Comic actor Mark Linn-Baker, most recently seen clowning opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Williamstown's As You Like It, stars in Lee Blessing's one-man play, Chesapeake, at the Second Stage space on Eighth Avenue and 43rd Street. The production, which began previews Sept. 30, officially opens on Oct. 14. Max Mayer directs.
Chesapeake had its world premiere, with Linn-Baker, in June at New York Stage and Film's summer headquarters on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie. (Linn-Baker is a co-founder of NY Stage and Film.) The play, which will also receive a production in December at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, concerns a performance artist's scheme to lay low a right-wing Southern politician -- all with the help of a certain retriever.
Linn-Baker appeared on Broadway a couple seasons back in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Other credits include Laughter on the 23rd Floor and A Flea in Her Ear.
Blessing's work has not been seen much in New York since the Signature Theatre Company dedicated its 1992-93 season to the playwright. His greatest success, thus far, was A Walk in the Woods, which ran on Broadway. Other plays include Fortinbras and The Winning Streak.
Designing Chesapeake are Adrianne Lobel (sets), Susan Hilferty (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lighting) and Darron L. West (sound). Though the production will be at Second Stage's new theatre, Chesapeake is not a Second Stage production.
-- By Robert Simonson