Hall, Wopat, Testa, Monk, Gaines, Seldes People Williamstown Season

News   Hall, Wopat, Testa, Monk, Gaines, Seldes People Williamstown Season
 
Michael C. Hall, Tom Wopat, Mary Testa, Bobby Cannavale, Debra Monk, Boyd Gaines, Henry Stram and Marian Seldes will be part of the 2004 Williamstown Theatre Festival season, acting in works by Terrence McNally, Michael John LaChiusa and others.
From Top: Michael C. Hall, Tom Wopat, and Mary Testa
From Top: Michael C. Hall, Tom Wopat, and Mary Testa

Hall, Wopat, Testa and Stram will appear with the previously announced Audra McDonald (A Raisin in the Sun) in the LaChiusa musical, R Shomon—which is drawn from the short stories of Ryonosuke Akutagawa (also the inspiration the classic Kurosawa film "Rashomon"). McDonald and LaChiusa collaborated on Marie Christine at Lincoln Center Theatre, and McDonald has recorded several of LaChiusa's songs.

The piece is described as concerning "A park. A thief. A priest. A psychic. A murder. A miracle." WTF producer Michael Ritchie, whose last season is this summer, told Playbill On-Line the show is composed of two one-act musicals. "The first act is about perspective. The second is about faith," said Ritchie. "It's quite ambitious in its intellectual aspirations." The cast numbers five, with a five-piece orchestra on stage. Ted Sperling directs.

Bobby Cannavale, Debra Monk, Boyd Gaines and Marian Seldes will act in Terrence McNally's new play Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams. "It's a play about a couple who live in upstate New York. On the weekends, they run, manage and produce a small children's theatre which does things like Puss in Boots and Alice and Wonderland," the scribe previously told Playbill On-Line.

"They are given an opportunity to take over an old abandoned, decaying theatre which was once on the vaudeville circuit," continued McNally. "It was a theatre that Sarah Bernhardt played in and Oscar Wilde gave a lecture in. It has an illustrious past and the old lady who owns it is looking for a person to pass it on to and she's willing to pay for the renovation. And these people become candidates." He added that the play is about "what price they're willing to pay to have their own theatre." Scott Ellis directs.

Dedication was once considered by Manhattan Theatre Club to open up the 2003-04 season at Broadway's Biltmore Theatre. As previously reported, Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei will join actors Campbell Scott and Steven Weber in the upcoming staging of Noel Coward's Design for Living. The work will run July 28-August 8 as the third presentation on the Main Stage at the Massachusetts venue.

Tomei, known for her Oscar-winning turn in "My Cousin Vinny," appeared most recently on Broadway in Salome: The Reading. Her WTF credits include Rocket to the Moon and The Rose Tattoo. The Naked Angels Theater Company member has also frequented the stage in Tony Kushner's Slavs!, Waiting For Lefty, What the Butler Saw , Demonology and Broadway's Wait Until Dark. Her film work includes "In the Bedroom," "Chaplin," "Slums of Beverly Hills," "Unhook the Stars," "Only You," "Anger Management" and "The Perez Family."

The Main Stage season will open with Cabaret & Main, an extended run version of WTF's famous late-night cabarets, in which company members show off their otherwise-underused singing and comedic talents. Lewis Black, Betty Buckley, Christopher Fitzgerald, Bill Irwin, James Naughton, Charlotte d'Amboise, Kate Burton, Tim Daly, Terrence Mann, Andrea Martin, Joe Morton, Debra Monk, Martha Plimpton, Billy Porter, Roger Rees, Dana Reeve, Marisa Tomei, Scott Wolf and Carol Woods are confirmed for the show. Black has typically hosted the cabarets.

Also on the Main Stage, Nicholas Martin will direct a new production of Shakespeare's fantastical comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Martin, artistic director of Boston's Huntington Theatre Company.

A season-concluding production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard will continue WTF's time-honored devotion to the Russian master. Chekhov was a favorite of festival founder Nikos Psacharopoulos, though Ritchie noted that he had never produced Chekhov on the Main Stage during his tenure. Michael Greif directs.

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The 2004 festival schedule runs as follows:

Main Stage:
Cabaret & Main, June 24-July 10
A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 14-25
Design for Living, July 28-August 8
The Cherry Orchard, Aug. 11-22

Nikos Stage:
The Water's Edge, June 23-July 4
Rodney's Wife, July 7-18
R Shomon, July 21-Aug. 1
Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams , Aug. 11-22

The Festival Box Office at the Adams Memorial Theatre will open on June 15 at 11 AM. Tickets may be purchased beginning June 15 by calling (413) 597-3400, or by visiting the box office in person. Mail orders received prior to June 15 will be processed before the Box Office officially opens to the public.

For the latest updates on casting and events, or to receive a season brochure by mail, patrons are encouraged to visit WTF's official website at www.WTFestival.org.

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