There have been a couple cast changes to the McCarter Theatre production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, starring Jane Alexander as Mme. Ranevsky, and directed by Emily Mann. Lou Myers has been replaced by Roger Robinson, and Anne Dudek has taken the place of Alanna Ubach.
Robinson was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Seven Guitars. Dudek was recently seen on Broadway in Wrong Mountain.
The Cherry Orchard began previews on March 28. It will open on March 31.
The production's Lopakhin is Avery Brooks, best known for the television series "Spenser: For Hire," "A Man Called Hawk," and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and for playing Paul Robeson on stage. John Glover, meanwhile, will be Gayev. Glover recently concluded his run in the Brian Friel play Give Me Your Answer, Do!, Off-Broadway. He won a Tony Award for his dual performance in Love! Valour! Compassion!.
Also in the cast are Barbara Sukowa, Glenn Fleshler, Caroline Stefanie Clay, Kate Goehring, Jefferson Mays and Allen Swift. Mann has previously helmed Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Princeton, NJ, theatre. Cherry Orchard will run through April 16.
The Chekhov play replaced the previously-announced stage adaptation of novelist Cormac McCarthy's The Stonemason. According to a press statement, both McCarthy and McCarter artistic director Emily Mann agreed The Stonemason needed to be developed further and McCarthy could not find time in his busy schedule to do the necessary work. The Stonemason traces four generations of an African-American family living in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1970's as they struggle to remain tied to their land and to each other.
The remainder of the 1999-2000 season, the 10th anniversary for artistic director Mann, runs as follows:
• Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, March 28-April 16, directed by Emily Mann. Jane Alexander, Avery Brooks and John Glover star.
• Polly Pen's The Night Governess, May 2-21. The work, inspired by the Louisa May Alcott thriller "Behind the Mask," is the darkly comic story of a quiet young woman who comes to teach a household in the art of manipulation as she twists each family member to her own designs. Pen workshopped the musical at the McCarter in November 1998 with Judith Blazer, Alma Cuervo (Titanic ) and Emily Skinner (Side Show) in the cast. Lisa Peterson will direct.
To subscribe to the McCarter Theatre's season ($80 and up), call the box office at (609) 258-2787. The McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place.
-- By Robert Simonson