Actress Dana Delany will join the cast of Dinner With Friends on June 13, marking the first time the Pulitzer Prize-winning Off-Broadway hit has included a star name among its cast. Delaney will replace Lisa Emery, who has been with the Donald Margulies play from the start.
Delany came to fame in the 1980's as the star of the television drama "China Beach."
[Note: Delany fans will want to read Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter interview with her, running June 13-19 in the Features section of our front page.]
Kevin Kilner left the original cast of Margulies' marital themed Dinner With Friends, at the Variety Arts, on March 19, further breaking up the old gang that helped make the show an Off-Broadway smash. Jonathan Walker stepped into Kilner's role March 21. Dinner With Friends, opened Off-Broadway Nov. 4, 1999, with Matthew Arkin, Emery, Kilner and Julie White. White left the show after a few months and was replaced by Carolyn McCormick.
Margulies, the author of Collected Stories, cooked up a serious comedy drama about a dissolving marriage and the disillusioned friends left behind. Daniel Sullivan (The Heidi Chronicles, I'm Not Rappaport) directs.
The rueful comedy about divorce and unsure friendships, was previously seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville and (in a revised form) South Coast Repertory Theatre. In New York, the play has been embraced as intelligent, dry and grown-up.
The world premiere of the four-character, two-couple Dinner With Friends (about a pair of successful food writers, and an artist and a lawyer) was part of the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre in Kentucky. The revised version was staged by Sullivan at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA, in October 1998.
Dinner With Friends is produced by Mitchell Maxwell, Mark Balsam, Ted Tulchin, Victoria Maxwell, Mari Nakachi and Steven Tulchin.
The Variety Arts Theatre is at 110 Third Ave. at 13th Street. Call (212) 239-6200 for ticket information.
-- Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones