The third and final offering of the City Center Voices! Play series' inaugural year, Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Webster, will star Eric Bogosian, James Naughton and Harris Yulin.
The devilish Bogosian will play Mr. Scratch (naturally), who pays a visit on Naughton's Farmer Stone to take his soul to Hell. Yulin's Daniel Webster may have something to say about that, however. Steve Lawson directs. The reading takes place at City Center on March 13.
Voices! has already presented readings of Joseph Kesselring's Arsenic and Old Lace on Nov. 11, 2000, and Jules Feiffer's Little Murders on Jan. 30. That producer Alec Baldwin should think of the decades-old and seldomly produced The Devil and Daniel Webster is not that surprising when you consider that the actor has been shooting and starring in a film version of the play for the past several months. In that movie, due out sometime this year, Baldwin plays Stone (recast as a writer), Anthony Hopkins plays Webster and the Devil is, er, Jennifer Love Hewitt.
For years now, neglected but worthy musicals have received deserved attention through the City Center Encores! series of concert productions. Now, with Voices!, plays will finally get equal time. Arsenic featured the talents of Baldwin and Joanne Woodward. In the Murders cast were Joel Grey, Polly Draper and Blythe Danner. For more information, call (212) 581-1212, or visit City Center on-line at www.citycenter.org.
—By Robert Simonson