Casting has been announced for the one-night-only reading of Arthur Laurents' The Time of the Cuckoo, sponsored by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in honor of the play's 50th anniversary.
Penny Fuller (as Leona Samish) heads the cast of the Laurents play at the Oct. 21 (6 PM) reading at the Bruno Walter Auditorium. The remainder of the company comprises George DiCenzo (as Renato Di Rossi), Nicholas Cutro (as Mauro), Jack Davidson (as Mr. Lloyd McIlhenny), Todd Gearhart (as Eddie Yaeger), Antoinette LaVecchia (as Giovanna), Patricia O'Connell (as Mrs. Edith McIlhenny), Nick Potenzieri (as Vito), Jennifer Carpenter (as June Yaeger) and Maria Tucci as Signora Floria. Marcia Jean Kurtz directs.
Cuckoo marked a big hit for playwright Laurents, who would later write the books for such landmark musicals as Gypsy and West Side Story. The original Broadway cast of Cuckoo featured Shirley Booth, Geraldine Brooks, Dino DiLuca, Silva Gaselli, Donald Murphy, Jose Perez, Daniel Reed, Ruggero Romor, Jane Rose and Lydia St. Clair. Directed by Harold Clurman, the play opened at the Empire Theatre on Oct. 15, 1952, and ran 263 performances, closing May 30, 1953. Debra Monk starred in a production of Cuckoo in February 2000 at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater.
In addition to his book-writing credits, Laurents has directed such musicals as Nick & Nora, I Can Get It for You Wholesale and La Cage aux Folles, earning a Tony Award for his direction of the latter. His screenwriting credits boast "The Turning Point," "Rope" and "The Way We Were," and his most recent plays include Jolson Sings Again, Venecia and Claudio Lazlo.
Penny Fuller was last on Broadway in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. Her other Broadway credits include roles in The Moon Beseiged, Barefoot in the Park, Cabaret, Applause, Rex and An American Daughter. Fuller received Tony Award nominations for her work in both The Dinner Party and Applause. In related news: The Library will also offer screenings of "Summertime," the 1955 film version of The Time of the Cuckoo, on Oct. 24 at 3 and 6 PM. Directed by David Lean, the film cast Katharine Hepburn in the lead role.
The Bruno Walter Auditorium is located in New York City at 111 Amsterdam Avenue (south of 65th Street). Admission is free, although tickets are required. For more information, call (212) 642-0142.