Julie Halston and Anita Gillette Among Stars Joining Nick Offerman in Confederacy of Dunces | Playbill

News Julie Halston and Anita Gillette Among Stars Joining Nick Offerman in Confederacy of Dunces
Julie Halston, Arnie Burton and Anita Gillette are among stars announced to join Nick Offerman — best known as the super-macho Ron Swanson in the NBC-TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation” — in the cast of the Huntington Theatre Company’s adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces.

Performances begin Nov. 11 and the show will run through Dec. 13. Plans for a possible life beyond the Boston production have not been announced.

Offerman is no stranger to regional theatre, having acted and worked backstage extensively in Chicago theatres, including the Goodman and Steppenwolf, during the 1990s. He co-founded the Defiant Theatre company (1993-2004) in that city.

Offerman will play the lead in the play adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the 1980 novel by John Kennedy O’Toole about an oddball named Ignatius Jacques Reilly who lives at home with his mom and has adventures in and around New Orleans in his quest to land a job.

It’s a very different role from the one he plays in “Parks and Recreation.” Or is it? A typical Swanson line: “We will get along just fine, though hopefully not too fine, because I am not looking for any new friends. End speech.”

A typical Reilly line: "I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one." Newly added to the cast: Anita Gillette ("Moonstruck" and “30 Rock”) as his mother Irene. The band of characters in his life will include Miss Trixie played by Julie Halston (On the Town and You Can’t Take it With You on Broadway), Dorian Greene and Mr. Gonzales played by Arnie Burton (The 39 Steps at the Huntington and on Broadway), Gus Levy and Sergeant played by Steve Rosen (Guys and Dolls on Broadway).

Also added: Burma Jones played by Philip James Brannon (Bootycandy Off Broadway), Lana Lee and Myrna played by Stephanie DiMaggio (All My Sons at the Huntington), Mr. Watson played by Lonnie Farmer (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the Huntington), Officer Mancuso played by Paul Melendy (Ryan Landry’s “M" at the Huntington), Darlene played by Talene Monahon (The Wild Party Off-Broadway), Claude Robichaux played by Ed Peed (The Importance of Being Earnest at Moonbox Productions), Santa Battaglia played by Lusia Strus ("50 First Dates"), Mrs. Levy and George played by Stacey Yen (Eager to Lose Off-Broadway), cop and music direction by Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway), and Clyde and trombonist played by David L. Harris (performances with Newport Jazz Festival and the Apollo Theatre).

David Esbjornson will direct the production, which is scheduled to run Nov. 11-Dec. 13 at the Huntington mainstage in Boston. The production will have scenic design by Ricardo Hernandez (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess on Broadway), costume design by Michael Krass (Awake and Sing! at the Huntington and After Miss Julie on Broadway), lighting design by Scott Zielinski (Ah, Wilderness! at the Huntington and Cloud Nine Off-Broadway), sound design co-designed by Mark Bennett (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and The Seagull at the Huntington) and Charles Coes (associate sound design for The Elephant Man on Broadway), original music by Mark Bennett and projection design by Sven Ortel (Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Off Broadway). Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen, and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.

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