New Group artistic director Scott Elliott directs Shawn in the work slated to open Jan. 29 at Theatre Row's Acorn Theater for a run currently scheduled through March 3.
In The Fever, "an anonymous narrator wakes up in a war-torn country with a terrible fever, unable to reconcile the privilege he has enjoyed with his current surroundings," as show materials describe.
Revelers may want to show up a little before curtain as notes suggest: "The theatrical experience will begin the moment the audience enters the theatre, as patrons are invited to share a glass of champagne on stage with Mr. Shawn prior to the performance. Champagne reception commences 30 minutes before curtain."
The design team includes Derek McLane (set), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), Eric Becker (costume) and Bruce Odland (sound).
The work was first seen Off-Broadway in 1991 at The Public Theater. Shawn, who also starred then, earned an OBIE Award for Best New American Play. The play was adapted for a 2004 film starring Vanessa Redgrave, Angelina Jolie, Joely Richardson and Michael Moore. Shawn collaborated with The New Group on last season's play-opera The Music Teacher (penned with his brother, composer Allen Shawn) and the company's 2003 revival of his Aunt Dan and Lemon. He also co-starred in the troupe's Hurlyburly. Shawn adapted The Threepenny Opera on Broadway last season for the Roundabout Theater Company (directed by Elliott). As an actor, Shawn is known for his turns in the films "My Dinner With Andre," "The Princess Bride" and as the voice of Rex in the "Toy Story" movies.
Elliott also directed a Broadway revival of Barefoot in the Park last season. For his troupe, he staged the recent The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (with Cynthia Nixon) and theAbigail’s Party and Aunt Dan and Lemon revivals. On Broadway, he directed The Threepenny Opera, The Women, The Three Sisters and Present Laughter.
The New Group will continue its season this spring with The Accomplices by Bernard Weinraub. Dates and details are yet to be announced.
Tickets for The Fever at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theater), 410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenue), can be purchased by calling (212) 279-4200. For more information, visit thenewgroup.org.