FRANK OF ALL FACES
Quick, name the actor who has reprised roles originated on Broadway by the disparate likes of Clifton Webb, Bela Lugosi, Ian McKellan, Raymond Massey and Alan Rickman. Why, Frank Langella, of course. Slighted by Tony nominators two years running (for brilliant performances in The Father and Present Laughter), Fearless Frank is charging forth again this fallin the role that won Jose Ferrer the Tony and the Oscar: Cyrano de Bergerac. He'll direct Edmond Rostand's play as well, rethinking it "as an intimate chamber piece for ten actors," come November at the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre. . . . Reid Mihalko is Tristan and Claire Winters is Isolde in a retelling of the fourth-century Irish legend by Christopher Jones. Titled The Potion, the piece is playing this month at The Producers Club, and plans are afoot to put it into an open-ended run. Jeanne Heaton directed the drama, whichco-stars
Trish Doherty and Bruno Gioiello. . . . How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel's prize-winning drama, continues to putter along nicely at the new Century Theatre with new stars in the driver's seats: Jayne Atkinson (fresh from her triumph as Henry VIII's first wife) and Bruce Davison (an Oscar contender for Longtime Companion). . . . Country-music queens Barbara and Louise Mandrell checked out the Off-Broadway musical biography of one of their number, Always . . . Patsy Cline. MANDY TO DO MANUEL?
Come May, don't be surprised if Mandy Patinkin makes good on his Tony-night promise to play Manuel, the Portuguese fisherman immortalized on film by an Oscar-winning Spencer Tracy, in the musical version of Rudyard Kipling's classic Captains Courageous. But, for now, Manhattan Theatre Club prefers to play it close to the vest and say a deal hasn't been struck. All that's really known about this potential blockbuster is that MTC's artistic head, Lynne Meadow, will helm the saga, which boasts book and lyrics by Patrick Cook and music by Frederick Freyer. . . . MTC's new season commences with Three Days of Rain in November. This romantic comedy by Richard (Eastern Standard) Greenberg will star Dylan Baker, Patricia Clarkson and John Slattery, under the direction of Evan Yionoulis. Other feathers in MTC's cap: the latest from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard, Eyes for Consuela, and the world premiere of Corpus Christi; author Terrence McNally and director Joe Mantello, who brought an all-male cast of eight to MTC's stage with Love! Valour! Compassion!, will up the ante to 13 for this new opus.
-- By Harry Haun