A few more roles are yet to be cast. The play will begin performances on April 1 and open April 21. The producers say they will inhabit a Shubert theatre, but haven't said which. Shubert houses currently available include the Plymouth, Cort and Ethel Barrymore. Fallen Angels has been mentioned as a candidate for the latter.
According to a recent casting notice, Atkinson will play Lotty, the mousy, cloistered English housewife who, with Ringwald's quirky Rose, another bored wife, embarks on a bold excursion to Tuscany which transforms their dreary existences. Ashley is Mrs. Graves, the prideful matron who joins them. As yet uncast is the fourth of the traveling women, the beautiful and sophisticated Lady Caroline Bramble.
Jeffrey Richards, Richard Gross, Ellen Berman, Irv Welzer and Fred Vogel produce.
Ringwald is a busy stage performer lately. She has lately played two praised engagements in Broadway's Cabaret. Before that, she did a stint in Off-Broadway's tick, tick...BOOM! Ashley is known for her lauded turns in Tennessee Williams (she was Tony-nominated for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof). Recently, she was on Broadway in The Best Man.
The adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1921 novel began previews at Hartford Stage way back on Feb. 24, 2000. The book was made into a popular 1991 film starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Josie Lawrence and Polly Walker. The novel had been previously filmed in 1935.
Starring in the Hartford show were Enid Graham, a Tony nominee for Honour, Christopher Duva (MTC's An Experiment with an Air Pump), Christopher Donahue, John Hines, Isabel Keating, Stephanie March, Irma St. Paule and Jill Tanner.
At one point, the romantic comedy hoped to transfer to a Broadway house as early as April 2000. Michael Wilson, Hartford artistic director, is still set to helm the production.