New Group artistic director Scott Elliott (Hurlyburly, the upcoming The Threepenny Opera) will stage the work at Theatre Row towards a Dec. 1 opening. Abigail's Party centers on a dinner party gone awry. It was first produced in London in 1977 at the Hampstead Theatre and then became more popular through the BBC television adaptation. The work was recently revived in 2002 at the New Ambassador's Theatre, earning a nomination for an Olivier Theatre Award for Best Revival of 2002.
Actress Leigh (no relation to the British scribe) has appeared on Broadway in Cabaret and Proof. She is best known for her film work appearing in such movies as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Rush," "Single White Female," "Dolores Claiborne," "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" and "The Anniversary Party" — which she co-wrote and co-directed with co-star Alan Cumming.
She will be joined in the cast by Max Baker (Comedians, What the Butler Saw), Lisa Emery (Hot 'n' Throbbing, The Women and Darren Goldstein (Intimate Apparel). More casting still to be announced.
The New Group's upcoming 10th Anniversary season will also include Wallace Shawn and Allen Shawn's world premiere play-opera The Music Teacher, to be directed by Tom Cairns (who directed Shawn's "Marie and Bruce" film). Next up will be Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's Everything's Turning Into Beautiful starring Bobby Cannavale and Annabella Sciorra. This year's New Group (naked) presentation will be A Spalding Gray Matter — which explores the titular star's tumultuous life — performed by its author Michael Brandt and directed by Ian Morgan.
All productions will play at The New Group @ Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street. For more info, visit TheNewGroup.org. For more information on The New Group, visit the website at http://www.thenewgroup.org.