The Off-Off-Broadway staging at the Connelly Theatre in the East Village (through April 17) marks the New York premiere of new material added years after the project's 1993 debut at The Public Theater.
The cast includes Mary Testa as Lorena Hickock, Julia Murney as Amelia Earhart, Mary Beth Peil as Eleanor Roosevelt, Donna Lynne Champlin as Mary Gallagher, Robyn Hussa as Jackie Kennedy, Diane Sutherland as Evelyn Lincoln, Cheryl Stern as Mamie Eisenhower, Sherry D. Boone as Marian Anderson, James Hindman as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ruth Gottschall as Kay Summersby, Margaret Truman and Lady Bird Johnson.
Jack Cummings III directs the staging, with music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Jana Zielonka (orchestration is for two pianos and a cello).
Designers are John Story (set), R. Lee Kennedy (lighting) Kathryn Rohe (costume), Seth Guterman (sound).
First Lady Suite includes:
Eleanor Sleeps Here, "a heart-rending examination of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickock as they're being flown over Washington by Amelia Earhart." A world premiere recording of the score is on CD from the PS Classics label. It preserves the work of the Blank Theatre Company in Los Angeles, which staged the revised version of the show. Visit psclassics.com.
Transport Group is known for it staging of Our Town with older actors playing George and Emily, and its collection of William Inge one-acts, Requiem for William, which included new songs added between acts.
First Lady Suite plays the Connelly, 220 E. 4th St. (between Avenues A and B) April 7-10, 13-17 at 8 PM, April 4 & 11 at 3 PM, and April 10 & 17 at 2 PM.
For reservations, visit www.smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444. For more information, visit Transport Group's website at www.transport-group.org.