Scott Schwartz, who has made his name as a director of musicals, will try his hand at Larry Shue's durable comedy The Foreigner in an Aug. 13-31 Berkshire Theatre Festival revival. No casting has been announced.
The play's "foreigner" is Charlie Baker, an Englishman so shy that, in order to avoid communication with the guests at a Georgia fishing lodge, he pretends to not understand English. This ruse, however, makes him privy to some information he perhaps ought not to know.
Schwartz directed both Batboy and tick, tick....BOOM! in 2001. Since then, he's helmed The Castle at Manhattan Theatre Ensemble and Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Kept in Palo Alto, CA.
Larry Shue, a New Orleans native, first found fame as a playwright at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. He died prematurely in an airplane accident in the 1985, but not before two of his scripts, The Nerd and The Foreigner, were established as hits. Both enjoyed successful New York runs, The Foreigner Off-Broadway, The Nerd on Broadway, and have since been produced countless times in the regions.
Jerry Zaks directed The Foreigner Off-Broadway, where it ran nearly two years at the Astor Place Theatre. Anthony Heald played Charlie. Shue himself played the supporting role of "Froggy" LaSueur. Also in the cast were future playwright Robert Schenkkan, Patricia Kalember, Kevin Geer and, in a bit part, Donna Bullock. *
In other news, Ronald Harwood's play, Quartet, will be played by an esteemed quartet of performers in its July 9-27 U.S. premiere at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Kaye Ballard, Paul Hecht, Elizabeth Seal and Robert Vaughn will essay the play's four retired opera singers, who now reside in a managed-care facility. The four characters once starred in a famous production of Verdi's Rigoletto. When the recording is reissued, however, it is not a cause for celebration, but a reason to reexamine their pasts and identities.
Vivian Matalon (who helmed the lauded Morning's at Seven in 1980) will direct the piece.
Vaughn is the original Man from U.N.C.L.E., Napoleon Solo, from the popular television spy series of the same name. His film credits, in which he typically played a smooth, icy villain, include "The Young Philadelphians," "The Magnificent Seven" and "Bullitt."
Hecht recently returned to Broadway after a long absence in Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love. Earlier credits include the original productions of 1776, The Rothschilds and Stoppard's Night and Day and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Ballard stole the show as Helen In the original production of the musical adaptation of the Iliad and the Odyssey, The Golden Apple. She later appeared in Carnival and two one-woman shows. She toured in 2001 as Jeanette in The Full Monty.
Finally, Seal won a Tony Award in 1961 for the title role in Irma La Douce, but has been little seen since. Her last Broadway appearance was in a 1983 revival of The Corn Is Green.
Harwood is the author of The Dresser.
Kate Levering, PJ Benjamin, Alyson Reed, Lovette George and Joel Blum will star in the Berkshire Theatre Festival's U.S premiere of a musical by lyricist-librettist Dick Vosburgh and composer Denis King, A Saint She Ain't.
The show will run July 30-Aug. 10 and then travel to the Westport Country Playhouse, where it will run Aug. 28-Sept. 14.
Levering's progress on Broadway has been swift. She went from a small supporting role in the recent Susan Stroman revival of The Music Man to playing Peggy Sawyer in the splashy remounting of 42nd Street to a romantic lead in Harry Connick, Jr.'s first musical, Thou Shalt Not.
Writer Dick Vosburgh penned much of the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical concoction, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine.
Eric Hill will direct the "Hollywood-inspired musical" in which each character is based on renowned Tinseltown figures, such as Mae West and W.C. Fields. The play, roughly based on Moliere's Le Cocu Imaginaire, concerns a couple of young lovers who mistakenly believe the other is being untrue.
A Saint She Ain't debuted at the UK's King's Head Theatre a couple seasons back and then transferred to the West End.
—By Robert Simonson