In the fall of 2000, it was San Francisco's Producers. The Late Henry Moss had the cast to die for — filmdom's Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn — and the cachet of a world premiere by actor-playwright Sam Shepard. It sold out its run before a single performance had played and became the thing to see for the season.
Sept. 16, minus the starry cast, Signature Theatre Company brings The Late Henry Moss to New York City, the nonprofit company announced. Joseph Chaikin will direct.
Set in the Shepardian version of the American West, Henry Moss pitted two brothers, Earl and Ray (originally, Nolte and Penn), against the memory of their father Henry, whose family secrets and death are revealed in mysterious ways. Spicing up the comic mix are a neighbor who spends his time making the Mexican tripe-and-chili soup, called Menudo, and a talkative cab driver, and a rhumba-dancing girlfriend. New York casting has not been announced.
Also promised for the Signature Theatre's 2001-02 season, according to a spokesperson, are the world premieres of Edward Albee's I Think Back Now on André Gide and John Guare's A Few Stout Individuals.
* The Late Henry Moss opened at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square Nov. 14, 2000. The production, sold out before a single performance played, began Nov. 7 for a run through Dec. 17.
Nolte, a 1999 Academy Award nominee for "Affliction," recently appeared in the Shepard film, "Simpatico," based on his play. Penn, a 2000 Academy Award nominee for Woody Allen's "Sweet And Lowdown," was also Oscar-nominated for 1996's "Dead Man Walking."
Also in the Moss cast were Cheech Marin, Woody Harrelson, Jim Gammon and Sheila Tousey. Gammon was Tony nominated for the Gary Sinise revival of Shepard's Buried Child and also performed in the playwright's Curse of the Starving Class and Simpatico Off Broadway.
— By Christine Ehren