Scheduled for Re-Delivery: Mark Twain Opening Bumps The Paris Letter; New Star Added

News   Scheduled for Re-Delivery: Mark Twain Opening Bumps The Paris Letter; New Star Added
Roundabout Theatre Company has delayed the opening of its upcoming Off Broadway staging of Jon Robin Baitz's The Paris Letter so as not to conflict with the Broadway opening of Mark Twain Tonight!. Jason Butler Harner also joins the cast.

Jason Butler Harner
Jason Butler Harner Photo by Carol Rosegg

Previews will begin for the New York premiere of the new work May 13 for a limited run through Aug. 7 as was announced. The June 9 opening has been pushed back to June 12, "due to a scheduling conflict with a recently announced Broadway opening," according to a release.

As first reported, Ron Rifkin — who starred in the world premiere in Los Angeles — will star opposite Michele Pawk (Hollywood Arms), John Glover (Love! Valour! Compassion!) and Daniel Eric Gold (The Singing Forest) in the new drama from the playwright of Chinese Friends.

Jason Butler Harner (last seen in the New York Theatre Workshop Hedda Gabler) will replace the previously announced Lee Pace (Small Tragedy) who leaves the show for a film project. Harner also appeared in Observe the Sons of Ulster... and Roundabout's Juno and the Paycock.

Doug Hughes (Doubt, Frozen) directs Paris Letter about a Wall Street hotshot (Rifkin) who struggles to escape a past that catches up with him and threatens both his personal and professional lives.

Rifkin — a constant star of Baitz works — headed up the Los Angeles cast of the work which also featured Neil Patrick Harris (Assassins), Lawrence Pressman (Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory), Josh Radnor (The Graduate) and Patricia Wettig ("thirtysomething"). The Tony Award winner for Cabaret is also known for his television role on "Alias." Pawk earned a Tony Award for her turn in Hollywood Arms. She has also appeared on Broadway in Chicago, Seussical, Cabaret, Triumph of Love, Crazy for You, Off Broadway in Reefer Madness, Merrily We Roll Along, john & jen and in the staging of A Little Night Music at the New York City and Los Angeles Opera. Other credits include Bounce and the films "Cradle Will Rock" and "Jeffrey."

Boston's Huntington Theatre Company commissioned the new work, which was seen in a New York City reading (starring Rifkin with Kate Nelligan and Richard Easton) in December 2003. The drama was also developed at California's Ojai Playwrights Conference.

Originally thought to be Broadway-bound under the auspices of Elizabeth McCann, Scott Rudin and Hal Luftig, the work made its world premiere in Culver City, California at the new Kirk Douglas Theater Dec. 5, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005.

The design team for The Paris Letter includes John Lee Beatty (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Peter Kaczorowski (lights) and David Van Tieghem (sound) — who also provides original compositions.

Baitz's one-act Show People was performed as part of a Mike Nichols produced benefit called Short Talks on the Universe in November 2002. He also penned the adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler used in the 2001 Broadway revival. His Ten Unknowns was produced by Lincoln Center Theatre, who have also presented the scribe's A Fair Country and The Substance of Fire. Other works include Mizlansky/Zilinsky or 'Schmucks,' Three Hotels and The Film Society.

Tickets are available to The Paris Letter at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, located at 111 West 46th Street by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300. For more information, go online to

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