sprawling storylines. And on Friday, I was not disappointed, even with that much of a build-up.

Many critics have gone nutso for this production, calling it “compelling,” “engrossing,” “mesmerizing,” and “wildly successful.” My feelings were best summed up by Sam Hurwitt on The Idiolect:

“The whole show is a spellbinding, often hilarious and intricately tangled celebration of the power of storytelling…it’s a fantastic production of a brilliant play that makes for an almost giddily exciting evening at the theater.”

Now look: I waited two years to see it, then I waited four days to write about it. But the thing closes in five days, so if you are interested, don’t be like me.


Marin Theatre Postponing Jason Grote’s 1001

Theatermania has an article that Jason Grote’s 1001 won’t be coming to Marin Theatre Company this year, after all. My guess is that it’s partially because Berkeley Rep is doing Mary Zimmerman’s THE ARABIAN NIGHTS and they may not want dueling Scheherazades. Bummer! I was really looking forward to seeing 1001; it’s an amazing script. (Don’t ask how I got to read it; I have friends.)

Update: Jason Grote posted on his blog that we WILL get to see 1001, just not until 2009. And not for any nefarious reasons:

1001 is getting postponed until the 09/10 season for entirely pedestrian reasons having to do with production, scheduling, etc. This is a real postponement, not a “My Name Is Rachel Corrie” postponement, and I’m on board for it. I’m disappointed, of course, but so is the company — we all want the production now. … So don’t worry, folks, this has nothing to do with Middle East politics (to my great dismay, 1001 has yet to actually offend anybody anyway). Nor does it have anything to do with a fear of programming unconventional work, unless by “unconventional” you mean “big and hard to produce.”

So good news and bad news. We will indeed get to see it; just not until way off in the future.