Warren Leight's jazz-inflected drama, Side Man, which rose from Off-Broadway to a Broadway run at the Roundabout Theatre to a second transfer to the John Golden Theatre, will go through another change -- the return of original cast member, Edie Falco.
Falco will rejoin the cast Jan. 8, 1999 playing the role she originated, Terry. Her bio lists Side Man as Falco's "first venture into professional theatre," though she has numerous film credits, including "Bullets Over Broadway," "Private Parts" and "Copland."
According to the producers, Wendy Makkena who played the role of Terry during the Roundabout and Broadway engagements, is leaving the show due to family issues (though Theatrical Index is reporting her as cast in the U.S. premiere of Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre in February 1999.)
Side Man has gone through a number of cast changes during its varied venues, most notably when film star Christian Slater joined the Broadway cast during the show's Broadway preview run on Oct. 20. Slater is expected to stay with the show through February.
Slater replaced Robert Sella as Clifford, the narrator of the piece, which tells of a man's love of jazz ruining his marriage -- and his wife's sanity. Sella left the show to fill the role of the Emcee during Alan Cumming's hiatus from his Tony winning performance. The rest of the Golden Side Man cast match the play's Roundabout Theatre Company incarnation. Featured are Kevin Geer, Michael Mastro, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Angelica Torn, and Frank Wood. Michael Mayer (View from the Bridge, and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) directs.
On Oct. 22, Leight won Newsday's 1998 George Oppenheimer Playwriting Award for Best New American Playwright, for Side Man.
Although The Great White Way hasn't seen him for a while, Slater's no stranger to the stage, having notably appeared in Merlin with Chita Rivera and Doug Henning, and The Music Man with Dick Van Dyke. Slater, known for his Jack Nicholson-esque demeanor, rose to stardom in the late eighties after appearing in the dark cult-classic "Heathers." Other films starring Slater include: "Hard Rain," "Broken Arrow," and "Pump Up the Volume."
Side Man is produced by Weissberger Theater Group, Jay Harris, producer/Peter Manning/Ron Kastner/James Cushing/Joan Stein. The design team is Neil Patel (sets), Tom Broecker (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Ray Schilke (sound).
Leight's drama opened at Off-Broadway's CSC space (produced by the Weissberger Theater Group, Jay Harris and Peter Manning), where reviews were strong enough for Roundabout Theatre to pick up the show in place of a planned Bacharach/David revue that didn't make it past a West Coast try-out. Side Man played at the Roundabout's Stage Right mainstage through Sept. 13.
For ticket information on Side Man at the Golden, call (212) 239- 6200.