Dec 7, 2011

Stick Fly's Slow Build

Kendrick Brown and Estella Henderson in the Houston's Ensemble Theatre production of Stick Fly (photo by Nathan Lindstrom for the Houston Chronicle)

I've seen Lydia Diamond around TCG over the past few years (she's on the board), and she led a great breakout at the conference in Chicago last year, but I hadn't met her till I sat down with her recently to talk about the long-overdue arrival of her play Stick Fly on Broadway for this Time Out piece.

Like Diamond, who's had just one previous New York production, the play's reputation precedes it, as I noted before; in researching the piece, I counted as many as eight professional productions at theaters small and large, black-identified and otherwise, since it debuted in 2005 (here's its original Time Out Chicago review, a mixed-positive notice). That production history is roughly the reverse of many new plays, which seem to need Broadway to give its validating stamp before regionals will look at them; Stick Fly's slow build may be a heartening sign that that tendency is weakening (another sign would be this), though now the next question is: If Stick Fly is a success on Broadway, will that lead to still more regional runs?

No comments: