Michael O'Keefe Joins Broadway's Reckless

News   Michael O'Keefe Joins Broadway's Reckless Michael O'Keefe will play Lloyd, husband of Rosie Perez's Pooty, in the upcoming Broadway production of Craig Lucas' Reckless.

O'Keefe is known for the films "The Great Santini" and "Caddyshack," TV's "Roseanne" and Broadway's Side Man, Fifth of July and Mass Appeal.

Rosie Perez, of Broadway's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and such Hollywood pictures as "Do the Right Thing" and "It Could Happen to You," co-stars with Mary-Louise Parker and Debra Monk in Reckless.

The dark comedy by Craig Lucas makes its Broadway debut at the Biltmore Theatre in a co-staging by Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage. The play, about a wife named Rachel who flees her home when her husband hires a killer to snuff her out (at Christmastime, no less), had an Off-Broadway life and has been produced throughout the country.

Additional casting will be announced.

* Perez, known for tough-talking roles in "White Men Can't Jump" and other pictures, will play Pooty, a paraplegic character, and other parts in the Lucas play. Off-Broadway, she appeared in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. The Brooklyn native is in the 2004 TV film version of Lackawanna Blues.

Parker (a Tony Award-winner for Proof) plays Rachel. Monk (a Tony-winner for Redwood Curtain) plays a handful of doctors in the tumultuous life of Rachel.

Mark Brokaw directs the new production of Reckless, opening Oct. 14. Previews begin Sept. 22.

Manhattan Theatre Club, well-regarded for its Off Broadway productions, operates the Biltmore as its Broadway home. Second Stage is the Off-Broadway troupe usually associated with second looks at works. This is a rare Broadway venture for the latter.

The casting is a reunion for Parker and Monk, who co starred in on Broadway in Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss.

Reckless was first staged, in an earlier form, by The Production Company in 1983 under the direction of Norman René. Jan Eliasberg directed a South Coast Repertory production in 1985. Steve Schachter directed an Atlantic Theater Company staging in 1987.

The first performance of the 1989 published version of Reckless was on Sept. 14, 1988 at New York's Circle Repertory Company, directed by Norman René. Robin Bartlett played Rachel.

Here's how MTC bills the play: "Mary-Louise Parker stars as Rachel.  It's Christmas Eve, her son has 'fired' her, her husband's put out a contract on her life, and so she's out the window — literally. This bittersweet comedy follows Rachel through a bizarre, fantastic and sometimes nightmarish journey as she travels across the country, finding 'home' with a succession of intimate strangers."

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Parker, who won her Tony for her leading role in David Auburn's Proof (an MTC staging), also garnered a Tony nomination for her previous Lucas-penned work Prelude to a Kiss. The actress recently won a Golden Globe for her turn in the HBO adaptation of Angels in America (and was nominated July 15 for a 2004 Emmy for it). She has also been seen in Bus Stop, Communicating Doors, How I Learned to Drive (directed by Brokaw), Four Dogs and a Bone, The Art of Success and The Age of Pie.

She had a recurring role on the NBC drama "The West Wing" appeared in such films as "Boys on the Side," "Grand Canyon," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Portrait of a Lady," "Bullets Over Broadway" and the screen adaptation of "Reckless."

A former actor, Lucas has penned the plays The Dying Gaul, God's Heart, Blue Window, Missing Persons, Stranger and This Thing of Darkness. His new work Small Tragedy played at Playwrights Horizons in 2003-04. Lucas also wrote the book for the dawning musical The Light in the Piazza and conceived Marry Me a Little (a conceptual revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim). He also penned the libretto for the opera to Orpheus in Love.

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