Warren Leight's jazz-inflected drama, Side Man, which rose from Off-Broadway to a Broadway run at the Roundabout Theatre to a second transfer to the John Golden Theatre, will officially re-open with Christian Slater on Nov. 8.
Film star Slater ("Heathers", "Robin Hood","True Romance,") has been performing in previews since Oct. 20. Spokesperson Susan Chicoine confirmed that Slater will stay with the show at least through Jan. 20, 1999.
Slater replaced Robert Sella as Clifford, the narrator of the piece, which tells of a man's love of music ruining his marriage. Sella is currently treading the boards in Cabaret , replacing Tony-winner Alan Cumming as the Emcee while Cumming is on-leave to appear in Julie Taymor's film adaptation of Titus Andronicus.
The rest of the Golden Side Man cast match the play's Roundabout Theatre Company incarnation. Featured are Kevin Geer, Michael Mastro, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Angelica Torn, Wendy Makkena and Frank Wood. Michael Mayer directs.
On Oct. 22, Leight won Newsday's 1998 George Oppenheimer Playwriting Award for Best New American Playwright, for Side Man. Although The Great White Way hasn't seen him for a while, Slater's no stranger to the stage, having notably appeared in Merlin with Chita Rivera and Doug Henning, and The Music Man with Dick Van Dyke. Slater, known for his Jack Nicholson-esque demeanor, rose to stardom in the late eighties after appearing in the dark cult-classic "Heathers." Other films starring Slater include: "Hard Rain," "Broken Arrow," and "Pump Up the Volume."
Side Man is produced by Weissberger Theater Group, Jay Harris, producer/Peter Manning/Ron Kastner/James Cushing/Joan Stein. The design team is Neil Patel (sets), Tom Broecker (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Ray Schilke (sound).
Leight's drama opened at Off-Broadway's CSC space (produced by the Weissberger Theater Group, Jay Harris and Peter Manning), where reviews were strong enough for Roundabout Theatre to pick up the show in place of a planned Bacharach/David revue that didn't make it past a West Coast try-out. Side Man played at the Roundabout's Stage Right mainstage through Sept. 13.
For ticket information on Side Man at the Golden, call (212) 239-6200.