The Williamstown Theatre Festival will wind up its production of Thornton Wilder's Skin of Our Teeth, starring Kristine Nielsen, Marian Seldes, Bill Smitrovich and Kali Rocha, on Aug. 12. The play began its run Aug. 2 on the Main Stage and is directed by Darko Tresnjak.
Also in the cast -- totaling a whopping 44 -- are Emily Bergl, Gregor Paslawsky, Thomas Sadoski, Alexander R. Scott, Jimmi Simpson and David Wohl.
Nielsen and Smitrovich play Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus, the heros of Wilder's fantastical, slightly absurd fable of human existence and endurance. Nielsen should be used to odd theatrical worlds by now, veteran, as she is, of Julie Taymor's The Green Bird and Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation. Smitrovich is more a by-the book type, having played countless generals, captains and colonels in such films as "Independence Day," "Air Force One" and "Fail Safe."
Seldes will play the Fortune Teller. After many years of seldom being seen on the stage, Seldes has been an omnipresence of late, rarely seen off the stage. In the past year or so, she's gone from Ring Round the Moon on Broadway to Dear Liar and The Torch-Bearers Off-Broadway.
Rocha plays eternal seductress Sabina, having recently finished a run as a different sort of scarlet women in The Constant Wife at Westport Country Playhouse, under the direction of Joanne Woodward. *
The Williamstown Theatre Festival's 2000 season is slowly coming to a close. The last major production on the roster is Moss Hart's Light Up the Sky (Aug. 16-27), for which the fest has assembled a group of veteran and rising New York stage talents. Leading the cast are Frank Wood, Jessica Hecht, Enid Graham, Ron Rifkin, T. Scott Cunningham and Angelina Phillips.
Phillips and Graham have worked together before, in CSC Repertory's Off Broadway revival of Look Back in Anger last fall. Phillips starred in WTF's All My Sons several seasons back, a production which traveled to New York and made her name in theatre circles. Graham was first noticed in the Broadway staging of Honour. She has since appeared Off-Broadway in Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages.
Frank Wood won a Tony for her performance as a feckless trumpet player in Side Man by Warren Leight (whose Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine was seen at Williamstown last summer). Hecht, meanwhile, is a darling of Gotham critics, winning plaudits for her appearances in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Stop Kiss, Plunge and Lobster Alice.
Thrown into this mix is Eric Stoltz, a veteran film actor ("Pulp Fiction") who occasionally graces stages in New York (Three Sisters) and Williamstown (The Glass Menagerie).
Hart's backstage comedy will be directed by Christopher Ashley, the man behind such shows as Jeffrey and As Thousands Cheer.
-- By Robert Simonson