Imaginary Friends, which begins previews Nov. 25 at the Barrymore Theatre, will starts its pre-Broadway premiere run at San Diego's The Globe Theatre Sept. 21-Nov. 3. The official opening of the Nora Ephron work for the West Coast venue is Sept. 29.
Cherry Jones and Swoosie Kurtz star as Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman in the production. Harry Groener(Crazy For You) and Anne Pitoniak (Dance of Death) also star in the play with music featuring a cast that includes Anne Allgood (The Sound of Music), Constance Barron, Bernard Dotson (Sweet Smell of Success), Rosena M. Hill (Ragtime), Gina Lamparella (Jane Eyre), Dirk Lumbard (On Your Toes), Peter Marx (Annie Get Your Gun), Jim Osorno (The Rocky Horror Show), Perry Laylon Ojeda (On the Town), Karyn Quackenbush (Annie Get Your Gun) and Melanie Vaughan (Parade).
Helmer Jack O'Brien will direct with Hairspray cohort Jerry Mitchell choreographing. The creative team features 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 were recently 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 produces the Broadway production. USA Ostar were also the producers of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Proof, the Broadway revivals of Hedda Gabler and Dance of Death as well as Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things.