For the second time in its long run, Side Man has opted to bring in a young-generation star to perk up box office receipts. Production spokesperson Gary Springer told PBOL (May 7) that "Party of Five" lead Scott Wolf will join the Side Man cast May 28, taking over for original cast member Robert Sella. Sella, who plays the narrator-son who remembers his feuding parents, was in the show's first incarnations at the CSC space downtown and at the Roundabout's Stage Right mainstage, but Christian Slater opened the role at the show's current venue, The John Golden Theater.
Spokesperson Springer did not know how long Wolf would be in the show. "We have not been told anything yet officially," he told Playbill On-Line about the contract specfics, but the move to add the "Party of Fiver" was confirmed May 7.
Wolf will be making his Broadway debut in the show. He appeared at last year's Williamstown Festival in A.R. Gurney's Far East, before the show hit Lincoln Center for its current Mitzi Newhouse run. Wolf also appeared in a Nicholas Martin-helmed production of Sidney Kingsley's Dead End in 1997. Films include: "Go," "The Evening Star," "White Squall" and "Double Dragon."
The show plans to continue its open run, fueled by Tony nominations for Best Play and Featured Actor (Frank Wood). A New York Post columnist wrote that the producers conflicted on whether to put Wolf into the show before or after the June 6 Tony Awards. According to a Tony spokesperson, Tony voters have until June 4 to return their ballots, so conceivably some could see the new cast member before making their decision.
Side Man grossed only $73,490 for the week ending April 25, filling only 34.9 percent of its seats. Warren Leight's jazz-based drama celebrated its one year anniversary March 3, with all the original cast on board. The show tells of a man's love of jazz ruining his marriage -- and his wife's sanity.
Since its opening at Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company, the production has seen numerous changes including cast and venues. The drama began its New York life at CSC March 3, 1998, before its move to the Roundabout and eventual move to Broadway's John Golden Theater.
Robert Sella (The Water Children, Mourning Becomes Electra, My Fair Lady), who returned March 2, reunited with the other original cast members Edie Falco, Kevin Geer, Michael Mastro, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Angelica Torn, and Frank Wood. Falco left the show at the end of the CSC run for a role in the HBO series "The Sopranos" but rejoined it on Broadway Jan. 8.
For ticket information on Side Man at Broadway's John Golden Theater, call (212) 239-6200.