Fresh off last season's well-received Kingdom Of Earth (a reworking of Tennessee Williams' Seven Descents Of Myrtle), their current Off-Broadway hit, As Bees In Honey Drown, and the recent extension of Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Off Broadway theatre company Drama Dept. brings back its acclaimed revival of June Moon.
Many original cast-members have returned, including Albert Macklin, Robert Ari, Peter Jacobson and Robert Joy.
The show's initial run began previews Jan. 7, 1997, opened the following night, and was extended through Jan. 26, 1997. June Moon returns Jan. 15 for a commercial Off-Broadway run at the Variety Arts Theatre on 3rd Ave. Prior to the remounting, the show played at NJ's McCarter Theatre, Sept. 19-Oct. 5.
According to production spokesperson Stephen Pitalo, expected at the re-opening night performance are such luminaries as Stephen Sondheim (who once appeared, in a rare acting stint, in a TV adaptation of the show), Carol Channing, Jane Alexander, Ally Sheedy, Florence Henderson, Jim Nabors, Olympia Dukakis, Kitty Carlisle Hart, John Kander, Maury Yeston, Douglas Carter Beane, and Ann Kaufman Schneider (daughter of author George S. Kaufman).
June Moon's director, Mark Nelson, starred in Off-Broadway's Picasso At The Lapin Agile and has been on a national tour with that Steve Martin comedy. Producing the commercial Off-Broadway run are Edgar Lansbury, Howard Erskine, Everett King and Steven M. Levy. Featured in June Moon are Albert Macklin, Peter Jacobson, Robert Joy, Robert Ari and Becky Ann Baker, Geoffrey Nauffts, Jessica Stone, Bruce W. Coyle and Tasha Lawrence are now in the cast. Original cast member Cynthia Nixon is currently on Broadway in The Last Night Of Ballyhoo.
The original June Moon opened just prior to the 1929 stock market crash and tells of a naive, Tin Pan Alley songwriter who falls for a big city woman.
According to the "Burns Mantle Best Plays Of 1929-1930," June Moon was based on Lardner's short story, "Some Like `Em Cold." The volume excerpted the play as one of the season's best, calling it "one of the major triumphs of the theatre season."
Designing the Drama Dept. Mounting are Bill Clarke (set), Jonathan Bixby (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lighting) and One Dream Sound.
Drama Dept. was formed in 1994 to "create, develop and produce new and neglected plays, as well as to work with educational institutions to help foster new artists and audiences." Company members include Sarah Jessica Parker, Peter Gallagher, Nicky Silver and John Cameron Mitchell.
For tickets ($20-$45) and information on June Moon at the Variety Arts Theatre, 110 3rd Ave., call (212) 239-6200.
-- By David Lefkowitz