Thursday, September 5, 2013

9/11 play "The Guys" in Sarasota

   It's no surprise that a local theater company is offering Anne Nelson's play "The Guys" on Sept. 11. It's almost become a theater tradition to stage the show, about a New York fire fighter commemorating his fallen comrades, this time of year.
   Fortunately, the play is quite good. It's worth seeing, and worth seeing multiple times.
   The Players Theatre is marking the the 12th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., by staging a reading "The Guys" for one performance only, at 7:30 p.m. Sept.11.
   The play has only two characters, a firefighter and a writer whom he has hired to help him compose eulogies for his colleagues who died in the World Trade Center that day. He relates their stories, one by one.
   It's an unusual and moving work, even after all the stories of bravery and horror we've heard about Sept. 11.
   Nelson wrote the play in only nine days, and it premiered in New York just weeks after the 9/11. Such famed actors as Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Anthony LaPaglia, Sigourney Weaver and Susan Sarandon have appeared in significant productions. LaPaglia and and Weaver starred in the 2002 movie version.
   The Players Theatre production is a reading, not a full staging, but "The Guys" is the kind of play that can be effective in that format.
   It's directed by Pam Wiley, with readers Allan Kollar and Ann Gundersheimer.
   Tickets are $10. Some of the money from ticket sales will go to the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund. Call 941-365-2494 or go to

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