News of casting and creative personnel for the MTC season continues to trickle out in anticipation of the Oct. 5 first preview of the first of seven productions, An Experiment With an Air Pump.
Clea Lewis, of Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight and TV's "Ellen," will be part of the cast of Shelagh Stephenson's An Experiment With an Air Pump, replacing the previously announced Heather Goldenhersh.
MTC, operating in two spaces in City Center in Manhattan, is the resident company that introduced New York audiences to Love! Valour! Compassion!, Sight Unseen, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and more. The current season will feature such acting notables as J. Smith-Cameron, Mary Louise Parker and Linda Lavin.
Closing dates for the 1999-2000 shows were announced, but, in the past, productions that were hits with audiences were extended by several weeks -- to say nothing of those that transferred to longer commercial runs. Here's the updated slate:
• The American premiere of Shelagh Stephenson's London hit, An Experiment With an Air Pump, described as a "witty social satire" and a "romantic tragedy" about two families and the collision of science and morality over centuries, will feature Seana Kofoed, Christopher Duva, Jason Butler Harner, Daniel Gerroll (High Society, Scotland Road, A Madhouse in Goa), Ana Reeder and Linda Edmond (The Dying Gaul). Stephenson's The Memory of Water was staged at MTC in 1998-99. Douglas Hughes will direct. Previews on Stage I begin Oct. 5, opening is Oct. 26, making it the first show of the MTC season. The play continues to Dec. 12.
• James Naughton and Patricia Kalember will be a successful modern couple at risk, hounded by a computer hacker in the New York premiere of Arthur Kopit's thriller Y2K, beginning previews Nov. 9 at Off Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre. It opens Dec. 7. The run is open-ended. Bob Balaban directs the 75-minute Y2K by Tony Award-winner Kopit (Nine, Wings). It is technically part of the Stage I Season. Naughton is the Tony Award winner who starred in City of Angels and Chicago, and Kalember starred in TV's "Sisters" and "thirtysomething." Other Y2K casting -- including the angry young hacker -- has not been announced. The play had its world premiere in February 1999 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY. Putting Y2K into a separate Off-Broadway venue allows four shows to be offered on the Stage I schedule within the time frame of the season. Critics from around the country embraced the play in its premiere in February in Kentucky.
• The world premiere of composer-lyricist-librettist Andrew Lippa's musical, The Wild Party, based on the 1928 Jazz Age narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, about an out of control party filled with seedy showfolk, gangsters and playboys. Gabriel Barre will direct, Mark Dendy will choreograph. Casting has not been announced. Previews on Stage I begin Jan. 25, 2000 and opening is Feb. 22, 2000. Closing is April 2.
• Proof, by American writer David Auburn, about a mysterious young woman who faces the death of a genius father, an unexpected suitor and a mysterious mathematical proof. Mary Louise Parker (How I Learned To Drive, Communicating Doors) stars. Auburn's play, Skyscraper, ran at the Greenwich House theatre in fall 1997. Previews on Stage I begin May 2, 2000, opening is May 23, 2000. Closing is July 9.
• The world premiere of Fuddy Meers, by David Lindsay-Abaire, which had a reading in spring 1998 at MTC's "Writers in Performance/Discovering the Next Generation" series. The comedy traces one woman's attempts to regain her memory while surrounded by and "alarmingly bizarre" cast of friends and family. David Petrarca will direct a cast that includes Mary Louise Burke, Robert Stanton, Lisa Gorlitzsky, Mark McKinney (TV's "The Kids in the Hall" and "Saturday Night Live") and J. Smith Cameron (Night Must Fall, As Bees In Honey Drown). Previews on Stage II begin Oct. 12, opening is Nov. 2. Closing is Dec. 12.
* Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, about a wealthy Upper West Sider and a distracted husband, a cranky old mother and the arrival of a familiar face. Linda Lavin (Broadway Bound) and Tony Roberts (Victor/Victoria) will star. Busch is the popular drag performer and playwright whose work includes Psycho Beach Party, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and The Green Heart. MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow directs. Previews on Stage II begin Feb. 8, 2000, with a Feb. 29 opening.
* Production to be announced, for Stage II.
New to the subscription options in 1999-2000 are a student series and a "Carnegie Bar and Books Sunday Nightcap Series," which offers post-show discussions on selected Sunday evenings at the eatery next door to MTC's digs at City Center on 55th Street.
For information, call (212) 399-3030.