Elizabeth Ashley was previously mentioned to star as Maria Callas in the Coconut Grove Playhouse production of Master Class, and so was Leslie Uggams, but it will be theatre and TV actress Rosemary Prinz who dominates the resident Miami theatre's mainstage when the Terrence McNally bio-play begins previews Oct. 17.
Prinz starred for many years as Penny in TV's "As the World Turns" and has performed off and on Broadway, in regional theatres and on tours. Jeffrey B. Moss directs the Coconut Grove staging of the theatrical conceit that has a fortysomething Callas offering a master class in which she judges singing students — and the audience — and reveals parts of her rich, painful life. Official opening is Oct. 20. Performances continue to Nov. 12.
The cast also includes Kate Coffman as Sophie, Lorraine Goodman as Sharon (a role she performed on Broadway), musical director Darren Motise as pianist Manny (which he played on Broadway), Eric van Hoven as Tony and Anthony Giaimo as the Stagehand.
McNally won his fourth Tony Award, for Best Book of a Musical for Ragtime. He won the Tony in 1996 for Master Class, the 1995 Tony for Love! Valour! Compassion! and the 1993 Tony for his book of the musical Kiss of the Spiderwoman.
Designers are James Morgan (set), Ellis Tillman (costumes), Kirk Bookman (lighting) and Steve Shapiro (sound). Tickets range $35-$45, with discounts for students and rush ticket customers. For Coconut Grove information, call (305) 442-4000 or visit the website at www.cgplayhouse.com.