The Elevator Repair Service's enthralling stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby is returning to the Public Theater in March for a limited seven week run of 28 performances. The production's first award-winning run in 2010 sold out well before opening night, so now there's a chance for the unlucky ones who were shut out the first time to experience this unforgettable show. And the Public will no doubt do brisk repeat business as well: GATZ is eight hours long, and we can't wait to see it again (for the third time).
Tickets are on sale now for members, but it's actually cheaper to become a member of the Public Theater and buy a discounted ticket than it will be wait until tickets go on sale for the general public in January. It costs $55 (tax-deductible) to become a member, and then tickets to GATZ cost $80 for members. Once tickets go on sale for non-members in January, they'll cost $160 a pop. So this is a no-brainer, and a pretty shrewd way for the Public to boost its membership rolls.
If you're nervous about that $160 sticker price, keep in mind that you'll get your money's worth: The hefty yet hilarious GATZ is performed over the course of eight hours, with two intermissions and one long dinner break. Not a single word of Fitzgerald's text has been cut, and in this way, the ingenious production mirrors the experience of reading, but also intensifies it, giving you the rare opportunity to ride Fitzgerald's masterpiece in one continuous rolling wave. Here's an excerpt from our review last year:
A nondescript man enters an empty, shabby office, flicks on the dreary lights and punches the button of his turn-of-the-century desktop computer. Nothing happens. Everything about this place reeks of drudgery; whatever the opposite of Jazz Age glamor is, this is it. But for our protagonist, there is an escape: flipping open a Rolodex while rebooting his computer, he discovers a paperback copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby. He casually flips it open and, after a pause, begins to read aloud, flatly and awkwardly. If you're witnessing this, you know that the entire book—all 49,000 words—will be incanted during an eight-hour marathon performance. In these first moments, as our reader stumbles monotonously through chapter one, a slight panic might grip you—but don't worry. Like the process of cracking open any new book, the immersion happens gradually. Soon enough, perhaps without quite noticing it, you'll be in its thrall.
Scott Shepherd will reprise his indelible starring role, with performances beginning March 14th 2012 and continuing through Sunday, May 6th. For more on GATZ, here's our interview with Shepherd and director John Collins.