As previously reported, John Lavelle, who has appeared in The Graduate and Burleigh Grimes, will star as B-25 bombardier Yossarian in the stage production that has been adapted by Aquila artistic director Peter Meineck from the classic novel.
Joining Lavelle are Chip Brookes, Christina Pumariega (Hartford Stage's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Craig Wroe (An Oak Tree), and Aquila veteran Richard Sheridan Willis (The Importance of Being Earnest).
Catch 22 will open Nov. 23 and continue through Dec. 20 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Creative duties will be announced shortly.
In Catch 22, "Yossarian is a bombardier on a B-25, based on a small island off the coast of Italy in 1944," according to press notes. "He starts to question the futile and ridiculous administration of his air base and seeks a way to preserve his life when the whole world around him seems to be going mad. Like a modern-day Achilles, Yossarian protests with powerful and often hilarious results. Catch 22 tackles huge things with rich metaphors, boldly drawn characters and near-impossible situations. It is a work of great theatricality with superb language and a sense of dark surrealism. Heller dares to examine the very philosophy of war and what it does to the humans that fight them."
In a statement director Meineck said, "Yossarian is one of the most iconic and elusive roles in American literature. Paul Newman spent a year studying the role, never to play it, Richard Dreyfus signed on for a pilot that was never made. Jack Lemmon, Eli Wallach, Anthony Quinn and Ben Gazzara all lobbied for the role that famously went to Alan Arkin for the 1972 Mike Nichols film. Brooklyn born John Lavelle inherently understands Heller's biting, absurdist satire (Heller hailed from Coney Island) and will bring a new intensity, verve and clarity to Yossarian. As modern day Milo Minderbinder's play havoc with the stock market and contemporary Colonel Cathcart's place the lives of our troops at risk for political gain this is the right time for Catch-22 to be seen on stage. We are all greatly looking forward to seeing Yossarian live again." For tickets and more information visit www.aquilatheatre.com.