Tony Award nominee Mary Testa (On the Town) is the latest cast member of Marie Christine, the new Michael John LaChiusa musical starring Audra McDonald, set to play at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater in fall 1999.
A Lincoln Center Theater spokesman said previews will begin in mid-October with an opening in November.
Testa has had a busy year. Apart from the Broadway revival of On the Town, and the accompanying Tony nod, she appeared earlier this spring in the Encores! concert presentation of The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, taking the roles created by Fanny Brice. She also played a month of cabaret dates at the Garrick in Manhattan.
It was confirmed earlier this week that Audra McDonald, long rumored for the show, will indeed star in Marie. That the three-time Tony winner should appear in the musical is only natural. According to Charles Koppelman, LaChiusa's agent, the lead role was written with McDonald in mind. Though McDonald has been a star in the New York theatre world for some time now, this will represent her first time she has been asked to carry a Broadway musical on her own.
LaChiusa, who earned a cult following with his Hello Again Off-Broadway and Chronicle of a Death Foretold on Broadway, is again collaborating with director-choreographer Graciela (Ragtime) Daniele on Marie Christine, which is described as "a quasi-operatic version of Medea, set in 1880s New Orleans and Chicago." Act One is set in New Orleans, Act Two in Chicago. Testa will play a Chicago bar owner who meets Marie Christine.
The omnipresent McDonald most recently starred as Sarah in Ragtime , for which she won her third Tony (the previous two were for Master Class and Carousel ). She has also recently been making the rounds in the concert world, participating in a George Gershwin tribute at Carnegie Hall and performing at Town Hall and in the newly-opened Joe's Pub at the Public Theater.