Marsha Norman's Last Dance, With Rasche and JoBeth Williams, Begins Off-Bway May 9

News   Marsha Norman's Last Dance, With Rasche and JoBeth Williams, Begins Off-Bway May 9 Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'night, Mother, sees her new play, Last Dance, begin previews at Manhattan Theatre Club May 9.

MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) directs a cast including Heather Goldenhersh, Lorenzo Pisoni (As You Like It), David Rasche and JoBeth Williams. James Barbour was replaced by Pisoni early in rehearsals. Film and stage actress Williams plays an American poet named Charlotte who is living in the South of France, "surrounded by love, poetry, and flowers."

Wanting to "indulge herself in all that life has to offer," her obstacles seem to be "so many hangers-on who want her attention," according to MTC production notes.

Last Dance opens June 3 on MTC's Stage II at City Center. Performances continue to July 6. Performances were originally announced to begin May 6, then May 8. May 9 is now the first preview, apparently owing to the nature of rehearsing a new work.

Norman's writing credits also include Getting Out and the The Secret Garden. She has co-directed the Juilliard playwriting program in recent years.

Designers are Loy Arcenas (set), Ann Roth (costume), Duane Schuler (lighting), Bruce Ellman (sound) and Jason Robert Brown (original music). The Last Dance marks the MTC debut of actress Goldenhersh, a Juilliard School graduate seen at Playwrights Horizons in recent seasons (Psych, Goodnight Children Everywhere). Rasche makes his MTC debut here. He appeared in Broadway's Getting and Spending, Speed-the-Plow, Lunch Hours, Loose Ends and The Shadow Box. Williams last appeared at MTC in John Guare's Gardenia with Sam Waterston, James Woods, and Edward Hermann. She was last seen on stage in The Vagina Monologues in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas. She is widely known for her film work in "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Poltergeist," "The Big Chill," "Memories of Me" and "Wyatt Earp."

Performances play 7:30 PM Tuesday-Sunday and 3 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved by calling (212) 581-1212. City Center is at 131 W. 55th Street. Student tickets are $20, and are on sale for all performances based on availability, on the day of the performance, up to one hour before show time (limit four per student with valid identification).

For more information, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.org.