Enchanted April Showers Broadway. April 8

News   Enchanted April Showers Broadway. April 8 Enchanted April, the Matthew Barber play, will start its run at the Belasco Theatre April 8. Official opening is April 29.
Matthew Barber, playwright (L) and Michael Wilson, director, at a party for Enchanted April at Lamu restaurant 39 East 19th St.
Matthew Barber, playwright (L) and Michael Wilson, director, at a party for Enchanted April at Lamu restaurant 39 East 19th St. (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

The cast includes Jayne Atkinson, Molly Ringwald, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Cumpsty, Patricia Connoly, Dagmara Dominczyk, Daniel Gerroll and Michael Hayden. Michael Wilson, Hartford Stage artistic director, stages the work.

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.

Atkinson was recently seen in Our Town, which closed on Broadway on Jan. 26.

Ringwald recently 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 has seen Broadway before, playing the Morosco Theatre in 1925. Kane Campbell wrote that adaptation (the author's sole Broadway credit). It which played a mere 32 performances. Among the stars were Helen Gahagan, the actress turned politician who married Melvyn Douglas and lost the 1960 California Senate race to Richard Nixon.

The novel was made into a 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.

The designers conjuring Enchanted April are Tony Straiges (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Rui Rita (lighting) and John Gromada (composer and sound designer).

Jeffrey Richards (A Thousand Clowns, Taller Than a Dwarf), Richard Gross, Ellen Berman, Irv Welzer and Fred Vogel produce.

For tickets, call (212) 239- 6200.

(L-R) Dagmara Dominiczyk, Molly Ringwald, Jayne Atkinson, Elizabeth Ashley at a press conference for <i>Enchanted April</i>.
(L-R) Dagmara Dominiczyk, Molly Ringwald, Jayne Atkinson, Elizabeth Ashley at a press conference for Enchanted April. (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)