Her Name Was Lola: Come Back, Little Sheba Returns to Broadway

News   Her Name Was Lola: Come Back, Little Sheba Returns to Broadway The new Broadway production of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba, the 1950 tale of a marriage tainted by booze and threatened by an outsider, begins Jan. 3 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre toward a Jan. 24 opening.

Come Back, Little Sheba co-stars Kevin Anderson and S. Epatha Merkerson.
Come Back, Little Sheba co-stars Kevin Anderson and S. Epatha Merkerson. Photo by Joan Marcus

S. Epatha Merkerson ("Law & Order") stars as wife Lola opposite Kevin Anderson (Broadway's Death of a Salesman, Orpheus Descending, Brooklyn) as husband Doc. Zoe Kazan (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) plays the woman who disrupts their uneasy life together.

The domestic drama is set in the living room and kitchen of a house in a Midwestern city — familiar territory for Kansas native Inge, whose Picnic won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Michael Pressman directs the production, as he did an earlier spring 2007 incarnation in Los Angeles. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Merkerson also starred in that previous run at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre.

In the classic by Midwest writer Inge (1913-1973), "Lola (Merkerson) is a faded beauty queen trapped in a lonely marriage to Doc (Anderson), a recovering alcoholic on the brink of relapse. When a pretty young woman (Kazan) becomes a boarder in their cluttered Midwest home, their lives are unsettled as unspoken passions rise to the surface. As the emptiness of their marriage is laid bare, can they find their way back to each other or will they be undone? This new look at William Inge's great American story is an absorbing tale of lost hopes and unfulfilled promise, told with unflinching honesty and heartbreaking power."

The cast also includes Lyle Kanouse (Big River), Brian Smith (Fabulous Life of Size Zero), Brenda Wehle (Pygmalion), Matthew J. Williamson ("Boston Legal"), Joseph Adams (A View From The Bridge), Chad Hoeppner (Butley), Daniel Damon Joyce (Urban Cowboy) and Keith Randolph Smith (A Midsummer Night's Dream). The creative team includes James Noone (scenic design), Jennifer von Mayrhauser (costume design), Jane Cox (lighting design), Obadiah Eaves (sound design), Peter Golub (original music) and J. David Brimmer (fight director). Casting is by Daniel Caparelliotis.

Tickets for the limited run are currently on sale through March 16.

The Biltmore is located at 261 West 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. For information about MTC, which also operates two theatres Off-Broadway, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

For tickets visit or call Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250.

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Come Back, Little Sheba played 190 performances on Broadway in 1950. Shirley Booth and Sidney Blackmer won Tony Awards for playing Lola and Doc, respectively. The 1952 film version starred Booth (who won the Academy Award for her work) and Burt Lancaster. A musical version of the play has not found a wide life, but a 2002 recording of the score was released, featuring Donna McKechnie as Lola.

The cast of <i>Come Back, Little Sheba</i>.
The cast of Come Back, Little Sheba. Photo by Joan Marcus
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