Elizabeth Ashley was mentioned to star as Maria Callas in the upcoming Coconut Grove Playhouse production of Master Class, but the Miami theatre has announced that Leslie Uggams will play the diva, instead.
The Tony Award-winning Uggams has played the grand role in Terrence McNally's jaunt through Callas' world at TheatreFest, the professional theatre in residence at Montclair State University. The separate Coconut Grove staging in Miami plays Oct. 17-Nov. 12.
Uggams won a Tony Award for Best Actress (Musical) for Hallelujah, Baby! and McNally took home the Tony for Best Play, for Master Class.
The theatrical conceit, about a fictional master class where Callas shares her opinions and experiences (and cruelly judges several opera students, who sing with a pianist) opens the 2000-2001 Coconut Grove season.
The slate also includes Little Shop of Horrors, Arthur Miller's The Price, Side by Side by Sondheim, Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, and two stagings in the intimate Encore Room: Nilo Cruz's A Bicycle Country and the world premiere of Karen, about the impact of a family secret. Visit the Coconut Grove web site at www.cgplayhouse.com.