When a new film comes out, how long it stays in theaters depends completely on box office sales. If tickets are selling, you’ve probably got a couple of months to catch it. If it bombs, you’ll be lucky to find it still playing after three weeks. And plenty of blockbusters end up staying, and staying, and staying—to the point that eventually you start to wonder who could possibly still be buying tickets. But how often does this sort of thing happen in the world of theater? On Broadway, sure, ticket sales determine the length of a run. But usually, no matter how successful or beloved a production might be, the run ends when it ends. After all, the real live actors have to move on with their lives, the theater needs to get ready for the next show, and come on, how popular can a play really be? Answering that last question with a “VERY, VERY popular” is the Annex Theater’s production of Peter Shaffer’s modern classic Equus—which has extended its run through this weekend due to popular demand.
We should clarify, for those not familiar with the play, that it’s definitely not for children—mature audiences only for this one (the director told us that in order to even get the rights to perform the play, you have to sign a paper swearing that there will be full frontal nudity—yikes). But if the sight of human flesh (and lots of it) doesn’t offend you, this is absolutely a must-see production. For a play that can so easily seem dated, or staid, director Mason Ross manages to completely reinvigorate it with the help of a remarkable cast of local actors. Such fully energized theater is a real and rare treat—which is why we’re oh-so-glad they extended the run. Now make them glad they did, and reserve tickets stat.
Equus is playing at the 5th Dimension at 405 W. Franklin St. tonight through Sunday at 8pm. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.baltimoreannextheater.org.