Though it technically started at the beginning of June (and Natalie Merchant had the first show -- a special concert engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre), the 1999-2000 Broadway season begins in earnest when John Pielmeier's Voices in the Dark starts previews at Broadway's Longacre Theatre (220 W. 48th Street) on Aug. 1. The show's first preview date was moved up from July 31, allowing for one more final dress rehearsal.
Voices had a pre-Broadway engagement at Stamford, CT's Rich Forum, running July 16-25 before the move to the Longacre.
Two-time Tony Award winning actress Judith Ivey (Hurlyburly and Steaming) stars as a radio talk show host who finds herself menaced by a mysterious caller. The production is slated to officially open Aug. 12.
Including her two Tony Award-winning roles, Ivey's extensive Broadway credits include Bedroom Farce, Piaf, Blithe Spirit, Precious Sons and Park Your Car in Harvard Yard (Tony nomination).
Pielmeier's other works include Agnes of God, Willi, which he appeared in at Seattle's ACT in 1991; Steeple Chase, The Boys of Winter and Impassioned Embraces. Co-starring with Ivey will be Raphael Sbarge (Broadway's Curse of an Aching Heart) and Off-Broadway veteran Zach Grenier (A Question of Mercy). Sbarge also appeared in Broadway's Twilight of the Golds, and in the films "Independence Day" and "Message in a Bottle." Grenier recently starred in Rhinoceros Off-Broadway, as well as Creditors at CSC Rep.
Rounding out the cast are John Ahlin, Peter Bartlett (The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told), Nicole Fonarow, Tom Stechschulte and Lenny Blackburn. Ahlin, Bartlett and Fonarow were among the cast when the show premiered at NJ's George Street Playhouse in 1998. The play was originally directed by Pielmeier himself back in October 1994 at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre.
The Broadway mounting will feature the director, Christopher Ashley, and the design team of the show's run at George Street: David Gallo (set), David C. Woolard (costumes) and Donald Holder (lighting).
For tickets ($25 - $55) to the Stamford Center pre-Broadway engagement, call (203) 325-4466.
Broadway Voice tickets range from ($35-$60) and go on sale July 18, call Telecharge (212) 239-6200.