Spanning the centuries in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Thornton Wilder's Skin of Our Teeth will be Kristine Nielsen, Marion Seldes, Bill Smitrovich and Kali Rocha. The play runs Aug. 2-13 on the Main Stage and is directed by Darko Tresnjak.
Nielsen and Smitrovich will play Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus, the heros of Wilder's fantastical, slightly absurb fable of human existence and endurance. Nielsen should be used to odd theatrical worlds by now, veteran, as she is, of Julie Taymor's The Green Bird and Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation. Smitrovich is more a by-the-book type, having played countless generals, captains and colonels in such films as "Independence Day," "Air Force One" and "Fail Safe."
Seldes will play the Fortune Teller. After many years of seldom being seen on the stage, Seldes has been an omnipresence of late, rarely seen off the stage. In the past year, she's gone from Ring Round the Moon on Broadway to Dear Liar and The Torch Bearers Off-Broadway.
Rocha will play eternal seductress Sabina, having just finished a run as a different sort of scarlet women in The Constant Wife at Westport Country Playhouse, under the direction of Joanne Woodward.
* In other news, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has assembled a group of rising New York stage talents to populate its Aug. 16-27 revival of Moss Hart's Light Up the Sky. Leading the cast are Frank Wood, Jessica Hecht, Enid Graham and Angelina Phillips.
Phillips and Graham have worked together before, in CSC Repertory's Off Broadway revival of Look Back in Anger last fall. Phillips starred in WTF's All My Sons several seasons back, a production which traveled to New York and made her name in theatre circles. Graham was first noticed in the Broadway staging of Honour. She has since appeared Off-Broadway in Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages.
Frank Wood won a Tony for her performance as a feckless trumpet play in Side Man by Warren Leight (whose Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine was seen at Williamstown last summer). Hecht, meanwhile, is a darling of Gotham critics, winning plaudits for her appearances in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Stop Kiss, Plunge and Lobster Alice.
Thrown into this mix is Eric Stoltz, a veteran film actor ("Pulp Fiction") who occasionally graces stages in New York (Three Sisters) and Williamstown (The Glass Menagerie).
Hart's backstage comedy will be directed by Christopher Ashley, the helmsman behind such shows as Jeffrey and As Thousands Cheer.
The entire Fest's summer line-up of new and classic plays runs June 14 through August 27.
Kate Burton and Harris Yulin will star in Jon Robin Baitz's new adaptation of Ibsen's classic, Hedda Gabler, July 19-30. Burton appeared at WTF in The Factory Girls last summer. Yulin was recently seen on Broadway in The Price, a production which originated at Williamstown. The Ibsen will travel from the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
On the smaller Nikos Stage, David Lee will direct Joel Fields’s romantic comedy How I Fell In Love, June 28–July 9. Lee is the creator and executive producer of "Frasier."
Other productions on the WTF roster include the U.S. premiere of Simon Gray's The Late Middle Classes, directed by Roger Rees, July 16 Aug. 6; and Frank Pugliese's The Talk, directed by Scott Ellis, July 12-23.
-- By Robert Simonson