Southern Comforts Delays Off-Broadway Start Due to Actor Injury

News   Southern Comforts Delays Off-Broadway Start Due to Actor Injury Primary Stages New York premiere of Kathleen Clark's Southern Comforts, starring Penny Fuller and William Biff McGuire, has been delayed.

During rehearsals, McGuire aggravated a previous back injury, according to a production spokesperson, and will not continue with the show on doctor's orders. Larry Keith will replace him in the production.

Judith Ivey stages the work, which will now begin previews Sept. 26 and open Oct. 18 for a limited engagement through Nov. 4 at 59E59 Theaters.

Keith appeared in Broadway's Caroline or Change, Cabaret, Titanic and Off-Broadway's The God Committee and This Thing of Darkness.

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Billed as "an exploration of the intimate workings of all relationships," the two-hander is about "a widow and widower who meet later in life and find a way into each other's hearts." The play was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Playwriting. McGuire, Tony Award-nominated for Morning's at Seven and The Young Man from Atlanta, played on Broadway in Conversations With My Father and the original productions of South Pacific, Dance Me a Song, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Father's Day, Camelot, A View From the Bridge and Mary, Mary. Other credits include The Day Emily Married, Finian's Rainbow, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Last Yankee, The Time of Your Life and the films "Serpico" and the original "The Thomas Crown Affair."

Fuller has performed in Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party — for which she was Tony nominated. Her other nod came for her turn in Applause. Other credits include Broadway's Rex, Cabaret and Barefoot in the Park as well as Off-Broadway's Five by Tenn, Beautiful Child and A New Brain.

The design team includes Thomas Lynch (sets), Joseph G. Aulisi (costumes), Brian Nason (lighting) and T. Richard Fitzgerald (sound). Paul Schwartz provides original and incidental music. B.H. Barry serves as fight director. The production stage manager is Misha Siegel-Rivers.

The work was previously announced to star Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook under the direction of Leonard Foglia — who directed the duo in the Coconut Grove Playhouse world premiere.

The new season at Primary began with the world premiere of A. R. Gurney's Indian Blood and will continue, following Southern Comforts, with the New York premiere of the Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick musical Adrift in Macao directed by Sheryl Kaller (Jan. 23-March 4, 2007). The 2006-2007 lineup ends with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's new play Deuce starring Marian Seldes (March 20-April 29, 2007).

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