When Lesley Gore recently did a guest stint in Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe, producers Julian Schlossberg, Mark Golub and Mark Balsam announced plans for Off-Broadway show whose title punned on the title of Gore's most famous song. It's My Party (And I'll Die If I Want To), a comedy by Australian playwright Elizabeth Coleman, went into rehearsal June 21 and will start performances Aug. 3 for an official opening Aug. 19 at the ArcLight Theatre.
F. Murray Abraham and Joyce Van Patten star in the comedy, whose dates were recently pushed forward a week, owing to a cast-change: Adam Grupper, of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, has taken over for the previously-announced Matthew Arkin.
Jeannie Berlin, who co-starred in Power Plays, will direct Party, which stars F. Murray Abraham (Oscar winner for "Amadeus"), Joyce Van Patten (Labor Day, Ring Round the Moon) as husband and wife. Rene Augesen, John Cariani and Andrea Gabriel are also in the cast.
According to production spokespersons at the Jeffrey Richards office, the play centers on a very dysfunctional family, including "a self centered father, an emotionally distanced spouse, three semi-estranged adult children, a surprise visitor and a host of family `secrets.'"
Designing It's My Party are George Xenos (set), Dona Granata (costume), Michael Lincoln (lighting) and Bernard Fox (sound). -- By David Lefkowitz