A reading of the author's first new full-length stageplay since Ten Unknowns will take place in New York City in December, Baitz's representative confirmed. The Huntington's world premiere staging of Baitz's The Paris Letter was postponed due to "artist's scheduling difficulties." Jonathan Kent (Man of La Mancha) was slated to direct the work. (The vacated slot was replaced by a production of Butley starring Nathan Lane, with the Off-Broadway staging of Bad Dates filled the remaining gap in the season.)
The Boston stage — which also presented Ten Unknowns in spring 2002 following its debut at Lincoln Center — commissioned the new work which centers on a Wall Street hotshot whose past catches up with him and threatens both his personal and professional lives. The drama was developed at California's Ojai Playwrights Conference.
Baitz's one-act Show People was performed as part of a Mike Nichols produced benefit called Short Talks on the Universe in Nov. 2002. The playwright also penned the adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler used in the 2001 Broadway revival. Ten Unknowns was produced by Lincoln Center Theatre, who have also presented the scribe's Mizlansky/Zilinsky or 'Schmucks,' A Fair Country and The Substance of Fire. Other works include Three Hotels and The Film Society.
Ron Rifkin (Cabaret, "Alias") — a constant star of Baitz works — will star in the reading with Kate Nelligan (An American Daughter) and Richard Easton (The Invention of Love, Henry IV). Kent directs.