Actor Dylan Baker, currently playing the title role in Moliere's Tartuffe in Central Park, told Playbill On-Line that he will direct a new Drama Dept. production of George Kelly's The Torchbearers. The production will go up in March-April 2000, confirmed a press spokesman.
"I hope that Marian Seldes will be a part of it and a whole lot of the Drama Dept. regulars," Baker told Playbill On-Line. Seldes, featured in Irish Rep's Dear Liar, has participated in readings of the play.
George Kelly, born in 1887, flourished in the 1920's and is best known for the oft-revived The Show-Off. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his next play, Craig's Wife, about a fetishistically possessive woman. Kelly began his theatre career as a vaudeville actor and some of his experiences are no doubt reflected in his first play, The Torchbearers, a satire on amateur theatricals.
Baker's many acting credits include The Common Pursuit, Eastern Standard, La Bete, Pride's Crossing and That Championship Season. He is an original member of the Drama Dept., as is his wife Becky Ann Baker (June Moon).
* In other Drama Dept. news:
Playwright Douglas Carter Beane had his first critical and commercial success when the Drama Dept. -- the theatre troupe he helped found and oversees as artistic director -- staged his Manhattan comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown. Now, company and dramatist are hoping lightning will strike twice, as the troupe prepares to mount Beane's latest, The Country Club.
The new comedy will begin previews on Sept. 14 for a Sept. 29 opening and a run through Oct. 9. The show will be seen at the Greenwich House Theatre, home of the Drama Dept.'s last five ventures. Christopher Ashley, a company member since piloting As Thousands Cheer, will direct. Cynthia Nixon, Amy Sedaris, Amy Hohn and Peter Benson are among the cast.
The Country Club tells of a woman who returns to her hometown after her marriage goes bad. She then becomes reacquainted with her old high school friends through a series of parties at her family's country club, stretching from New Year's to Christmas.
Nixon, of cable TV's "Sex and the City," has appeared in fully four Drama Dept. productions, including June Moon and Hope Is the Thing with Feathers. Comic actress Sedaris is half of the Talent Family, a company made up of she and her brother, humorist David Sedaris. Together, the have produced a string of hilarious, irreverent plays, including One Woman Shoe and The Little Freida Mysteries. She rarely accepts gigs in non-Talent Family productions, though she was seen as the stage manager in Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.
The Drama Dept. most recently presented a double bill of Richard Greenberg's The Author's Voice and Peter Hedges' Imagining Brad, which ran this past May and June. -- By Robert Simonson