Seldes Bargains with Lane for Theatre in McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams, Opening Aug. 18

News   Seldes Bargains with Lane for Theatre in McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams, Opening Aug. 18 Marian Seldes is the aged owner of a neglected theatre which Nathan Lane and Alison Fraser long to reclaim in Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams which opens Off-Broadway Aug. 18 at Primary Stages.
Nathan Lane in Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams
Nathan Lane in Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams Photo by James Leynse

Michael Morris (Slag Heap) directs the New York premiere of the work which debuted at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in August 2004. The Off-Broadway run began July 26 at 59E59 Theaters for a run slated through Sept. 18.

Terrence McNally's Dedication, as the scribe told Playbill.com, is "about a couple (Lane and Fraser) who live in upstate New York. On the weekends, they run, manage and produce a small children's theatre which does things like Puss in Boots and Alice and Wonderland. They are given an opportunity to take over an old abandoned, decaying theatre which was once on the vaudeville circuit. And these people become candidates." He added that the play is about "what price they're willing to pay to have their own theatre."

Seldes — who plays the acid-tongued wealthy socialite Annabelle Willard — won a Tony Award for her turn in Albee's A Delicate Balance. Last seen on the New York stage in Beckett/Albee, her Broadway credits include Equus, Ivanov, 45 Seconds From Broadway, Father's Day, Deathtrap, Ring Round the Moon and Dinner at Eight — she was Tony-nominated for the last four.

Lane — who portrays theatre-lover Lou Nuncle (a role written with him in mind) — won Tony Awards for his roles in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The star previously teamed with McNally on The Libson Traviata, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and Love! Valour! Compassion! Other credits include The Frogs, Present Laughter, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and The Man Who Came to Dinner. The actor is slated to perform with the show through Sept. 4.

Lane and Seldes are joined in the cast by Alison Fraser (Tartuffe, The Secret Garden), Michael Countryman (The Stendahl Syndrome at Primary Stages), Miriam Shor (Book of Days, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and original WTF cast members R.E. Rodgers (Terrorism, "Oz") and Darren Pettie (Hobson's Choice, Unwrap Your Candy). The design team for Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams features Narelle Sissons (scenic), Laura Crow (costumes), Jeff Croiter (lighting) and Lindsay Jones (sound). Emily N. Wells will serve as production stage manager.

Seldes played the role of Willard opposite Rodgers as Edward, her driver, in the original WTF cast that also included Boyd Gaines, Debra Monk, Kellie Overbey, Darren Pettie and Larry Pine. Scott Ellis directed the debut staging. The work was originally penned to open the newly renovated Biltmore Theatre on Broadway for the Manhattan Theatre Club, but that slot went Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour.

Primary Stages' season will then continue (Sept. 11-Oct. 30) with the world premiere of Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira's In The Continuum and with the east coast premiere of Charles Grodin's The Right Kind of People, directed by Chris Smith (Jan. 24-March 5, 2006) followed by Amy Irving starring in Marta Góes' solo play A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop (March 21-April 30, 2006).

Tickets and subscriptions to Primary Stages' shows at the 59E59 Theaters, at 59 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Ave.), can be purchased by calling (212) 279-4200 or at the box office. For more information, visit www.primarystages.com.

Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes in <i>Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams</i>
Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes in Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams Photo by James Leynse