Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue, an exploration of a successful New York novelist's life, starring Polly Draper, ended its Off-Broadway run on Jan. 9, but that may not be the end of its stage life. The directors of the MCC Theatre, where the play was presented, are actively looking for producers to bring the play to Broadway.
Co-artistic director Robert LuPone told Playbill On-Line that some, but not all, of the money for the transfer had been raised. LuPone said the aim was to retain much of the MCC cast, including Draper, and bring the show to an intimate Broadway house. As always, much depends on the availability of actors and a suitable theatre.
The play opened on Dec. 2 at Off-Broadway's MCC Theater to largely good reviews. It was to have closed Dec. 18, but soon extended its run until Jan. 9. The show took a week off for the Christmas holiday.
Michael Sexton (Birdseed Bundles and Wally's Ghost) directed 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 took over Natasha Richardson's role in the Broadway play Closer. In Blue, she stepped into the shoes of Donna Murphy, who was originally cast in Trudy Blue. Draper stars as Ginger, an author who involvement with her own main fictional character distances herself from her true life and loved ones. Only a sudden bout with cancer awakens her to the reality of her surroundings.
Other Norman works include Getting Out, The Hold Up and the Tony Award-winning libretto for The Secret Garden.
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.
-- By Robert Simonson