Peters and Dossett played, respectively, Rose and Herbie in the 2003 revival of Gypsy, which was directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes. The duo will now play Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III in a reading of A. R. Gurney's much-performed work Sept. 24.
The evening at New World Stages will benefit Opening Act, the non-profit organization that "provides free after-school theatre programming to New York City's most under-served public high schools." Michael Mastro will direct the 8 PM performance.
Love Letters is the third annual benefit reading for Opening Act. Previous benefits have boasted the talents of Laura Benanti, Michael Badalucco, Michael Berresse, Andrew McCarthy, Alicia Minshew and Frank Wood.
Love Letters, according to production notes, "chronicles a relationship solely through written correspondence. The story is about Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner (Peters) whose poignantly funny friendship and ill-fated romance takes them from second grade through adolescence and then into maturity and middle age." The work premiered at Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre in 1989 with Joanna Gleason and John Rubenstein and has been performed all around the world. Laura Linney and Steven Weber starred in a television version of the play.
John Dossett starred as Dr. J. W. Talbot in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Dinner at Eight and opposite Bernadette Peters in the Sam Mendes-directed revival of Gypsy, earning a Tony nomination for his work as Herbie. He also starred in the Kennedy Center mounting of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, and his other theatrical credits include roles in Hello Again, An Almost Holy Picture, Tom Sawyer, Ragtime, Prelude to a Kiss, Mastergate, Fifth of July and King of Schnorrers. On screen Dossett has been seen in "Nick and Jane," "That Night," "Longtime Companion," "Law & Order," "Hack," "Sex & the City," "Homicide," "Blue Moon," "Cracker Man," "JAG" and "Clover." Bernadette Peters was last on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Gypsy, for which she received a 2003 Tony Award nomination for her performance as Rose in the Sam Mendes-directed production. She won her two Tonys for her performances in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance and Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, and she has also starred on Broadway in Mack & Mabel, On the Town, Sunday in the Park with George, The Goodbye Girl and the original production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. Peters' newest live recording, "Sondheim, Etc., Etc.—Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall (The Rest of It)," is available on the Angel Records label. Masterworks Broadway has also released a "Legends of Broadway" CD celebrating her theatrical career. Peters' screen credits are numerous.
A.R. Gurney's plays include The Dining Room, The Cocktail Party, The Perfect Party, Another Antigone, A Cheever Evening, Sylvia, Ancestral Voices and Buffalo Gal. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award, a Rockefeller Award and two Lucille Lortel Awards.
New World Stages is located in Manhattan at 340 West 50th Street. Tickets, priced $40-$100, are available by visiting www.openingactnewyork.org. A 7 PM reception will precede the performance.