The Tony Award-winning play, Side Man, will end its lengthy run on Halloween, Oct. 31. Warren Leight's drama, which plays its 500th performance this Saturday night (Sept. 18), will reach regular performance number 549 by its finale.
One cast-change will be made before the show ends its New York run: Tony winner Frank Wood will leave Sept. 26 to play McGeorge Bundy in the new Kevin Costner film, "Thirteen Days," about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Taking his place, Sept. 28, will be Michael O'Keefe, best known for his roles in "Caddyshack," "The Great Santini" (an Oscar nomination) and as Jackie's boyfriend on TV's "Roseanne."
In mid-summer, former Brat-Packer Andrew McCarthy took over the role of Clifford, replacing Scott Wolf (TV's "Party of Five"), who played his last performance July 17.
After the Broadway mounting finishes, O'Keefe and McCarthy, as well as Kevin Geer, Angelica Torn, Michael Mastro and other members of the New York company will begin a month-long run of the show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, Nov. 3-28. Further plans for the show may include London and other U.S. cities. (Independent productions of Side Man are also springing up, including current mountings at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati).
McCarthy, known for such films as "Mannequin," "Weekend at Bernie's," "Heaven Help Us," "Pretty in Pink" and "St. Elmo's Fire," was generally acknowledged as a member of "The Brat Pack" -- a group of teen actors in the 1980s who starred in John Hughes-helmed films like "The Breakfast Club," "Weird Science," and "Pretty in Pink." Other Brat Pack members included Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Jon Cryer. In recent years, McCarthy has turned to the boards, having earlier in the year starred in Horton Foote's The Death of Papa at Hartford Stage. McCarthy replaced the previously-announced Matthew Broderick in that production, when the latter pulled out to accompany Night Must Fall into an extended commercial run. McCarthy's other credits include The Boys of Winter on Broadway.
Adding McCarthy marks the third time in its long run that Side Man has opted to bring in a young star to perk up box-office receipts. When the show moved from The Roundabout to its current home at The John Golden Theatre, Christian Slater was cast to play Clifford.
Warren Leight's jazz-based drama celebrated its one year anniversary March 3, with much of the original cast on board. The show tells how a man's love of jazz ruins his marriage -- and his wife's sanity.
The drama began its New York life at CSC March 3, 1998, before its move to the Roundabout and then to Broadway's John Golden Theatre.
For ticket information on Side Man at Broadway's John Golden Theatre, call (212) 239-6200.