September, 1996 SMART MOVE: One of TV's "Designing Women," Jean Smart, has designs on the new Nicky Silver antic, Fit To Be Tied, previewing Sept. 20 at Playwrights Horizons with Dick (Damn Yankees) Latessa and T. Scott (Pterodactyls) Cunningham. As always with Silver works, it will be directed by David Warrenbetween two key Broadway assignments: Summer and Smoke at the Roundabout and Misalliance at Circle In The Square. . . . John Savarese, Christine Long and Eric Meyersfield made some theatrical history recently by giving the 15,000th performance of The Fantasticks at the Sullivan Street Theatre. . . . Late Nite Catechism will be held, starting in October, in the annex of St. Luke's Church (308 West 46th) on Restaurant Row. This interactive comedy by Maripat Donovan and Vicki Quade is the first thing Joe Corcoran has produced since Tony n' Tina started down the aisle nine years ago. Lapsed Catholics are welcome. . . . Wouldn't ya know Gloria Muzio would wind up directing Grace & Glorie? The title players of this two-character crowd-pleaser at the Laura Pels, Estelle Parsons and Lucie Arnaz, are not being immodestjust truthfulin saying the standing ovations have been the rule rather than the exception.
MOVIN' ON: The American Jewish Theatre has transplanted The Cocoanuts in the American Place Theatre for an open-ended engagement. Making their marks as latter-day Marxes are Michael McGrath (Groucho), Peter Slutsker (Chico) and Robert Sapoff (Harpo). . . . The Boys in the Band, successfully revived at the WPA, got sent trundling off to an extended gig at the Lucille Lortel where all its spill-over hits splash (Steel Magnolias, Red Scare on Sunset). . . . Off-Broadway's Variety Arts must be looking a lot like home to Linda Lavin these days. Last year she was ensconced there in Death Defying Acts; this year, beginning in October, she'll move in with Michael Knight to do Cakewalk, playing Lillian Hellman over a 40-year haul. . . . Bob Merrill is sending out with the Debbie Gibson road tour of Funny Girl three songs he and the late Jule Styne reworked from their original score.
-- By Harry Haun