Richard Greenberg's latest, Everett Beekin, will officially open at Lincoln Center Theater's Off-Broadway Mitzi Newhouse Theatre on Nov. 14, fueled by a month's worth of previews which began Oct. 19. Two-time Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth and "Mad About You" star Robin Bartlett lead the cast of the comedy-drama.
The cast is rounded out by Jeff Allin, Jennifer Carpenter, Kevin Isola and Marcia Jean Kurtz, and has sets by Christopher Barreca, costumes by Teresa Snider-Stein, lighting by Donald Holder and sound and music composition by Mike Yionoulis.
Everett Beekin marks the first time the Tony-winning Neuwirth has created a role in a fresh New York production since Chicago opened in 1996, and the first time she has originated a role in a Manhattan play in many years.
Neuwirth won Tony Awards for Sweet Charity and Chicago, in which she gave a landmark performance as murderess Velma Kelly. Since then, she was cast, briefly, in an out-of-town tryout of Kander and Ebb's musical Over & Over, but left the production due to artistic difference just two weeks before the first preview. She starred in The Taming of the Shrew at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1999 and acted there again this summer in Diva. Most of her time on stage in recent years has clocked in return engagement in Chicago and, more recently, Fosse. Everett Beekin had its world premiere engagement last year at South Coast Rep. It is the fourth of the Three Days of Rain playwright's works to premiere at the theatre.
This new comic effort traces a family's history in America, from their arrival in the 1940s to the present, where the third generation is attempting to adjust to life in Southern California. Has life gotten better for the family? To one granddaughter, who finds her sister conducting "historic" tours of a new bridge connecting hotels to a shopping mall, the answer is clear.
Evan Yionoulis directed at SCR with an entirely different cast and will do the honors again in New York. She has helmed three Greenberg premieres: Three Days of Rain, The American Plan at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Author's Voice at Ensemble Theatre. Other credits include Reno Once Removed, Wendy MacLeod's The My House Play, Warren Leight's Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine and the New York Newsday 1995 Oppenheimer Award winner, Why We Have a Body.
For tickets ($55) and information on Everett Beekin at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre call (212) 239-6200. Following the Greenberg show into the space will be the new Jason Robert Brown tuner, The Last Five Years, arriving in February for an opening in mid-March 2002.
—By Robert Simonson