Fresh off last season's well-received Kingdom Of Earth, a reworking of Tennessee Williams' Seven Descents Of Myrtle, the Off-Broadway theatre company Drama Dept. is offering the 1929 play with music, June Moon, with a book by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner, and music by Lardner.
The show began previews Jan. 7, opened the following night, and has just announced an extension past its Jan. 19 closing, through Jan. 26.
Starring in the piece are Cynthia Nixon (Kingdom, Broadway's Hurlyburly and Angels In America), Robert Joy (The Nerd), Albert Macklin, Becky Ann Baker, Amy Hohn, Robert Ari, Peter Jacobson and Stacy Highsmith. Last seen as Albert Einstein in Off Broadway's Picasso At The Lapin Agile, Drama Dept. founding member Mark Nelson will direct Moon.
The show originally opened just prior to the 1929 stock market crash and tells of a naive, Tin Pan Alley songwriter who falls for a big city woman.
According to the "Burns Mantle Best Plays Of 1929-1930," June Moon was based on Lardner's short story, "Some Like `Em Cold." The volume excerpted the play as one of the season's best, calling it "one of the major triumphs of the theatre season." Drama Dept. was formed in 1994 to "create, develop and produce new and neglected plays, as well as to work with educational institutions to help foster new artists and audiences." Company members include Sarah Jessica Parker, Peter Gallagher, Nicky Silver and John Cameron Mitchell.
For tickets ($12 through Jan. 19, $25 Jan. 21-26) and information on June Moon at the Ohio Theatre on Wooster Street, call (212) 629-3014.
From Jan. 28-Dec. 31 only, director Nelson will take over Peter Jacobson's role as Benny, a hapless songwriter whose talent has dried up long before his persistence: "Why should daddy's carnal sins / blight the life of babykins / Mister, won't you give our child a name?"
--By David Lefkowitz