Ten days after Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter opened on Broadway, Seattle Repertory stages its simultaneous regional premiere, a deal worked out when William Finn's musical, The Royal Family, fell through for Seattle back in February. Daughter opened on Broadway April 13 and opens in Washington April 30.
Previews to the Seattle Daughter, directed by associate artistic director David Saint, began April 26 for a run through May 25. (Current but exiting Seattle Rep artistic director Daniel Sullivan is directing the Lincoln Center version). Daughter was originally workshopped at Seattle Rep's 1996 New Play Workshop and featured Adam Arkin, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep.
The actual production will star Barbara Dirickson, Mari Nelson, Shona Tucker, John Procaccino, Henry Lubatti, Mark Chamberlin, Rex Robbins, Luce Ennis, James Chesnutt, James Garver, Peggy Gannon, Demene E Hall, Peter Lohnes and Ryland Merkey. Designers for Seattle's staging are John Lee Beatty (set), David Murin (costumes), Pat Collins (lighting), and Steven M. Klein (sound).
Director Saint has worked at Playwrights Horizons and Manhattan Theatre club in NY, NJ's McCarter Theatre and CA's Pasadena Playhouse. He staged the hit Off-Broadway production of Anne Meara's After-Play.
For tickets ($10-$38) and information on An American Daughter at Seattle Repertory's Bagley Wright Theatre through May 25, call (206) 443 2222. *
As for The Royal Family, the Finn (Falsetto's) musical with a Richard Greenberg (Eastern Standard) libretto (based on the 1927 Kaufman-Ferber comedy of the same name) is still being produced by Fran and Barry Weissler. The show has a new director, Jerry Zaks, and is looking toward a workshop in New York. ...Family was originally scheduled to open at Seattle Repertory Theatre in December 1996, and transfer to Broadway in 1997.
Family was first mysteriously postponed in September until late April, for no revealed reason. Then in October, director Tommy Tune deci eould be the second time in a year that he would withdraw from a musical produced by Fran and Barry Weissler (The Weisslers' musical Busker Alley closed out of town in December 1995 when Tune slipped during a dance number and broke his foot).
The New York Times reported that Tune had, "informed the Weisslers and the writers that he simply cannot do it," and quoted an assistant saying the decision was "so intensely private" that he didn't feel it was "appropriate to talk about in a public forum."
Although Seattle Rep seriously intended to continue it's staging of the musical with a new director, Moffit said that "The Weisslers have not been able to successfully replace Tommy Tune with a replacement of that stature.
Broadway producer Fran Weissler told Playbill On-Line, "We are talking to a terrific director, who shall remain nameless, that has been taking several meetings with Finn and Greenberg." Weissler also said that ...Family, about an eccentric theatrical family resembling the Barrymores, "is too wonderful to ever let go of," and will probably be workshopped in New York-- although "nothing is set in cement" and "we will have more information in about a month."