Elaine May's Taller Than a Dwarf, which began previews at Broadway's Longacre Theatre on March 24, and officially opened on April 24, after a tryout in Boston, will shut down on June 11, one week after the Tony Awards. The show opened to largely negative notices and will have run 37 previews and 56 regular performances.
Dwarf stars Matthew Broderick (as Howard Miller) and Parker Posey (as Selma Miller) as the harried young Queens couple Howard and Selma Miller. Alan Arkin directs. Julian Schlossberg leads a production team which includes Mark S. Golub, Ted Tulchin, Jon B. Platt, Darren Bagert and Hal Luftig.
The complete cast of Taller Than a Dwarf also includes Joyce Van Patten (as Mrs. Miller), Jerry Adler (Mr. Miller), Marcia Jean Kurtz (Mrs. Shawl), Cynthia Darlow, Marc John Jeffries, Dajon Matthews, Sam Groom, Greg Stuhr and Michael [sic] McShane, who recently replaced Jim Downey. Four standby performers have also been added to the roster: Josh Alexander, Valerie Geffner, Marilyn Pasekoff and Joel Rooks.
While Taller Than a Dwarf may have seemed like a new play to the denizens of Boston and New York who saw it, any mature theatregoers from Philadelphia who caught it may have experienced a keen sense of déjá vu. Though the fact was rarely mentioned in the press, an earlier version of Dwarf surfaced in Philly in 1962. Then titled A Matter of Position, it closed on Oct. 13 after a two-week run at the Walnut Theatre and never made it to New York. The characters of Howard and Selma Miller were played by May's colleague in comedy, Mike Nichols, and Rose Arrick. Also in the cast, directed by Fred Coe, were Bea Arthur as Mrs. Miller, and John McMartin.
* Posey is one of the "it" girls of independent film, having appeared in dozens of low budget features, including "The House of Yes," "Waiting for Guffman," "The Daytrippers," "Henry Fool," "SubUrbia," "Basquiat" and "Party Girl." Though she possesses a theatre background, Dwarf marked her Broadway debut.
Broderick has been seen on the stage quite a bit of late. Broderick bowed on Broadway just last season in the National Actors Theatre staging of the thriller Night Must Fall. Other credits include How to Succeed..., for which he won a Tony and a recent reading of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Dwarf represents his first stage comedy in many years.
Director Arkin is best known for his film work (Catch 22, Simon) but his theatre credits include directing The Soft Touch in Boston in 1975 and Jules Feiffer's The White House Murder Case Off Broadway in 1970, as well as the original Sunshine Boys and Little Murders. May's plays include Adaptation, Not Enough Rope and Mr. Gogol And Mr. Preen.