The actress joins the previously announced Kevin Mambo, as well as Mason Pettit. Neil Genzlinger, one of the New York Times third-string theatre critics, penned the work, which is adapted by Darryl Ponicsan's novel of the same name, and will have original songs by Julia Darling and Andrew Sherman. Michael Weitz will direct. The story concerns Billy and Mule, two "lifer" sailors, who transport 18-year old fellow sailor Larry Meadows to the brig for the theft of 40 dollars from the charity box of a pet project of the wife of the Commanding Officer. But they won't do so until they show him a good time. The novel was made into a well-received 1973 Hal Ashby film starring Jack Nicholson as Billy and Randy Quaid as Larry.
Mary Testa is currently working at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, starring with Audra McDonald in the new Michael John LaChiusa musical R Shomon. Testa was most recently on Broadway in 42nd Street. She won Tony noms for both 42nd Street and On the Town.
Genzlinger regularly reviews New York productions for the Times. Lately, while second stringer Margo Jefferson has been on leave, he has been getting heftier assignments, such as the reviewing of Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte.
This is not the first time a Times theatre writer has been involved in a Fringe production. In 2003, scribe Jesse McKinley played himself in Cats Talk Back, a mock theatre talk-back featuring five former cast members of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.