With Friends Like These: Kurtz, Jones Open in Imaginary Pre-Broadway Run Sept. 29

News   With Friends Like These: Kurtz, Jones Open in Imaginary Pre-Broadway Run Sept. 29 Imaginary Friends, the Broadway-bound production of Nora Ephron's play with music, will open in its world premiere run at San Diego's Globe Theatres Sept. 29. Performances of the drama, which stars Swoosie Kurtz and Cherry Jones, began Sept. 21 and play through Nov. 3.

Imaginary Friends, the Broadway-bound production of Nora Ephron's play with music, will open in its world premiere run at San Diego's Globe Theatres Sept. 29. Performances of the drama, which stars Swoosie Kurtz and Cherry Jones, began Sept. 21 and play through Nov. 3.

Imaginary Friends is expected at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre Nov. 25.

In Imaginary Friends, Cherry Jones and Swoosie Kurtz play writers Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman, respectively. Harry Groener takes on the task of performing all the major male roles. Anne Pitoniak, Peter Marx and Perry Laylon Ojeda are among the ensemble.

Pitoniak, a two-time Tony nominee for 'night, Mother and Picnic, will have a featured role. She most recently appeared on Broadway in Dance of Death with Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren.

As part of the play with music's ensemble, Marx and Laylon Ojeda have strong musical theatre backgrounds. Marx recently played Charlie Davenport in Annie Get Your Gun and played in the original casts of Sunset Boulevard and Singin' in the Rain. Laylon Ojeda starred as Gabey in George C. Wolfe's On the Town and was featured in Encores!'s Babes in Arms. The rest of the ensemble features Anne Allgood (The Sound of Music), Constance Barron, Bernard Dotson (Sweet Smell of Success, Ragtime), Rosena M. Hill (Ragtime, Marie Christine), Gina Lamparella (Les Miserables, Jane Eyre), Dirk Lumbard (On Your Toes), Jim Osorno (The Rocky Horror Show), Karyn Quackenbush (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Annie Get Your Gun) and Melanie Vaughan (Parade).

Helmer Jack O'Brien directs with Hairspray cohort Jerry Mitchell choreographing. The creative team has been confirmed as Michael Levine (sets), Robert Morgan (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Jon Weston (sound). Ron Melrose serves as musical director.

Imaginary Friends marks the first stagework by writer Ephron. The play with music centers around the feuding literary femmes Hellman and McCarthy. The libel lawsuit-laden battle ended only by the death of Hellman in 1984.

Songs featured in the play are penned by the composer-lyricist team of Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia. The duo were recently on the boards with their Sweet Smell of Success, which garnered seven Tony nominations, including one for Best Score.

Ephron — or, rather, her life — is no stranger to the stage; her early childhood was the focus of her stage and screenwriting parents' Three's a Family, and Take Her, She's Mine was based on her correspondence with Henry and Phoebe Ephron during her college years. The writer is best known for her screenplays for "When Harry Met Sally...," "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle." She directed the latter two.

USA Ostar Theatricals produced the reading as well as the Broadway production. USA Ostar Theatricals were also the producers of the new Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler as well as Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things.

Single tickets to Globe Theatres productions are $25-$45. The Globe Theatres are located in Balboa Park. For reservations, call (619) 239 2255. The Globe Theatres are on the web at http://www.theglobetheatres.org.