Imaginary Friends, the Broadway-bound production of Nora Ephron's play with music, has completed casting, adding Anne Pitoniak, Peter Marx and Perry Laylon Ojeda. among others, to the cast. Imaginary Friends premieres at San Diego's The Globe Theatre Sept. 21-Nov. 3 before a Broadway run beginning Nov. 25 at the Barrymore.
Cherry Jones and Swoosie Kurtz star as Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman in the production. Harry Groener will take on the task of performing all the major male roles.
As part of the play with music's ensemble, Marx and Laylon Ojeda have strong musical theatre backgrounds. Marx recently played Charlie Davenport in Annie Get Your Gun and played in the original casts of Sunset Boulevard and Singin' in the Rain. Laylon Ojeda starred as Gabey in George C. Wolfe's On the Town and was featured in Encores!'s Babes in Arms.
The rest of the ensemble features Anne Allgood (The Sound of Music), Constance Barron, Bernard Dotson (Sweet Smell of Success, Ragtime), Rosena M. Hill (Ragtime, Marie Christine), Gina Lamparella (Les Miserables, Jane Eyre), Dirk Lumbard (On Your Toes), Jim Osorno (The Rocky Horror Show), Karyn Quackenbush (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Annie Get Your Gun) and Melanie Vaughan (Parade). Helmer Jack O'Brien will direct with Hairspray cohort Jerry Mitchell choreographing. The creative team has been confirmed as Michael Levine (sets), Robert Morgan (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Jon Weston (sound). Ron Melrose will serve as musical director.
Imaginary Friends will mark the first stagework by writer Ephron. The play with music centers around the feuding literary femmes Hellman and McCarthy. The libel lawsuit-laden battle ended only by the death of Hellman in 1984.
Songs featured in the play are penned by the composer-lyricist team of Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia. The duo are already on the boards with their Sweet Smell of Success. The new work opens at San Diego's The Globe Theatre — where O'Brien serves as artistic director.
Ephron — or, rather, her life — is no stranger to the stage; her early childhood was the focus of her stage and screenwriting parents' Three's a Family, and Take Her, She's Mine was based on her correspondence with Henry and Phoebe Ephron during her college years. The writer is best known for her screenplays for "When Harry Met Sally...," "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle." She directed the latter two.
USA Ostar Theatricals produced the reading as well as the Broadway production. USA Ostar Theatricals were also the producers of the new Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler as well as Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things.