Romantic Poetry, which will begin performances at New York City Center – Stage I Sept. 30, will feature Ivan Hernandez (Zhivago, The Fantasticks), Mark Linn-Baker (Almost An Evening, "Perfect Strangers") and Patina Renea Miller (Hair, "All My Children"). Additional casting for the musical, which will officially open Oct. 28, will be announced shortly.
Directed by Shanley, Romantic Poetry is the story of "Connie of Woodmere, [who] has just married Fred of Newark, but her exes are back in the picture and not sure they approve of the union. Mary of Greenpoint climbs Frankie of Little Italy's fire escape with amorous erotic intent — but things go awry as she reaches for her dream. They are all mad and they are all sane and they are all creating Romantic Poetry."
The creative team also includes David Korins (scenic design), Laura Bauer (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Brian Ronan (sound design), Devanand Janki (musical staging), August Eriksmoen (orchestrations) and Howard Joines (music coordinator).
Nottage's Ruined, which will play Chicago's Goodman Theatre before arriving in New York, will begin previews at City Center — Stage I Jan. 21, 2009, and officially open Feb. 10, 2009.
In addition to the previously announced Adriane Lenox (Tony winner for Doubt), the cast will feature Quincy Tyler Bernstine (The Misanthrope at NYTW), Chris Chalk (MTC's Defiance), William Jackson Harper (Queens Boulevard), Chiké Johnson (The Crucible at Steppenwolf), Russell Gebert Jones (Our Lady of 121st Street), two-time Emmy winner Kevin Mambo ("The Guiding Light"), Tom Mardirosian (Wonderful Town, HBO's "Oz") and Condola Rashad (Pearl at The Kennedy Center). Ruined is described as a "haunting, probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi (Lenox), a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?"
The creative team for Ruined, a co-production with the Goodman Theatre, also includes Derek McLane (scenic design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design) and Dominic Kanza (original music).
MTC's Off-Broadway presence at New York City Center is located in Manhattan at 131 West 55th Street. For ticket information visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.