The Roundabout Theatre Company production of The Man Who Came to Dinner starts previews June 30, marking the first performance at Roundabout's new American Airlines Theatre.
Heralded as the nonprofit's permanent home, Roundabout's American Airlines staging of Dinner stars Nathan Lane in the Broadway revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play. The show runs in previews from June 30 - July 26. Dinner opens July 27 and is scheduled to run through Oct 1.
Jean Smart (OB's Fit to be Tied, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove) recently replaced Christine Baranski as "Lorraine Sheldon" in the The Man Who Came to Dinner, after Baranski left to pursue a television series offer.
Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks will helm the 1939 revival of the comedy, about a famous -- and famously cranky -- critic who causes misery in a provincial household where he is forced to convalesce after breaking his hip. The Lane character of Sheridan Whiteside was said to have been modeled after the critic Alexander Woollcott.
As reported earlier, Lewis J. Stadlen and Hank Stratton will also be at the Dinner table. Stadlen will play the part of Banjo, patterned after Woollcott pal, Harpo Marx. Stratton will play Bert Jefferson. Roundabout's teaming of director Jerry Zaks with actor Nathan Lane is noteworthy: Zaks won a Tony Award for directing the Guys and Dolls revival that earned Nathan Lane a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Nathan Detroit. Zaks also helmed Lane's Tony Award-winning performance in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Originally launched on Broadway on October 16, 1939, The Man Who Came to Dinner ran for two years with Monty Woolley starring as Sheridan Whiteside. Woolley also starred in a 1942 film version. Woollcott himself later starred in a touring production of the show. A 1967 Broadway musical adaptation, titled Sherry, preceded a 1972 Hallmark Hall of Fame television version with Orson Welles as Whiteside.
A Roundabout alum, Nathan Lane starred in the company's production of She Stoops to Conquer. His Broadway credits include the aforementioned Tony-winning performance in Forum, as well as Guys and Dolls (Tony nomination), Love! Valour! Compassion!, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Present Laughter, On Borrowed Time, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, and Some Americans Abroad. Lane co-hosted the 1999-2000 Tony Awards ceremony with Rosie O'Donnell. In addition to numerous Off-Broadway roles, Lane has appeared in several films including "The Birdcage," "The Lion King" and "Frankie and Johnny." A high-profile revival of Dinner several seasons ago in Chicago starred John Mahoney ("Frasier," The House of Blue Leaves) at Steppenwolf Theatre.
Jean Smart earned a Drama Desk nomination and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Last Summer at Bluefish Cove. She has also appeared in Marvin's Room, The End of the Day, Fit to Be Tied, Laughing Wild with Christopher Durang and It Had to Be You with her husband, Richard Gilliland. Smart has worked extensively in regional theatre and is familiar to film and television audiences: On the big screen she will soon star opposite Bruce Willis in Disney's "The Kid" and she was seen in "The Brady Bunch," "Flashpoint" and "Protocol." On television, Smart is popular for her role in "Designing Women" and her guest appearance on "Frasier."