Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue, an exploration of a successful New York novelist's life, starring Polly Draper, opens Dec. 2 at Off-Broadway's MCC Theater.
Previews for the new play by the author of the Pulitzer Prize Winner, 'night, Mother, began Nov. 16. Michael Sexton (Birdseed Bundles and Wally's Ghost) directs a company that includes Draper (of TV's "thirtysomething" and Broadway's Closer), John Dossett (Hello Again, Ragtime), Julia McIlvane (Tongue of a Bird), Judith Roberts (Present Laughter), Pamela Isaacs (The Life), Sarah Knowlton (On the Town) and Aasif Mandvi (Sakina's Restaurant).
Designers are Mark Wendland (sets), James Vermeulan (lights), David Zinn (costumes) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
Draper is becoming everybody's favorite pinch-hit actress. Earlier in 1999, she took over Natasha Richardson's role in the Broadway play Closer. Now, she stepping into the shoes of Donna Murphy, who was originally cast in Trudy Blue. According to a show spokesperson, two-time Tony-winner Murphy backed out due to scheduling conflicts. Draper stars as Ginger, an author who takes advice from her own main fictional character.
Other Norman works include Getting Out, The Hold Up and the Tony Award-winning libretto for The Secret Garden.
Trudy will be Draper's third New York stage credit this year. The actress, best known from her role in TV's "thirtysomething," appeared in the Drama Dept.'s production of Peter Hedges' Imagining Brad in May and June 1999.
MCC Theater is at 120 W. 28th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $25-$30. Call (212) 727-7765 for information.
The upcoming season at MCC will also feature a new play by Jose Rivera (Cloud Tectonics), as well Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard.
Rivera's Sueno will begin previews Feb. 22, 2000, opening March 1 and running until March 18. Lisa Peterson (The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek) will direct this tale of love and betrayal, loosely based on Calderon's classic Life Is a Dream.
MCC will then play host to a Yard Gal, the story of two teenage girls from London's slums. The original London cast will recreate their roles in the MCC production. Girl will preview from April 18, 2000, for an April 26 opening and a run through May 20. The play was originally scheduled to run this fall.
Prichard won the 1999 London Critic's Circle Award as most promising playwright for Yard Gal, which played the UK's Royal Court last season.
MCC scored the hit of last season when it staged Margaret Edson's first play, Wit. The drama extended several times before transferring to the Union Square Theatre and winning a heap of awards for Edson and the play's star, Kathleen Chalfant. Judith Light currently stars in the drama.
MCC Theater's artistic directors are Robert LuPone and Bernard Telsey. William Cantler is the associate artistic director.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson