Following its run of An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, the Atlantic Theatre Company is now reviving Harold Brighouse's 1915 comedy Hobson's Choice. Previews started Dec. 19 for an opening Jan. 13, recently shifted from Jan. 10 so as not to steal thunder from (or have thunder stolen by) another Off-Broadway show that opened on that date, Richard Foreman's Maria del Bosco.
The ubiquitous Brian Murray, last seen in The Play About the Baby, stars as the title of Hobson's Choice, a cranky merchant coping with a rebellious daughter. David Warren (Hurrah at Last) directs, according to Boneau/Bryan-Brown office spokespersons.
Actress and fledgling director Martha Plimpton is also in the cast, as are Katie Carr, Jim Frangione, Aedin Maloney, Peter Maloney, Tanny McDonald, Darren Pettie, Amy Wilson and Christopher Wynkoop. Desiging the show, which runs through Feb. 10, 2002, are Derek McLane (sets), Kenneth Posner (lighting) and Laura Cunningham Baker (costumes). Sound designer Fitz Patton contributes original music to the piece, which runs through Feb. 10.
Plimpton is an ensemble member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has starred in its productions of Hedda Gabler and The Playboy of the Western World. Her films include "Running on Empty," "Pecker" and "I Shot Andy Warhol." She recently staged Robert William Sherwood's Absolution at Steppenwolf's Garage space. Recent seasons have seen actor Murray taking on three or four shows a year, including Da, Uncle Vanya and the upcoming Broadway revival of The Crucible.
For tickets and information on Hobson's Choice at the Atlantic Theatre, 336 West 20th Street, call (212) 239-6200. *
In other Atlantic news, the roster for next season will also include a new play co-written by Craig Lucas, and a workshop of Hellhound On My Trail, a new play by novelist Denis Johnson, to be directed by David Levine.
Lucas, best known for penning Prelude to a Kiss, is collaborating with actor-dramatist David Schulner on This Thing of Darkness, scheduled to begin previews May 1, 2002 and open later that month. The play tells of two young men suddenly confronted by the future, which rips them out of their comfortable surroundings. Lucas' last two Off-Broadway shows played at the Vineyard Theatre: 2000's Stranger and 1998's well-received The Dying Gaul. His 1984 drama, Blue Window, received an OOB revival that nearly moved to Off-Broadway this summer.
The Atlantic will also host a guest production of Richard Nelson's Frannys Way [sic], directed by the author. A Playwrights Horizons mounting, the play starts previews March 1, 2002 and opens later that month.
As for Denis Johnson's Hellhound on My Trail, the show had workshop performances Sept. 20-29 at the company's 453 West 16th Street space. Oct. 4-6, Giancarlo Esposito directed Linda St. John's drama, Even Dogs Go Home to Die as part of the company's New Works series.
— By David Lefkowitz