Lynn Redgrave's family drama The Mandrake Root will have a February start Off-Broadway at venue to be announced. Casting notices for the play, to be produced by Susan Dietz of Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre and directed by Warner Shook, give an early January rehearsal date with previews to begin on or about Feb. 6.
The New York production would be a repeat of the San Jose Repertory staging, a revised edition of the Mandrake Root, which received its world premiere in 2001 at the Long Wharf Theatre. Shook directed both productions.
Producer Dietz has had ties with Shook and Redgrave since the early 80's. She gave Shook his first professional job, directing Sister Mary Ignacious Explains It All for You, a production Redgrave later joined. Redgrave also performed her Shakespeare for My Father at the Canon Theatre.
The Mandrake Root made its West Coast premiere Jan. 26-Feb. 24 at San Jose Repertory Theatre with Redgrave as the family matriarch Rose Randall. Redgrave will repeat the role Off-Broadway.
Around Rose, Redgrave has crafted a story of betrayal, sex and crippling family errors, while examining the essenses of mother-daughter relationships. The character she plays, the actress-playwright admits, is much based on her mother, the British actress Rachel Kempson. One of five generations of actors in the Redgrave family, Redgrave already visited her family on stage with her Tony-nominated one woman show, Shakespeare for My Father. Other theatre work has included the Tony-nominated Mrs. Warren's Profession, Black Comedy, Aren't We All and Moon Over Buffalo. She was nominated for an Academy Award for "Gods and Monsters," her second such honor after being tapped for playing the title role in "Georgy Girl."
For more information on The Mandrake Root and Lynn Redgrave, read PLAYBILL ON-LINE'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with Lynn Redgrave from Feb. 5, 2002.
—By Christine Ehren