James Naughton and Patricia Kalember will be a successful modern couple at risk, hounded by a computer hacker, when Manhattan Theatre Club presents the New York premiere of Arthur Kopit's thriller Y2K, opening in early December.
But Naughton and Kalember aren't the only names at MTC in 1999-2000. Linda Lavin and Tony Roberts will appear in the premiere of Charles Busch's new work, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, in February 2000, and musical theatre stars are likely -- though still unannounced -- for The Wild Party, in January 2000. Casting and dates for the nonprofit theatre company, in Manhattan's City Center, are coming to light.
Bob Balaban directs the 75-minute Y2K by Tony Award-winner Kopit (Nine, Wings). Previews on Stage I begin in November, with a December opening (no exact dates yet).
Naughton is the Tony Award-winner who starred in City of Angels and Chicago, and Kalember starred in TV's "Sisters" and "Thirtysomething." Other Y2K casting -- including the angry young hacker -- has not been announced. The play had its world premiere in February 1999 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY.
Y2K is one of seven productions announced for the 1999-2000 season. The thriller was one of the better-received entries in the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville in February and March 1999. *
Also on MTC's slate are:
• The American premiere of Shelagh Stephenson's London hit, An Experiment With an Air Pump, described as a "witty social satire" and a "romantic tragedy" about two families and the collision of science and morality over centuries. Stephenson's The Memory of Water was staged at MTC in 1998-99. Douglas Hughes will direct. Previews on Stage I begin Oct. 5, opening is Oct. 26.
• The world premiere of Fuddy Meers, by David Lindsay-Abaire, which had a reading in spring 1998 at MTC's "Writers in Performance/Discovering the Next Generation" series. The comedy traces one woman's attempts to regain her memory while surrounded by and "alarmingly bizarre" cast of friends and family. David Petrarca will direct. Previews on Stage II begin Oct. 12, opening is Nov. 2.
• The world premiere of Composer-lyricist-librettist Andrew Lippa's musical, The Wild Party, based on the 1928 Jazz Age narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March. Gabriel Barre will direct, Mark Dendy will choreograph. Previews on Stage I begin Jan. 25, 2000 and opening is Feb. 22, 2000.
• Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, about a wealthy Upper West Sider and a distracted husband, a cranky old mother and the arrival of a familiar face. Linda Lavin and Tony Roberts will star. Busch is the popular drag performer and playwright whose work includes Psycho Beach Party, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and The Green Heart. MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow directs. Previews on Stage II begin Feb. 8, 2000, with a Feb. 29 opening.
• Proof, by American writer David Auburn, about a mysterious young woman who faces the death of a genius father, an unexpected suitor and a mysterious mathematical proof. No director has been announced. His play, Skyscraper, ran at the Greenwich House theatre in fall 1997. Previews on Stage I begin May 2, 2000, opening is May 23, 2000.
• Production to be announced, for Stage II.
New to the subscription options in 1999-2000 are a student series and a "Carnegie Bar and Books Sunday Nightcap Series," which offers post-show discussions on selected Sunday evenings at the eatery next door to MTC's digs at City Center on 55th Street.
For information, call (212) 399-3030.