Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Stacy Keach Visit Other Desert Cities Beginning Dec. 16

News   Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Stacy Keach Visit Other Desert Cities Beginning Dec. 16 Stage veterans Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Stacy Keach share a turbulent Christmas in John Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities, which begins previews Off-Broadway Dec. 16 at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater.

Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Thomas Sadoski, Elizabeth Marvel, Linda Lavin
Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Thomas Sadoski, Elizabeth Marvel, Linda Lavin Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony-winning director Joe Mantello directs the production for Lincoln Center Theater. Opening is Jan. 13, 2011. The work was originally aiming for a Broadway premiere this season under the title Love and Mercy. (It would have marked Baitz's Broadway playwriting debut.)

In addition to Tony winners Channing (Six Degrees of Separation, The House of Blue Leaves), Lavin (The Sisters Rosensweig, Collected Stories) and Golden Globe Award winner Keach (Indians, "Hemingway"), the cast also features Tony Award nominee Thomas Sadoski (Reasons to Be Pretty) and Elizabeth Marvel (Seascape, Top Girls).

Here's how LCT bills the play: "In Other Desert Cities, Brooke Wyeth (Marvel), a once promising novelist, returns home after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents (Channing and Keach), former members of the Reagan inner-circle, her brother (Sadosky), and her aunt (Lavin). When Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family’s history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil and the Wyeths are both bound together and torn apart as they struggle to come to terms with their past."

The LCT production has set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Jill BC DuBoff and original music by Justin Ellington.

Baitz's plays include The Paris Letter, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks, A Fair Country, The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day and Three Hotels. He has also written the screenplays for "The Substance of Fire" and "People I Know" as well as for TV's "Brothers & Sisters," "The West Wing" and "Alias." Mantello's directing credits include Pal Joey, November, The Ritz, Blackbird, The Odd Couple, Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony nomination), Laugh Whore, Assassins (Tony Award), Wicked, Take Me Out (Tony Award), Design for Living, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Tony nomination), Proposals, The Mineola Twins, Corpus Christi, among others. He also received a Tony nomination for his performance in Angels in America. Mantello is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at Roundabout Theatre Company.

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