Off-Broadway's Primary Stages is beefing up its Boeuf.
George Wendt, of "Cheers" fame, was recently announced as the star of Michael Hollinger's comedy, An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf, set to start previews Feb. 23 and open March 8 for a run through March 25. New additions to the cast include Tony nominee Jonathan Freeman (She Loves Me) Annie Golden (Assassins, Saturn Returns), T.R. Knight (This Lime Tree Bower), Michael McCormick and Nance Williamson.
When it played at the Berkshire Festival in 1998, Grand Boeuf was billed as "a wacky tribute to the soul and spirit of the 1960s." John Rando, a veteran director at Primary Stages and the Pearl Theatre, will helm the show, about a cafe owner who goes on a hunger strike, only to be swayed from his convictions by staffers who serve him a gourmet meal -- of sorts. Rando's previous comedy credits include directing Mere Mortals, Fortune's Fools and Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight.
Hollinger's other works include Incorruptible and Red Herring, due to play at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre this month.
Designing Grand Boeuf are Rob Odorisio (set), Brian Nason (lighting), David C. Woolard (costumes) and Jim Van Bergen (sound). *
The company's most recent show, writer-actor Bob Kingdom's Elsa Edgar, ended Jan. 16, 2000.
After Grand Boeuf, May 3-June 4, Horton Foote will direct his daughter, Hallie Foote, in a new play by his other daughter, Daisy Foote, When They Speak of Rita, officially opening May 17, tells of domestic problems for a New Hampshire family.
Tickets are $30-$35; Subscriptions $130 and up. Primary Stages is located at 354 West 45th Street. For more information, call (212) 333 4052.
-- By David Lefkowitz