Gayton Scott (Gypsy, White Chocolate) replaces Leigh as the social hostess Beverly March 13, a production spokesperson confirmed.
The New Group artistic director Scott Elliott (Barefoot In The Park, The Threepenny Opera) staged the Mike Leigh work that began Nov. 14, 2005, and opened Dec. 1 at Theatre Row's Acorn Theater for a limited run originally scheduled through Jan. 7. The work has extended twice through April 8.
Abigail's Party centers on two dinner and cocktail parties transpiring at neighboring suburban London homes. It was first produced in London in 1977 at the Hampstead Theatre and then became more popular through the BBC television adaptation. The work was recently revived in 2002 at the New Ambassador's Theatre, earning a nomination for an Olivier Theatre Award for Best Revival of 2002.
Actress Leigh (no relation to the British scribe) has appeared on Broadway in Cabaret and Proof. She is best known for her film work appearing in such movies as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Rush," "Single White Female," "Dolores Claiborne," "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" and "The Anniversary Party" — which she co-wrote and co-directed with co-star Alan Cumming.
Scott joins the cast that features Max Baker (Comedians, What the Butler Saw), Lisa Emery (Hot 'n' Throbbing, The Women), Darren Goldstein (Intimate Apparel, Terrorism) and Elizabeth Jasicki (When Harry Met Sally, As You Like It). The New Group also currently present Wallace Shawn and Allen Shawn's world premiere play-opera The Music Teacher, directed by Tom Cairns at the Minetta Lane Theater. Next up in the 10th anniversary season will be Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's Everything's Turning Into Beautiful starring Bobby Cannavale (Hurlyburly) and Annabella Sciorra (Roar). This year's New Group (naked) presentation will be A Spalding Gray Matter — which explores the titular star's tumultuous life — performed by its author Michael Brandt and directed by Ian Morgan.
Tickets to Abigail's Party at The New Group @ Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Ave.) are available by calling (212) 279-4200. For more information on The New Group, visit the website at http://www.thenewgroup.org.