Tom Wopat and Amy Irving are to be the next cast of The Bat Theatre Company's production of The Guys. They will perform May 14-June 14.
Bill Irwin will once again step in to the lead — this time opposite Irving — for the week of May 31-June 7 while Wopat takes time off for a personal engagement according to a Bat spokesperson.
Perhaps best known for his stint as one of the "Good Ol' Boys" in television's "Dukes of Hazzard," Wopat has been seen on the New York stage in many musicals. He was a replacement player in I Love My Wife, City of Angels, and the revivals of Guys and Dolls and Annie Get Your Gun, as well as the latter's national tour.
Irving was also a Broadway replacement in the 1980 staging of Amadeus. The actress has played on The Great White Way in Heartbreak House, Broken Glass and Three Sisters. A viable screen star, she is remembered for her work in such films as "Carrie" and "Crossing Delancey." She garnered an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in "Yentl" and also provided — virtually unnoted — the singing voice of sexy Jessica Rabbit in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" voiced by current The Graduate star Kathleen Turner.
Irwin's credits include Fool Moon, Largely New York, The Regard of Flight, and most recently Texts for Nothing. He has also appeared on the screen in the film "My Blue Heaven" and HBO's "The Laramie Project." The Guys, based on scribe Anne Nelson's real experiences, is a dialogue between a New York City fire captain — who has lost most of his men in the Sept. 11 attack — and an editor who helps him write the eulogies, as she struggles to come to terms with the event. Both find out, as quoted from the text, "We have no idea what wonders lie hidden in the people around us."
The rotating casts of big name stars have lifted the little-known Off-Off Broadway troupe headed up by artistic director Jim Simpson to headlines. Following a workshop in December 2001 at the Bat's 80-seat venue, the play by first-time playwright Nelson, returned in January with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver (Simpson's wife) in the leads. Subsequent performers included Bill Irwin, Anthony LaPaglia, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Swoosie Kurtz.
Bat artistic director Jim Simpson helms the work. Costumes are by Claudia Brown, set and lights are by Kyle Chepulis.
The play's not the only thing for this little-show-that-could. ContentFilm has signed on to finance, produce and distribute the screen version of the play starring Weaver and LaPaglia. Bat-man Simpson, who directed the play, adapted the screen version with some additions and will also take the helm for the film.
The Guys will also hit bookshelves in August as the play will be published by Random House. The paperback will also include two new essays by Nelson and photos from the theatrical production.
The hot tickets are $55. Limited $15 tickets for firemen and Port Authority workers with ID. Rush Tickets ($25) are sold on the same day, based on availability. The Flea is at 41 White Street in Tribeca. For reservations, call (212) 206-1515 or visit www.thebat.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez