Amy Ryan, Enid Graham and Missy Yager have all been confirmed for the cast of the Second Stage Theatre's revival of Beth Henley's Pulitzer winning Crimes of the Heart. Previews begin April 3 for the oddball comedy-drama, which opens April 16.
Garry Hynes, Tony-winning director of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, has long been slated as director. Also mentioned, but not confirmed, for the cast are Talmadge Lowe and Jason Butler Harnar.
Ryan is currently featured in the Off-Broadway revival of Edward Bond's Saved. Graham was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Look Back in Anger at CSC. And Yager is well remembered from the Off Broadway hit, This Is Our Youth, by Kenneth Lonergan.
Henley's 1981 play about kooky Southern sisters has remained a staple of regional and community playhouses. More recent plays have included the poorly-received Family Week this season and last year's Impossible Marriage at the Roundabout. Other Henley works include The Wake of Jamey Foster (on Broadway in 1982) and The Miss Firecracker Contest.
* Currently at the Second Stage, Reg Rogers, last seen starring in a CSC revival of Look Back in Anger opposite the aforementioned Enid Graham, is the titular protagonist of Cellini, a new historical drama written and directed by John Patrick Shanley.
Cellini, which started previews Jan. 24 and opened Feb. 12, examines Renaissance sculptor Benvenuto Cellini and his attempt to make great art while pleasing his benefactor, Pope Clement VII. Shanley, best known for penning the “Moonstruck” screenplay, has penned such plays as The Big Funk, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, Psychopathia Sexualis and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea He's currently developing a musical based on "Moonstruck" with lyricist Susan Birkenhead and composer Henry Krieger.
Rogers was a Tony nominee for his work opposite Laura Linney in an acclaimed Broadway revival of Holiday. His co-stars include Lisa Bansavage, David Chandler, Daniel Oreskes, Lucas Papaelias, Gary Perez, Richard Russell Ramos, Jennifer Roszell and John Gould Rubin.
Designing the show are Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Brian Nason (lighting), Adrianne Lobel (set) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
The final show of the Second Stage season will be Once Around the City, a new musical by Willie and Robert Reale. The production — to be directed by Mark Linn-Baker (who will be acting artistic director of the theatre for six months beginning in January 2001) and choreographed by Jennifer Muller — will begin previews June 12.
City, set in the 1980's, is described as an antidote to the "greed decade." The central story pits a yuppie real estate agent against an advocate of the homeless. Romance, comedy, Reaganomics and a jazzy score are mixed into the show.
The brothers Reale have written six musicals together, including Quark Victory, which played at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1999. That quirky tuner centered around a teenage girl named Samantha who takes an amazing journey into the nucleus of an atom. Karen Ziemba and Wilson Jermaine Heredia starred in the production.
For ticket and subscription information call Second Stage Theatre at (212) 787-5600.
In other Second Stage news, actor Mark Linn-Baker, best known for his years on TV's "Perfect Strangers" and work in filmdom's "My Favorite Year" has been tapped by artistic director Carole Rothman to oversee the company while she takes a half-year vacation, that started Jan. 1 (she’s expected back in the fall to run the 2001-02 season).
A co-founder of New York Stage and Film, Linn-Baker was last seen OB in Chesapeake (a commercial production at the Second Stage space) and had recent Broadway roles in A Flea in Her Ear and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. A Second Stage spokesperson at the Richard Kornberg press office didn't know whether Linn-Baker would be choosing any shows for the following season or simply overseeing the Jan-Aug. 2001 slate chosen by Rothman, as well as directing Once Around the City.
—By Robert Simonson
and David Lefkowitz