MTM Sits Out Dec. 3 Performances of Rose's Dilemma at MTC

News   MTM Sits Out Dec. 3 Performances of Rose's Dilemma at MTC Mary Tyler Moore was under the weather Dec. 3 and absent from the matinee of Manhattan Theatre Club's staging of Rose's Dilemma, Neil Simon's new play at MTC's Stage I.
Mary Tyler Moore and John Cullum, stars of Rose's Dilemma
Mary Tyler Moore and John Cullum, stars of Rose's Dilemma

The Wednesday matinee of the in-previews play went on with understudy Patricia Hodges, and Hodges is expected to perform the evening show as well, according to a spokesman. It's thought that Moore, who plays the title role, will be back in the show Dec. 4.

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Moore returned to the New York stage Nov. 24 to star in Neil Simon's 33rd play, Rose's Dilemma, about a writer at the end of her rope and the personalities in her sphere who can help her.

Remembered and beloved for her Broadway turns in Sweet Sue and Whose Life Is It Anyway? and for the groundbreaking TV sitcom, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," Moore plays Rose in Simon's play about love, mortality and literary legacy. Her romantic interest in the play, a writer named Walsh, is John Cullum, late of Urinetown and Playwrights Horizons' Wilder.

The play involves two older lovers and their young assistants, the latter couple played by David Aaron Baker and Geneva Carr. Lynne Meadow, artistic director of MTC, directs. *

Rose's Dilemma began previews Nov. 24 and opens Dec. 18 for a limited engagement that, if critics and audiences dictate it, will possibly see a commercial transfer in the 2003-04 season.

Rose's Dilemma marks Moore's Off-Broadway debut. She was Tony Award-honored (with a Special Tony Award) for Whose Life Is It Anyway? She earned praise playing the chilly mother in the Academy Award winning film, "Ordinary People." Her home is filled with Emmy Awards for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

The Simon play was seen in a different form at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in early 2003, under the title Rose and Walsh, with Jane Alexander and Len Cariou. David Aaron Baker is the only cast holdover from that earlier run.

MTC bills Rose's Dilemma this way: "In a Hamptons beach house, celebrated writer Rose Steiner (Mary Tyler Moore) is at a crossroads," according to production notes. "She's running out of money and needs to write the next 'big thing' fast. When her former lover, literary lion Walsh McLaren (John Cullum), has the brainstorm that could make her a fortune, she leaps at the chance. With the help of her assistant Arlene Moss (Geneva Carr) and newcomer Gavin Clancy (David Aaron Baker), how she'll pull it off is one of the dilemmas in this most intriguing play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony-Award winning Neil Simon."

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The production was originally announced to begin Nov. 29, but some demands in the company's scheduled prompted a slight shift, to a Nov. 24 start.

MTC's Off-Broadway home is at City Center, 131 W. 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

Visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.org.

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