Polly Draper is becoming everybody's favorite pinch-hit actress. Last spring, she took over Natasha Richardson's role in the Broadway play Closer. Now, she stepping into the shoes of Donna Murphy in Manhattan Class Company's upcoming production of Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue.
According to a show spokeperson, two-time Tony-winner Murphy backed out due to scheduling conflicts. Murphy was to star as Ginger, an author who takes advice from her own main fictional character. Trudy Blue will open the season at Off-Broadway's MCC, beginning previews Nov. 16 for a Dec. 2 opening.
Michael Sexton (Wally's Ghost) directs this play by Norman, a 1993 Pulitzer winner for `Night Mother. Other Norman works include Getting Out, The Hold Up and the Tony winning libretto for The Secret Garden.
Trudy will be Draper's third New York stage credit this year. The actress, best known from her role in TV's "thirtysomething," appeared in the Drama Dept.'s production of Peter Hedges' Imagining Brad this past May and June.
* 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.
MCC scored the hit of last season when it staged Margaret Edson's first play, Wit. The drama extended several times before transferring to the Union Square Theatre and winning a heap of awards for Edson and the play's star, Kathleen Chalfant. Judith Light currently stars in the drama.