After the Roundabout Theatre Company is evicted from the Criterion Center this March, the Gramercy Theatre, on E. 23rd Street, will be the Roundabout Theatre Company's primary home for the remainder of 1999. Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes told Playbill On-line (Feb. 11) that Richard Greenberg's latest, Hurrah at Last, previously announced for the Laura Pels Theatre at the Criterion, will be mounted at the Gramercy this summer. David Warren will direct. Peter Frechette has been mentioned as a star.
Next at the Gramercy, for the fall, will be the American premiere of Brian's Friel's Give Me Your Answer, Do!. The play is set in Donegal, Ireland where novelist Tom Connolly and his wife Daisy nervously await the decision of their American house guest as to whether he will purchase Tom's papers for a US college library -- a deal which would offer some compensation for Tom's recent literary paralysis.
No director or stars have been attached to the Friel play. The Roundabout has previously produced Friel's Molly Sweeney.
Haimes said there was a possibility of a second fall production at another New York theatre, but nothing definite was in place.
Otherwise, Haimes and company will wait for the completion of the restored Selwyn Theatre, the Roundabout's new 42nd Street home. There, said Haimes, the company plans a three-show season for the year 2000. He did not think the company would remain at the Grammercy past its two year lease. "It's a commercial space," he said. "I don't think that's what the theatre's owners want." Haimes plans to see the Roundabout through their move to the Selwyn. Regarding his new position as creative director of the troubled and bankrupt Livent, Haimes was realistic and philosophical. "Who knows what's going to happen," he observed. "A lot of my friends have told me `I'm glad you didn't give up your day job.' "
He said he believed it was still possible for Livent to continue as a company. "Livent could be bought by Cablevision or any of the other companies that are interested in it," Haimes suggested. He also admitted another possible scenario could see the company liquidated.
Livent's projects in development continue to progress. The first out of the gate will most likely be the revival of Pal Joey, which Haimes said could arrive during the 1999-2000 season. Frank Galati will direct the Rodgers and Hart work, which will have a new book by Terrence McNally. Haimes said the Joey role was all-but-cast but declined to reveal the star's name.
The Suessical, meanwhile, may reach production in the 2000-2001 season.
--By Robert Simonson