Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Other Desert Cities" Casting Update

Here's an article from with some exciting casting news for the Broadway transfer of Lincoln Center's Other Desert Cities.

Broadway newcomer Rachel Griffiths and Tony nominee Judith Light will join returning stars Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Thomas Sadoski in Lincoln Center Theater's forthcoming Broadway transfer of Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed Other Desert Cities. The play, helmed by Tony winner Joe Mantello, is scheduled to begin previews at the Booth Theater on October 12 and open on November 3.

Griffiths will be making her Broadway debut as Brooke Wyeth, a role created off-Broadway by Elizabeth Marvel. Light steps in for original cast member Linda Lavin who, as previously reported, will star in the Vineyard Theatre's forthcoming production of Nicky Silver's The Lyons.

In Other Desert Cities, Brooke Wyeth (Griffiths), a once promising novelist, returns home after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents (Channing and Keach), former members of the Reagan inner-circle, her brother (Sadoski), and her aunt (Light). When Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family’s history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil as the Wyeths struggle to come to terms with their past.

Griffiths is best known for her Emmy-nominated roles on the HBO series Six Feet Under and the Baitz-created ABC hit Brothers and Sisters. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her role in Hilary and Jackie; other film credits include Muriel’s Wedding, Ned Kelly, The Rookie, Blow and My Best Friend’s Wedding. In her native Australia, the actress has appeared in Sylvia, A Doll's House and Proof.

Light is a 2011 Tony nominee for her role in Lombardi, other Broadway credits include A Doll’s House and Herzl and she was also seen on the New York stage in Wit. She is best known roles on long-running TV shows Who’s the Boss? and Ugly Betty, as well as the soap opera One Life to Live, which earned her two Emmy Awards.

Other Desert Cities premiered on December 16, 2010, at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, where it officially opened on January 13, 2011. The Broadway production will reunite Lincoln Center Theater’s original design team: John Lee Beatty (sets), David Zinn (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lighting), Jill BC DuBoff (sound) and Justin Ellington (original music).

Cynthia Nixon to Return to Broadway

Tony- and Emmy-Award winner Cynthia Nixon will be returning to Broadway this year, according to a press release on Nixon is set to play Vivian Bearing, a professor of metaphysical poetry and a preeminant scholar on the John Donne, in Margaret Edson's play Wit in a production to be directed by Lynne Meadow. The actress, probably best known to American audiences for her Emmy-winning six year run on television's Sex and the City, won a 2006 Best Actress Tony for her star turn in another Manhattan Theatre Club production -- David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole (a role which recently garnered an Oscar nomination for Nicole Kidman in that play's film adaptation).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Master Class Is Now in Session

The Manhattan Theatre Club's revival of Master Class opened last night at the Biltmore (now the Samuel J. Friedman) Theatre. The play with music, written by Terrence McNally, is about a series of Master Classes given by the late opera diva Maria Callas at Lincoln Center and won the 1996 Tony for Best Play. Zoe Caldwell played Callas in the original production, winning her fourth Tony for the role, and the show made helped a star out of relative newcomer Audra McDonald (who won her second featured actress Tony for her role in the show).

While the previous production was certainly a star vehicle in its way, the supporting performers were vital and integral to the story telling. This production, however, belongs entirely to Tyne Daly and her staggering performance in the central role. The sets and lights were noted on in some of the reviews, which can sometimes be an indication of Tony worthiness, but it is definitely too early to make any such assumptions. Given that this show will close long before the relevant Tony race heats up, Tyne Daly is the only likely candidate for a nomination for this production.