Defying Gravity, a new play suggested by the life of Christa McAuliffe -- the teacher-in-space participant who perished Jan. 23, 1986 in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger -- touches down Off Broadway and lands at the American Place Theatre on West 46th St, Nov. 2. Previews began Oct. 18.
Written by Jane (The Baby Dance) Anderson, it is, according to producer Daryl Roth, "a gorgeous play -- with a very universal theme. It's really about mothers and daughters, teachers and students. Christa isn't mentioned by name. She's called Teacher."
Starring in he show are Candy Buckley, a Drama Desk nominee for The Petrified Prince) and Jonathan Hadary, a Tony nominee for the Tyne Daly Gypsy revival and star of As Is and Angels In America. Veteran actress Lois Smith (Buried Child, The Grapes Of Wrath) and Lecy Goranson (Becky number one on TV's "Roseanne") also comprise the cast, as do Sandra Daley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Frank Raiter.
Designing Gravity are Jeff Cowie (sets), Michael Lincoln (lighting), David Woolard (costumes) and John Gromada (sound). Director Michael Wilson is associate artistic director of Houston, TX's Alley Theatre.
Previous works by Anderson include The Baby Dance and Food And Shelter. Expected at Defying Gravity's opening night, by the way, are Ellen Burstyn and Elizabeth Ashley.
For tickets and information on Defying Gravity call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Harry Haun and David Lefkowitz