New York's Lincoln Center Theatre is reportedly in negotiations with Hal Holbrook and Adam Arkin to play the father and husband respectively of An American Daughter, the new Wendy Wasserstein play premiering April 14 at the Cort Theatre on Broadway.
Arkin's participation is contingent on whether or not he can be written out of the last few episodes of the season for his TV series, "Chicago Hope." He previously did the American Daughter role in its Seattle Rep workshop and hopes to do it on Broadway.
The title role of An American Daughter will be played by a Canadian, the gifted Kate Nelligan. The part--which Meryl Streep had done in readings and in workshop and one that Glenn Close also considering--is that of Lyssa Dent Hughes, a doctor who has been nominated for a Surgeon Generalship and, because of a minor infraction about jury duty, her whole political life is shattered.
Streep's reluctant surrender of the role raises the question if she will ever do a theatrical engagement again. "Meryl wanted to do this play," says Lincoln Center exec Andre Bishop, "but it was just too much for her. She has four kids, and the idea of moving to New York for the play was overwhelming."
First (after Nelligan) to be set for the play are two who've been with it since Reading One. Cotter Smith will play a TV newscaster who accidently sets in motion the title character's downfall. His name is Timber Tucker, and some knowing folks claim he's based in part on ABC-TV's Forrest Sawyer, a friend and neighbor of Wasserstein's who did the opening narration for her "Uncommon Women and Others" when it was revived at the Lucille Lortel). Penny Fuller has been assigned the funny role of Hughes' stepmother, a U.S. Senator's wife. Daniel Sullivan, who directed Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles and The Sisters Rosensweig, begins rehearsing An American Daughter Feb. 12.