Playwright Grodin Steps in for Ailing Actor at Off-Broadway's The Right Kind of People

News   Playwright Grodin Steps in for Ailing Actor at Off-Broadway's The Right Kind of People
 
When a playwright offers to step in for an ailing actor, producers might usually wince. Luckily for Primary Stages, the scribe in question happens to have experience: Charles Grodin will perform — albeit with (his own) script in-hand — in The Right Kind of People.

Performing for the March 2 and March 3 sold-out audiences, Grodin will take to the stage in the New York premiere his own work at Off-Broadway's 59E59 Theaters. He may also stand in for the remainder of performances of the show, which closes March 5.

Grodin's participation is all the more remarkable in that he has all but retired from acting in recent years. It was not indicated which role the actor-playwright would be assuming.

Grodin is known for his work as a film actor appearing in "Sex and the College Girl," "Rosemary's Baby," "Heaven Can Wait," "Midnight Run," "Taking Care of Business," "Beethoven" and "Dave" as well as host of his own talk show on CNBC. On Broadway, Grodin has appeared in Tchin-Tchin, Absence of a Cello and Same Time, Next Year and directed Unexpected Guests, Lovers and Other Strangers and Thieves.

Presented by Primary Stages in association with Julian Schlossberg, the new work started performances Jan. 24 and opened Feb. 9 for the limited engagement.

"In the 1990s, I served on the co-op board of a desirable Fifth Avenue apartment building in Manhattan," Grodin previously stated about his inspiration. "Before you can purchase an apartment in these prime buildings, you must present yourself before the board so they can determine your worthiness to live in their midst. Sound like the stuff of a grand comedy? I thought so, too." Chris Smith — artistic director of the Magic Theatre, where the work debuted — again stages the work for its New York run with original cast member Fred Burrell. The cast also features Doris Belack, Stephen Bradbury, Mitch Greenberg, Keith Jochim, Katherine Leask, Ed Owens, Robert Stanton, Evan Thompson and John C. Vennema.

The design team includes Annie Smart (sets, with furniture pieces provided by Bloomingdale's New York), Jenny Mannis (costumes), Russell Champa (lights) and Fabian Obispo (sound). Emily Wells serves as the production stage manager.

The Right Kind of People made its world premiere in Nov. 2004 at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. The show was one of the highest-grossing productions for the company in its 37-year history.

FollowingThe Right Kind of People, the company will present Amy Irving starring in Marta Góes' solo play A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop (March 21 April 30).

Tickets to Primary Stages' The Right Kind of People at the 59E59 Theaters, at 59 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Ave.), can be purchased by calling (212) 279-4200 or at the box office. For more information, visit www.primarystages.com.

Charles Grodin (center) with the cast of <i>The Right Kind of People.</i>
Charles Grodin (center) with the cast of The Right Kind of People.
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