Brian Hutchison, last seen guarding the Tony-winning Geoffrey Rush on Broadway in Exit the King, will draw comparable duty for Valerie Harper's Tallulah Bankhead in Looped, a fact-based comedy by Matthew Lombardo opening March 14 at the Lyceum.
As the highest-ranking Hammer Films exec on the premises (a buttoned-down film editor, truth to tell), Hutchison is charged with the job of re-recording (looping) one last line of dialogue from a belligerent Bankhead.
In point of historical fact, it was her last line of dialogue, an impossibly convoluted line of exposition for her cinematic swan's song, 1965's "Die! Die! My Darling!" The task should have taken five minutes. The session lasted eight hours — 45 minutes of which were recorded and that prompted Lombardo to write the play.
Michael Mulheren, one of the nimble-footed, Tony-nominated gangsters in Broadway's last Kiss Me, Kate, rounds out the cast of three in Looped. He will play Steve, a seasoned sound techie with the unenviable task of dubbing Tallulah Bankhead's husky theatrical rasp. The part has been beefed up for Mulheren from what it was on the road in the play's three previous tryout gigs.
Lombardo also wrote Tea at Five, which found another legendary actress at a pivotal turning point — Katharine Hepburn in September 1938 when her film career was slowly sinking in the West at the exact same time when a hurricane was mercilessly bearing down on her beloved Fenwick estate in Old Saybrook, CT.
Hutchison previously appeared on Broadway in The Invention of Love. Off-Broadway, he was in From Up Here, Mr. Marmalade, Can't Let Go, People Be Heard and Theophilus North. His TV credits include "Dealbreaker," "Hope & Faith" and "Law & Order: SVU and CI."
Looped, which will be produced by Tony Cacciotti, Chase Mishkin, David Steiner and Leonard Soloway, marks Harper's first trip back to Broadway since she replaced Linda Lavin in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife in 2001-2002.
Harper considers the venue for her new play highly fortuitous. "Tallulah and the Lyceum are the same age," she gleefully notes. (Both are products of 1902.)
— Harry Haun