Swoosie Kurtz's double duty playing a good sister and an evil sister begins Feb. 18 when the New York premiere of Paula Vogel's The Mineola Twins officially opens at the Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre.
Previews for the work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of How I Learned to Drive began Jan. 19.
The comedy, developed at the Perseverance Theatre in Alaska and premiered by Trinity Repertory Company in 1997, follows Myrna and Myra over three decades, beginning with the Eisenhower era. It has been dubbed "a politically incorrect comedy of the sexes."
Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Corpus Christi) directs a cast the includes Mo Gaffney (The Kathy and Mo Show), Mandy Siegfried, Daniel Sherman and Jimmy Holder.
Designers are Robert Brill with Scott Pask (scenic), Jess Goldstein (costume) and Kevin Adams (lighting). *
Kurtz has received the Tony Award twice, for Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July and the Lincoln Center revival of John Guare's House of Blue Leaves. Other stage appearances include Uncommon Women and Others, and Durang's A History of American Film. Her recent career has been TV-related, with a lead role in "Sisters" and a recurring role in the NBC sitcom, "Suddenly Susan."
Co-starring with Kurtz is Obie Award winner Mo Gaffney. Like Kurtz, Gaffney began on the stage, receiving rave reviews for The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives, which she co-wrote and co-starred in with Kathy Najimy. Gaffney also wrote, produced and starred in two of her own HBO specials and is a series regular on the television show, "Mad About You."
Other Vogel plays include The Baltimore Waltz and Desdemona.
Mineola Twins will be the last show at Laura Pels Theatre; the lease for the space is up in May. The Rounadbout is renovating the historic Selwyn Theatre on 42nd Street for its new home, set to open in January 2000. Future Off-Broadway shows for Roundabout will run at the Gramercy Theatre and elsewhere.
For ($55) tickets to Mineola Twins, or any of Roundabout's shows, call (212) 719-9300.
Twins follows Beth Henley's Impossible Marriage, which ended Jan. 3 at the Pels space.
Meanwhile, at Stage Right, the Roundabout's adjacent Broadway-size house, The Lion in Winter begins previews Feb. 19, a delay of two days from its previously-announced Feb. 17 first preview. Opening is March 11.
Roundabout's website is www.roundabouttheatre.org.