Mason Adams has stepped into the Signature Theater Company's production of John Guare's Lake Hollywood, filling in for the ailing Ralph Waite. Waite recently underwent surgery, and is currently recuperating. Adams has been playing Waite's role since Tuesday, April 26. A spokesperson for the show said it was uncertain when Waite would return.
(It's the second time in recent weeks one name player has stepped in for another late in previews: Irene Worth suffered a stroke and Marian Seldes took over for her in Broadway's Ring Round The Moon. Worth is expected to return to the show in the future.)
Adams is best known for his role as the managing editor of an L.A. newspaper in the critically acclaimed television series "Lou Grant."
Lake Hollywood, which closes the Guare season at the Off-Broadway venue, officially opened April 29. Douglas Hughes and Itamar Kubovy co direct the new piece.
Lake Hollywood began previews April 1 but delayed its opening from April 13 to April 29 so that Signature artistic director could have more time to work on it. Early in previews, Lake Hollywood extended its run through May 23 and quickly became one of the pre-sold hits of the spring season. The production was to have run through May 9. The play tells of Agnes and Andrew and takes them from New Hampshire to New York, from 1940 to 1990. The story begins just prior to America's entry into WWII, as Agnes brings Andrew to meet her off-balance family at their country house on Lake Winnepassauki, New Hampshire. A "rural farce" of the Chekhov stamp follows, complete with Three Sisters like wildfires burning off-stage. Act two leaps ahead a half a century to Agnes and Andrew's tenement home in Hell's Kitchen.
Adams plays the older Andrew, while Kate Burton is the younger Agnes. Also in the cast are Adam Grupper as Young Andrew, Josh Harto as Randolph, Pamela Nyberg as Mrs. Larry, Amy Wright as Flo, Alan North as Uncle Ambrose, Betty Miller as Older Agnes and Natalie Paulding as Monica.
Hughes's recent credits include Mystery School with Tyne Daly, David Rabe's A Question of Mercy and Tim Blake Nelson's Anadarko. Kubovy has directed throughout the world, at theatres in Germany, Sweden and the U.S.
Bosoms and Neglect, starring Mary Louise Wilson, was the most recent Guare offering at the Signature. The production, directed by Nicholas Martin, recently received a Drama Desk nomination as best revival of a play.
For memberships and information on the Signature Theater season call (212) 244-PLAY.
-- By Robert Simonson