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Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

This biting comedy takes place behind the scenes during the Broadway run of a long lost Kafka play, introducing a cast of characters including a star who doesn’t understand the play, a disgruntled stage manager, a stoner set technician and an understudy trapped in a thankless job amidst all the comic chaos.

This show is closed.

Performances ended on Jan. 17, 2010.

Previews Oct 09, 2009
Opening Nov 05, 2009
Closing Jan 17, 2010


What Is the Story of The Understudy?
In a darkened Broadway theater, down-on-his luck (and somewhat bitter) actor Harry is getting just the break he needs—the chance to appear as the understudy for a major Hollywood action star in a two-man Kafka play currently performing to packed houses. But before Harry can formally recite his first lines at a midday “put-in” rehearsal, all hell breaks loose. One of the play’s two stars, Jake, doesn’t want Harry as his understudy; the stage manager running rehearsal turns out to be the jilted ex-fiancée Harry left at the altar, and the set technician assisting the day’s run through is so stoned everyone onstage is dodging flying set pieces. Will Jake, Harry and his ex get their act together in time for the curtain to go up?

Critics' Reviews

""Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Justin Kirk and Julie White are a thoroughly excellent trio.""

Review by Dan Kois from New York Magazine

""The full eye roll, virtually a reflex gesture for many New Yorkers, becomes a comic drama in itself in [star Julie] White’s hands—or should I say sockets? Even Ms. White’s...agile frame seems to embody perfectly a state of brittle anxiousness, like a tuning fork ever primed to be set quivering."  "

Review by Charles Isherwood from The New York Times

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