Williams' Suddenly Last Summer Opens Off-Broadway with Danner and Gugino

News   Williams' Suddenly Last Summer Opens Off-Broadway with Danner and Gugino The Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer officially opens Off-Broadway Nov. 15 with a cast led by Tony Award winner Blythe Danner and After the Fall's Carla Gugino.
Carla Gugino in Suddenly Last Summer.
Carla Gugino in Suddenly Last Summer. Photo by Joan Marcus

Mark Brokaw (The Constant Wife) directs the work, which also features Becky Ann Baker, Gale Harold, Sandra Shipley, Karen Walsh and Wayne Wilcox. The drama began previews Oct. 20 will play a limited run through Jan. 14, 2007, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.

In Williams' psychological drama, Danner stars as "the formidable Mrs. Venable, an aging widow distraught over the mysterious death of her son," according to a release. "When the young cousin (Gugino) who traveled with him begins raising scandalous allegations, Mrs. Venable will stop at nothing to preserve her son's reputation."

Baker (Roundabout's Assassins) appears as Mrs. Holly with Harold ("Queer as Folk," "Vanished") as Doctor Cukrowicz, Shipley (Arms and the Man, Indiscretions) as Sister Felicity, Walsh (Let's Face It, Sitting Pretty) as Miss Foxhill and Wilcox (A Man of No Importance) as George Holly.

The design team for Suddenly Last Summer includes Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes), David Weiner (lights) and Peter Golub (original music and sound) with Ryan Powers (sound).

Danner won two consecutive Emmy Awards for her turn on Showtime's "HUFF." On stage, she earned a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in Butterflies Are Free and was further nominated for performances in A Streetcar Named Desire, Betrayal and Follies. A stage veteran, she has also appeared in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing as well as Williamstown Theatre Festival runs of The Sea Gull, The Royal Family and more. Her movie roles include "1776," "The Great Santini," "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Meet the Parents" and "Sylvia." Gugino was previously seen at Roundabout in After the Fall. The actress is known for her work on television and film including big screen credits in "Sin City," the "Spy Kids" trilogy, "The Singing Detective," "The One," "Judas Kiss," "Snake Eyes" and the upcoming "Night at the Museum." She starred in the television series "Karen Sisco," appeared on "Chicago Hope" and was also Michael J. Fox's original girlfriend on TV's "Spin City."

Brokaw — who directed last season's The Constant Wife with Kate Burton and Lynn Redgrave for the Roundabout — has also staged Reckless and Off-Broadway's Baltimore Waltz, The Long Christmas Ride Home, How I Learned to Drive, Lobby Hero, This Is Our Youth, The Dying Gaul and As Bees in Honey Drown, among others. He also directed the world premiere of the new musical Marty with John C. Reilly at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company and A Little Night Music in the Sondheim Celebration at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center.

Suddenly Last Summer made its premiere Off-Broadway Jan. 7, 1958, as part of a double-bill titled Garden District with another Williams work Something Unspoken. The play was adapted into a 1959 screenplay by Williams and Gore Vidal for a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift.

Up next at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre will be the American premieres of Patrick Marber's Howard Katz — starring Alfred Molina as the title character under the direction of Doug Hughes (previews from Feb. 2, 2007 and opens March 8) — and Brian Friel's The Home Place, directed by Joe Dowling, in the spring/summer.

Tickets may be purchased by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, visiting the Laura Pels box office (111 West 46 Street) or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.

Blythe Danner and Gale Harold in <i>Suddenly Last Summer</i>
Blythe Danner and Gale Harold in Suddenly Last Summer Photo by Joan Marcus