by Lisa D'Amour
directed by Joe Mantello
Steppenwolf Theatre Company, December 4, 2014 through February 8, 2015
On Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman theatre beginning April 1, 2015
"NOW LOOK HERE, WE HAVE A FUNERAL TO THROW AND WE ARE GOING TO THROW IT IN STYLE"
In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans' infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather. A rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies. The party rages through the night as old friends resurface to pay their respects. A world premiere from the author of Detroit, Airline Highway is a boisterous and moving ode to the outcasts who make life a little more interesting.
Steppenwolf Theatre’s production of Airline Highway will open on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in Spring 2015, following its world premiere engagement in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre.
December 15, 2014: Chicago Theater Review: Broadway-Bound ‘Airline Highway’ —Variety >>
Early on in Lisa D’Amour’s New Orleans-set play, “Airline Highway,” a character is asked whether he has ever been to Jazz Fest, a big-time tourist attraction for the city. After pondering for a moment, he admits that he hasn’t, but he thinks he delivered port-a-potties there once. Taking place in the closed-off parking lot of the long-decaying Hummingbird Motel, brilliantly realized by designer Scott Pask in a nearly unimprovable Steppenwolf Theatre Company production directed by Joe Mantello, D’Amour’s deep and decidedly soulful work takes us convincingly into the world of the “real” New Orleans. These are the strippers, hookers and party-animal bartenders who have made an everyday pursuit of the search for what Miss Ruby, their dying substitute mother, calls “ecstatic experience.”