Dullea, Danner and Groff Set for Butterflies Are Free Reunion at Westport

News   Dullea, Danner and Groff Set for Butterflies Are Free Reunion at Westport
 
Original Butterflies Are Free cast members Blythe Danner and Keir Dullea will reunite for a reading of the Leonard Gershe play, joined by Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, at the Westport Country Playhouse June 7.

Dullea will host the 7 PM reading, which recasts Danner in the role of over-protective mother Mrs. Baker (originated by Eileen Heckart) and Groff ("Glee," Spring Awakening) as the sightless Don Baker. The reading will also feature Betty Gilpin (That Face) as Jill and Andrew Grusetskie (Around the World in 80 Days) as Ralph Austin.

Danner, who earned a Tony Award for her performance as free-spirit Jill Tanner in the 1969 production, originated the role alongside Dullea (as a young blind man making a go of it on his own) when the play premiered at the Westport Country Playhouse prior to its Broadway transfer.

"So much of the theatre is about connections," said Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe, in a statement. "When Mark Shanahan, one of our Playhouse regulars, mentioned that his friend Jonathan Groff would be in town in June, I thought it would be fun to do a reading of an important play in our history with such a hot young star. Given Blythe Danner's original connection to the piece, it was a short leap to thinking that she should be involved again. I've known Betty Gilpin, the daughter of playhouse alumni Jack Gilpin and Ann McDonough, since she was born. I've watched her career blossom and thought she'd be perfect as the young girl."

The acclaimed play, which ran for three years on Broadway, centers on a blind man who leaves the protection of his mother's home and decides to live on his own in a New York City apartment. There he meets a free-spirited neighbor girl, with whom he begins an affair.

For tickets to the "Script in Hand" reading, priced $15, WestportPlayhouse.

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