George Wendt, of "Cheers" fame, stars in Michael Hollinger's comedy, An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf, which opened to mixed-to negative reviews March 8 and ends its scheduled run March 25.
Other cast-members include Tony nominee Jonathan Freeman (She Loves Me) Annie Golden (Assassins, Saturn Returns), T.R. Knight (This Lime Tree Bower), Michael McCormick and Nance Williamson.
When it played at the Berkshire Festival in 1998, Grand Boeuf was billed as "a wacky tribute to the soul and spirit of the 1960s." John Rando, a veteran director at Primary Stages and the Pearl Theatre, will helm the show, about a cafe owner who goes on a hunger strike, only to be swayed from his convictions by staffers who serve him a gourmet meal -- of sorts. Rando's previous comedy credits include directing Mere Mortals, Fortune's Fools and Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight.
Hollinger's other works include Incorruptible and Red Herring, due to play at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre this month.
Designing Grand Boeuf, which started previews Feb. 23, are Rob Odorisio (set), Brian Nason (lighting), David C. Woolard (costumes) and Jim Van Bergen (sound). Tickets are $40; Subscriptions $130 and up. Primary Stages is located at 354 West 45th Street. For more information, call (212) 333 4052.
The company's previous show, writer-actor Bob Kingdom's Elsa Edgar, ended Jan. 16, 2000.
After Grand Boeuf, May 3-June 4, Horton Foote will direct his daughter, Hallie Foote, in a new play by his other daughter, Daisy Foote, When They Speak of Rita. Officially opening May 17, Rita tells of domestic problems for a New Hampshire family. Jamie Bennett (This Lime Tree Bower), Ken Marks, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Margot White costar.
-- By David Lefkowitz