With Judith Light taking Margaret Edson's Pulitzer-winning drama Wit on tour this winter, the off-Broadway run continues, now with a foreign accent. Lisa Harrow, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and veteran of London's West End, takes over the role of Professor Vivian Bearing, Jan. 4.
Harrow's RSC credits include numerous Shakespeare heroines, including Desdemona and Twelfth Night's Olivia. Wit will mark her American debut.
Actress Light's last performance was Jan. 2. She starts the national tour in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre, Feb. 1, 2000. Light took over the role from the wildly-acclaimed Kathleen Chalfant on Aug. 10, officially re-opening the show Sept. 9. Also added to the cast when Light came on board were William Cain (The Heiress), Sally Parrish (The English Teachers) and Grant Show ("Melrose Place") in the roles of Dr. Harvey Kelekian, Dr. E.M. Ashford and Dr. Jason Posner, respectively. Current castmembers also include Paula Pizzi, Brian J. Carter, Daniel Sarnelli, Alli Steinberg and Lisa Tharps. On Dec. 18, the show celebrated its one-year anniversary at the Union Square Theater.
Light's stage credits include playing the maid in a 1975 Broadway mounting of Ibsen's A Doll's House (opposite Liv Ullman and Sam Waterston), as well as the Broadway play Herzl and a Public Theatre Measure For Measure.
The Wit tour will play in Boston through Feb. 27, moving on to Washington DC's Kennedy Center Feb. 28-March 26, 2000, Fort Lauderdale, FL's Parker Playhouse March 27-April 16, 2000, Palm Beach, FL's Royal Poinciana Playhouse, April 17-30, 2000, and San Francisco's Curran Theatre, May 3-June 4, 2000. The producers of the Off-Broadway run -- MCC Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Daryl Roth, Stanley Shopkorn, Robert G. Bartner, Stanley Kaufelt and associate producer Lorie Cowen Levy -- are producing the tour as well.
Wit, playing at the Union Square Theatre, tells of a strict college poetry professor brought low -- to humility and humanity -- by her bout with ovarian cancer. Actress Chalfant won an OBIE, a Lortel Award, a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her role in Edson's astringent drama. Chalfant left the role Aug. 8, tthough she'll play Vivian Bearing once more, Jan. 18-Feb. 20, 2000, when Wit comes to Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse in a sit-down production not connected to the tour. There are also discussions to have her do the role in London.
For tickets and information on Wit off-Broadway, directed by Derek Anson Jones, call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz