"Odd Couple" fans hoping for a rare look at an original cast member -- Brett Somers, who played Oscar Madison's acerbic ex-wife -- will have to wait a while longer. Somers was to have a featured role in the upcoming New York premiere of The Wound of Love, a drama by Juilliard grad Kathryn Grant. But Somers left the production, Sept. 30, apparently owing to difficulties with memorization, according to a production spokesperson.
A new actress is being sought for the featured role, with sources mentioning Celeste Holm as being under consideration. Dates for the production -- starting previews Oct. 27 and opening Oct. 30 for a run through Nov. 20 -- have apparently not been affected by the cast change.
The Wound of Love also features Evan Pappas, who played the cynical newshound in Parade and the naive television tyro in My Favorite Year. Playwright Grant and Bob Adrian co-star in the show, which features live viola music by Amy Dulsky Little.
Wound tells of Junis, a violist (played by Grant), wholly committed to her music-making. However, when her gay roommate (Pappas) is stricken with AIDS, a terminal and debilitating illness, she's forced to consider putting her career on hold to care for him. Somers was to play Junis' caustic music teacher.
The Wound of Love received an acclaimed mounting at upstate New York's Penguin Repertory in 1996. Ed Setrakian directs the current staging, running through Nov. 20 at the John Houseman Studio Theatre, 450 West 42nd St. The American Renaissance Theatre Company and Radius Productions are co-producing. Designing the show are Kennon Rothchild (set), Jim Speirs (lighting), Barbara Forbes (costumes) and Paul Spencer (sound). For tickets and information on The Wound of Love call (212) 479 8513.
-- By David Lefkowitz