Casting has been announced for the James M. Nederlander/Stellar Productions Off-Broadway New York premiere of Stewart F. Lane and Ward Morehouse III's If It Was Easy. The backstage comedy starts previews Feb. 15 and opens March 7. Lane directs his show at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre.
The two-time Tony Award®-winning producer Lane and former New York Post theatre columnist Morehouse saw the play staged at Atlanta's 7 Stages Theatre last July. Staged readings of the play have taken place at the Berkshire Theatre Festival (directed by Lane) and the Actors Theatre of Nantucket in the summer of 1999.
If It Was Easy stars John Jellison (On the Town, Titanic, Crazy for You, Sunday in the Park with George), Bonnie Comley (Fortune's Fools) with Brad Bellamy, Gustave Johnson, Christian Kauffmann, Martin LaPlatney, William Marshall Miller and Vicki Van Tassel.
The creative team comprises set designer Michael Anania, costume designer Steven Epstein and lighting designer Phil Monat.
Originally slated to run at Upper East Side's Playhouse 91, that theatre will remain the home of The Syringa Tree, the Pamela Gien one person show. Syringa started slowly last fall and seemed headed for a quick end, but has recently picked up steam, often selling out. Lane moved If It Was Easy to the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre (even though he had a valid contract for Playhouse 91) in the interest of "harmony," according to The New York Times. Lane has told Playbill On-Line that If It Were Easy... features contemporary themes and was written in the collaborative style of the past when producers were often expected to be more closely associated with creative development than they are today. Despite nine revisions, Lane said, the play is still about a Sinatra musical which "becomes a runaway hit when the mob gets involved."
Tickets range from $55-$60. The Douglas Fairbanks Theatre is located at 432 W. 42 St. For tickets call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or visit www.IfItWasEasy.com.
—By Murdoch McBride