Peter Frechette and Tate Donovan, recently seen in New York in Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle and Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, respectively, have been added to the cast of the Williamstown Theatre Festival's revival of Kaufman and Hart's Once in a Lifetime, running July 3-14.
They join the previously-announced Lauren Graham, of "The Gilmore Girls" fame. Other names long rumored but now confirmed are Dylan Baker, Kristine Nielsen and. Lewis Black. Emily Bergl, Charlie Brown, Denny Dillon and Joel Rooks complete the cast.
Michael Greif directs the ensemble in this first-ever collaboration by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, about three vaudeville vets who make their way to Hollywood. The duo would go on to write You Can't Take It With You and The Man Who Came to Dinner.
In other recent news, Cicely Tyson and Charles Brown will star in a premiere workshop production of Birdie Blue, the latest by Cheryl West (Jar the Floor). The two-hander is described as a "poignant family portrait." Marion McClinton, who made a success out of the Off Broadway bow of Jar the Floor, will direct. Tyson began her theatre career in New York City more than four decades ago, starring in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and The Blacks, but made her lasting mark on television in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." She also starred in the films "Sounder" and "Fried Green Tomatoes." Brown was directed by McClinton on Broadway in King Hedley II, winning a Tony nomination for his work.
The production will play the Nikos Stage until July 21. The design will feature sets by David Gallo; costumes by Toni Leslie James; lights by Scott Zielinski; and sound by Kurt Kellenberger.
In 1986, Joe Orton's searing comedy Loot had its first Broadway revival. Directing was a then-relatively unknown John Tillinger and in the cast was Charles Keating. Both men would collect Tony nominations for their work, the first such honors for either artist (and so far, their only Tony nominations).
Tillinger and Keating will be reunited for the July 17-28 mounting of Loot at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The show will run on the Mainstage and also feature the talents of actors Jeffrey Jones, Austin Lysy, Kellie Overbey and Justin Theroux.
The ribald tale follows a few heated hours in the lives of two young bank robbers, Hal and Dennis, who stow their ill-gotten booty in the coffin of Hal's mother, and then struggle to conceal their secret from Hal's clueless father (Keating), the dangerous Nurse Fay (Overbey) and the bumbling Inspector Truscott of Scotland Yard (Jones).
Tillinger's Broadway production also starred Zoe Wanamaker, Joseph Maher, Alec Baldwin and Zeljko Ivanek.
The Festival just got underway with a new revival of the musical Where's Charley?
For ticket information, call (413) 597-3400.
—By Robert Simonson