Rifkin will be seen May 20-23, temporarily replacing John Noble, who is unable to perform due to an unforeseen conflict with the filming schedule for his Fox series "Sleepy Hollow." Noble is scheduled to return for the final weekend of performances May 24-25.
Rifkin attended the revival of Substance of Fire May 9 when he was informed of the scheduling conflict and offered to step into the role on short notice. “Despite his reputation, I have always found Isaac Geldhart fascinating company and I am more than happy to have the chance to spend more time with him, especially in such a spectacular production,” Rifkin said in a statement. “And if it can help Robbie, John, Trip and everyone at Second Stage Theatre, all the better.”
Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman added, “We’re thrilled and grateful that Ron is stepping in to this role so quickly and we know he’ll once again be an unforgettable Isaac Geldhart. It’s an enormous role, so I would expect that after 22 years he may need to look at the script.”
"Isaac Geldhart, the volatile and brilliant patriarch of his family publishing house, is stubbornly holding on to his place at the head of the company while his three children try to convince him to publish a desperately needed best-seller," according to press notes. "Faced with a changing literary landscape and potential takeover of the company, the Geldhart children must either come to terms with their father and band together or break apart and forfeit the legacy he risked everything to build. Articulate and blessed with a lifesaving and cutting sense of humor, Isaac fights like a man with nothing to lose." The production also has scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski and sound design by Jill BC Du Boff. The production stage manager is Lori-Ann Zepp.
The Substance of Fire premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 1991 in a production directed by Daniel Sullivan and starring Rifkin and Sarah Jessica Parker. It subsequently transferred to Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater and was also made into a 1996 film.
Tickets are available through 2ST.com or by calling the box office at (212) 246-4422. All performances are staged at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).