Cast Complete for New York Premiere of Gurney's Big Bill

News   Cast Complete for New York Premiere of Gurney's Big Bill A.R. Gurney's new drama, Big Bill, which played the Williamstown Theatre Festival in summer 2003, has its full cast for its New York bow.

The work will play Lincoln Center Theater's smaller house, the Mitzi E. Newhouse, on Feb. 22, after previews from Feb. 6.

As reported earlier, John Michael Higgins will repeat his Williamstown work as the one-time tennis titan "Big Bill" Tilden. Joining him will be Williamstown co-stars David Cromwell, Stephen Rowe and Margaret Welsh, as well as Michael Esper, Alex Knold, Jeremiah Miller and Donal Thoms-Cappello. Mark Lamos directs, as he did in Massachusetts.

The play is a rare venture into historical drama for Gurney, who is known for his WASP-populated comedies like Later Life, Labor Day and The Fourth Wall. Tilden dominated courts during the 1920s and was also a successful journalist, writing about the sport. His life was triumphant until he was arrested for homosexuality and henceforth shunned by the public and the sport he loved. He died broke and alone in 1953.

Higgins is known for wry performances in such films as "Best in Show" and Off-Broadway in Tiny Alice.

Big Bill's design includes sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jess Goldstein and lights by Rui Rita.