Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons will finish its 1996-97 season with anger -- Peter Hedges' Baby Anger to be exact. The show runs May 16 to June 22, with an opening set for June 8.
This new work by the writer of Good As New, Imagining Brad and What's Eating Gilbert Grape (the novel and screenplay) is described as a "funny roller coaster ride about the pressures of being parents. It takes a whole lot more than a village to raise a child" -- especially when the child is a little boy cast in an award-winning commercial as a girl. Anger initially was to be directed by Scott Elliott (The Monogamist) but is now in the hands of Michae Mayer (NYTW's A View Of The Dome; the Broadway-bound The Triumph Of Love).
Starring in Baby Anger will be two John me TV vets: Kristen Johnston, of "3rd Rock From The Sun," and John Pankow, of "Mad About You." Johnston's legit credits include a series of plays at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre Company, including the evening of one-acts, Five Very Live, which featured the Hedges play, "Living In The Age Of Pie." Pankow also appeared on Broadway in Serious Money, Amadeus and New York Shakespeare Festival's The Tempest.
Also in the cast are Robert Ari, Carl J. Matusovich, Adam Rose, Ben Shenkman and Linda Emond.
Designing Baby Anger are Mark Wendland (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Frances Aronson (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound). Playwrights Horizons'1996-1997 season is the first programmed by Artistic Director Tim Sanford, who took over from Don Scardino in the autumn of 1995. The company is dedicated to shepherding new works to the stage and counts among its past successes Marvin's Room, Once On This Island, and Pulitzer Prizewinners Driving Miss Daisy, The Heidi Chronicles, and Sunday in the Park with George.
For tickets ($35) and information on Baby Anger at Playwrights Horizons on West 42nd St., through June 22, call (212) 279-4200. The show is unlikely to extend, since Johnston and Pankow are only on brief hiatus from their respective sitcoms in Hollywood.