Fuddy Meers, David Lindsay-Abaire's seriocomic portrait of an amnesiac wife and her crazy extended family, a critical and audience hit at Manhattan Theatre Club in fall 1999, officially opens its commercial Off-Broadway run Feb. 10, at the Minetta Lane Theatre.
Previews there began Jan. 27.
Clea Lewis and John Christopher Jones have joined the company for the new run, replacing originals Lisa Gorlitzy as a wild-eyed cop on the run, and Mark McKinney, as a stranger with a malevolent hand puppet, respectively.
The darkly comic caper involves a woman's struggle to gain back her memory while surrounded by misfits who may or may not be friendly and/or family.
* Fuddy Meers, the world premiere of which officially opened Nov. 2, 1999, at MTC's Stage II (following previews that began Oct. 12, 1999), stars J. Smith-Cameron (Night Must Fall, As Bees in Honey Drown) as Claire, the amnesiac wife and mom in the comedy, directed by David Petrarca (Marvin's Room).
The company she keeps includes holdovers Patrick Breen (Big River), Marylouise Burke (Lettice and Lovage on tour), Keith Nobbs (Stupid Kids, The Lion in Winter) and Robert Stanton (All in the Timing), with newcomers Jones (Beauty and the Beast) and Lewis (of TV's "Ellen").
Producing partner for the Minetta Lane run is Jean Doumanian. Designers are Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Bruce Ellman (sound).
The MTC run ended Jan. 2. MTC's Stage II began hosting previews of Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife Feb. 8.
Fuddy Meers had a reading in spring 1998 at MTC's "Writers in Performance/Discovering the Next Generation" series. The title refers to a line spoken by a character with a speech impediment; "funny mirrors" is the attempted line.
Playwright Lindsay-Abaire recently completed Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. He wrote Wonder of the World, which will have its debut in spring 2000 at Washington DC's Woolly Mammoth Theater, and A Devil Inside, Dotting & Dashing and A Show of Hands, among others. His next project is a play written with actress Janeane Garofalo in mind. The new, untitled comedy is being produced by Jon Steingart and Jenny Wiener of Mosaic Entertainment in spring 2000.
Tickets for the Minetta run of Fuddy Meers are $19.50-$50. Minetta Lane Theatre is at 18 Minetta Lane, New York City. For information, call (212) 307-4100.
-- By Kenneth Jones