Jay Goede, who appeared on Broadway in Christopher Durang's Sex and Longing, was to have played Edward II at Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre this fall. But Garland Wright, intended adaptor/director of the Marlowe work, has bowed out due to health reasons, and the season opener will instead have artistic director Michael Kahn directing Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance.
Said Kahn of the switch, Shakespeare Theatre "remains committed to staging Garland's adaptation of this extraordinary work. We wish him a speedy recovery and return."
As for the Wilde comedy, running Sept. 1-Oct. 18, it takes place at an English country house, where Mrs. Arbuthnot tries to protect her illegitimate son from being corrupted by his friends. Other Wilde works include The Importance of Being Earnest and Salome.
Appearing in the comedy are Tari Signor (Mr. Peters' Connections), Ted van Griethuysen, Emery Battis, David Sabin, Matthew Greer, Jennifer Mendenhall, and Catherine Flye. James Kronzer (Shakespeare Theatre's Merry Wives of Windsor) will design the set.
The rest of the company's 1998-99 season is as follows:
Following Wilde's No Importance will be Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night (Nov. 3-Jan. 2, 1999), directed by Daniel Fish. Then it's the less known King John (Jan. 19-Mar. 6, 1999), staged by artistic director Michael Kahn. Director JoAnne Akalaitis arrives, Mar. 23-May 8, 1999, to stage Euripides' Trojan Women. It's a look at war's effect on women on the losing side. Surprisingly, this is the first time a Greek play has been staged at the Shakespeare.
Then Hal Holbrook appears as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Artistic director Michael Kahn will stage Shakespeare's controversial comedy (which is generally played as drama because of its arguably anti Semitic content). Holbrook has already played the vengeful Jewish merchant, Shylock, at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Last on Broadway in An American Daughter, Holbrook is best known for his solo, Mark Twain Tonight!, for which he won a Tony. He's played King Lear at Off Broadway's Roundabout Theatre and on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie, Man of La Mancha and I Never Sang For My Father.
For subscriptions ($125-$280) and other information on the Shakespeare Theatre season call (202) 547-1122. The box office opens Aug. 7.