The luck of Warren Leight has struck again. A couple seasons ago, the playwright's Side Man, praised but temporarily without a home, was given a slot at the Roundabout Theatre Company when the nonprofit's planned production, a Burt Bacharach-Hal David revue called What the World Needs Now, fell through.
Now, Leight's latest, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine, has snuck into New York City's spring season, taking the Manhattan Theatre Club slot recently held by David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World. The latter comedy has been pushed back in the MTC roster to fit the television schedule of "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, who will appear in the production. To accommodate Parker, MTC moved the play to a starting date of Oct. 1 on Stage I. Christopher Ashley will direct the Abaire play. No other cast members have been named.
Glimmer will play MTC's Stage I beginning May 1 and officially open May 22. John Spencer will star. Evan Yionoulis directs.
Filmdom's Jonathan Silverman was Jordan Shine and "The West Wing"'s John Spencer was Martin Glimmer in the Mark Taper Forum production of Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine, which opened Jan. 25. (The Taper is co-producer of Glimmer at MTC.) The rest of the cast for the Off-Broadway mounting has not been announced.
Spencer is perhaps at the peak of his career as one of the stars of the popular series, "The West Wing." Prior to that show, he was featured on "L.A. Law." On the stage, he has been seen in Good as New at MCC Theatre and Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
David Schwimmer, who created the role of Jordan Shine in Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, was once rumored to be returning to the Silverman role for the play's West Coast debut at the Mark Taper Forum. Schwimmer is best known for playing Ross Geller on "Friends." His recent foray into movies has included "Six Days Seven Nights" and "The Pallbearer." Schwimmer could conceivably appear in the MTC production, as his "Friends" shooting schedule will be over.
Returning to the world of jazz after his 1999 Tony Award-winning play Side Man, Leight's Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine is the story of Martin and Danny Glimmer, twin brothers torn apart by the music and hard-living lifestyles that once made them close. The brothers Glimmer formed Eddie Shine's trumpet section in the big band jazz days of the '50s but, at Danny's wife's insistence, he turned his back on music and thus initiates a 40-year estrangement with his brother. Things finally lighten up, a generation later, with a romance between Shine's son and Danny's daughter.
—By Robert Simonson