Christine Baranski, Melissa Errico, Raúl Esparza, Halley Feiffer, Boyd Gaines, Cady Huffman, Patricia Kalember, Kathleen McNenny and Tony Roberts join the previously announced cast of Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Bette Midler and Chris O'Donnell for Mike Nichols' starry two-night benefit, Short Talks on the Universe.
Presented by Target and benefiting Friends In Deed (the organization Nichols chairs in support of those affected by life-threatening illness) and the not-for-profit Bay Street Theatre of Sag Harbor, NY, Short Talks on the Universe will feature new works by Jon Robin Baitz, Nora Ephron, Jules Feiffer, Tony Kushner, Steve Martin, Elaine May and Terrence McNally. The actors will perform the works off-book and the show will run without intermission.
Among the plays are Show People by Baitz (Ten Unknowns) — in which a big-time theatre producer, called "Schimelman," (said to be a take on Shubert Organization chairman Gerald Schoenfeld) meets with Satan after dessert at Sardi's; I Hate My Purse by Ephron (Imaginary Friends) — a monologue in which a woman explains her hatred for her purse; 3 AM by Martin (Picasso at the Lapin Agile) — about a couple who share secrets during a sleepless night; Extra by May (Adult Entertainment); E mail by Feiffer (Grown Ups); and Ghost Light by McNally (Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune) — in which a young man encounters an old actress on the stage of a soon to-be-demolished stage.
The benefit will play Nov. 17 at 7 PM — followed by a gala reception — and Nov. 18 at 8 PM at the O'Neill Theatre, 230 W. 49th Street. Tickets, priced at $250-$500 are available through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or online at www.telecharge.com. Special $150 tickets can also be purchased — by way of the aforementioned Shubert Organization and the Playbill On-Line Club — by calling (212) 947-8844 and mentioning the promotional code STPBX78 or online at www.playbillclub.com.