Hamill and McClanahan Share Dance Lessons on Broadway in Fall 2003
By Kenneth Jones
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, the Richard Alfieri play starring Rue McClanahan and Mark Hamill, seen earlier this year at Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, will play Broadway in fall 2003, the producers officially announced May 15.
Arthur Allan Seidelman will direct, as he did in Florida and with a previous run at California's Geffen Playhouse in 2001, when Uta Hagen played role of a lonely widow who bonds with a dance instructor (then played by David Hyde Pierce).
The comedy will be produced on Broadway by Rodger Hess, Marcia Seligson, Entpro Plays, Inc. and Arnold Mittelman.
In Six Dance Lessons "Rue McClanahan portrays Lily Harrison, a formidable Florida retiree, who has hired a dance instructor for six weeks. Much to her dismay, she is greeted by an acerbic, transplanted New Yorker, Michael Minetti (played by Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame). After a rocky start, Michael and Lily soon learn they have more in common than either could have imagined."
Alfieri's Six Dance Lessons opened March 21 following previews at Miami resident producing house and continued to April 13. The play ran successfully at the Geffen Playhouse in 2001 with 81-year-old Hagen and Pierce (of TV's "Frasier"), and was aimed at Broadway in 2002 before Hagen took ill.
"We still intend to come to New York," Hess told Playbill On-Line earlier this year.
Kay Cole choreographed in Miami.
McClanahan starred in TV's "The Golden Girls" and appeared in Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of The Women in 2001-2002.
Hamill appeared on Broadway in Amadeus, Harrigan and Hart, The Nerd and The Elephant Man.
Playwright Alfieri received a Writers Guild Award for the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "Harvest of Fire." His play, The Sisters, had its premiere at Pasadena Playhouse. He is currently writing a screenplay of Six Dance Lessons for Universal Pictures.
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