All of the McCarter Theatre's horses and all of the McCarter's men will marshall their forces to open Eric Bogosian's latest, Humpty Dumpty, on March 16. The drama, directed by Jo Bonney, will run through April 14.
Kathryn Meisle and Bruce Norris head the five-person cast, which also includes Reiko Aylesworth, Patrick Fabian and Michael Laurence.
Both Meisle and Norris were most recently seen at Lincoln Center Theater’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. Meisle co-starred in the premiere of Wendy Wasserstein’s Old Money, while Norris appeared in the New York debut of John Guare’s Chaucer in Rome.
Humpty Dumpty concerns a quartet of urban hot-shots who retreat to a remote country house and, as the nursery rhyme goes, have a great fall (existentially speaking) when an unknown calamity cuts off the electricity and phone lines. Robbed of the treasured technical means of survival, and with not enough gas to drive away from the cabin, they find themselves increasingly at the mercy of a local man who looks after the property.
Bogosian told Playbill On-Line that he, at one time, urged the McCarter to remove the play from its roster. Though Humpty was written long before the Sept. 11 disasters, the script included eerily prescient dialogue — particularly the characters’ suppositions about what sort of catastrophe might have caused the blackout. Emily Mann, artistic director of the McCarter, instead urged Bogosian to make a few critical alterations to the text, which he did. Bogosian, who made his name starring in fiery one-man shows penned by himself, made an impressive debut as a conventional playwright with subUrbia, which eventually played Lincoln Center Theater and was later made into a movie. Other works include Griller and one of the one-acts in the omnibus Public Theater evening Love's Fire. His first novel, “Mall,” was recently released in paperback.
It was recently announced that the McCarter's staging of Edward Albee's All Over, starring Rosemary Harris, Michael Learned, Myra Carter, John Christopher Jones and John Carter, would travel to Off-Broadway in June, courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre Company.
—By Robert Simonson