PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: The Other Place; Location, Location, Location

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11 Jan 2013

Sharr White
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

If the play has changed, Mantello said, it's because half the cast has changed. "It's different because the personalities and idiosyncrasies of Danny Stern and Zoe Perry alter the play in different ways. When you do a production, then do it again with another group of people, it takes on the personality of the group."

The director reached back 15 years to find a replacement for Dennis Boutsikaris in the husband role. "Danny and I worked together years ago — the first season of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. Robbie Baitz and Terrence McNally wrote a play called House about a house that was being sold. Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason were the sellers, and Danny and Deb Monk were the buyers, and Rue McClanahan — rest her soul — was the real estate broker. It was a wonderful play."

Mantello's next project could give Metcalf a run for the Tony. "I'm doing a play called I'll Eat You Last by John Logan about superagent Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler. She hasn't been on Broadway in a long time. The last time she was on Broadway in a musical — excluding her three star vehicles — was Fiddler on the Roof [she was a replacement Tzeitel, 1964-1972]. I don't believe she's ever done a play."

The fourth member of the four-person Other Place cast is a returnee, John Schiappa, in the role of Metcalf's son-in-law, Richard. "This is my second time around getting to watch Laurie Metcalf," he beamed. "I did it down at the Lucille Lortel for MCC before, and I can tell you Laurie Metcalf brings it to the theatre every performance."

He doesn't detect any real difference in the two productions. "I would say that there's not a big change," he ventured. "Script-wise, nothing really changed, but the ability to get to work on a piece the second time around with such great talent and Joe Mantello at the helm, it just gets deeper and richer and better and fuller. I think that's what's been amazing, having the opportunity to approach this material again."


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