Testa to Wear Hoffman's Maid's Uniform for a Month in Regrets Only

News   Testa to Wear Hoffman's Maid's Uniform for a Month in Regrets Only
Mary Testa will take over the role created by Jackie Hoffman in Manhattan Theatre Club's world-premiere production of Regrets Only.
Mary Testa
Mary Testa Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Hoffman will be on a leave of absence after Dec. 9, and will return to the show on Jan. 9, 2007.

Hoffman (Hairspray) plays Myra Kesselman, a maid, in the Park Avenue-set comedy by Paul Rudnick. Testa (whose first performance is Dec. 10) is known for her Tony Award-nominated Broadway turns in revivals of On the Town and 42nd Street, and for Michael John La Chiusa's First Lady Suite (Off-Off-Broadway), Marie Christine (Lincoln Center) and See What I Wanna See (Public Theater).

Regrets Only opened Nov. 19 after previews from Oct. 19. Performances play MTC's City Center Stage I.

Christopher Ashley directs Tony Award winner Christine Baranski, Diane Davis, Tony Award winner George Grizzard, Jackie Hoffman, Tony Award nominee Siân Phillips and David Rasche.

* "From the pen of the inspired Paul Rudnick comes a delicious world premiere comedy of Manhattan manners, exploring the very latest topics in marriage and friendship," according to MTC. "The setting: a Park Avenue penthouse. The players: a powerhouse attorney, his deliriously social wife and their closest friend, one of the world's most staggeringly successful fashion designers. Add a daughter's engagement, some major gowns, the President of the United States, and stir."

The production's design team features Michael Yeargan (set), William Ivey Long (costume), Natasha Katz (lighting), John Gromada (sound).

Rudnick is also the author of Jeffrey, seen all over the world (and in a film version), and for which he won an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and the John Gassner Award. His other plays include The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told; Valhalla; Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach; The Naked Eye and I Hate Hamlet. His novels, "Social Disease" and "I'll Take It" were both published by Knopf. Rudnick's film work includes "Addams Family Values," the screen adaptation of "Jeffrey" and "In and Out."

Director Ashley recently staged the national tour and Broadway production of All Shook Up, plus The Rocky Horror Show (Tony nomination), Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along for the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration (Helen Hayes Award, Direction). He is a frequent collaborator with Rudnick, having staged Valhalla, Jeffrey and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.

Baranski recently appeared as Mame at the Kennedy Center. She received her big break being cast in Tom Stoppard's hit Broadway comedy The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols (Tony Award and Drama Desk Award). Baranski went on to earn a second Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Neil Simon's Rumors and a Drama Desk Award for Lips Together Teeth Apart in a role that was written for her by Terrence McNally.

Davis appeared on Broadway as Pia in Festen at the Music Box.

Grizzard's Broadway credits include Seascape, A Delicate Balance (Tony Award) and creating the role of Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, plus California Suite, The Disenchanted (Tony nomination) and Big Fish, Little Fish.

Hoffman received the Theatre World Award for her performance in Broadway's Hairspray (as Prudy Pingleton, among others).

Phillips is the elegant Welsh-born actress-singer whose credits include Divas at the Donmar (cabaret), the film "Alice Through the Looking Glass" and "The Aristocrats" and Pam Gems' play Marlene (Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), House of America, A Little Night Music (Olivier nomination), Pam Gems' adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts (Artist of the Year nomination), and Broadway's An Inspector Calls. She has won many awards for her work in television, including "I, Claudius." Her biography, "Public Places," was published in the U.S. by Faber in spring 2003. She was made CBE in 2000.

Rasche returns to New York from San Francisco, where he appeared at the Magic Theater in the title role in David Mamet's Dr. Faustus. His Broadway credits include The Shadow Box, Loose Ends, Lunch Hour, Getting and Spending and Speed-the-Plow. MTC audiences know him for Last Dance, Five by Tenn and Moonlight and Magnolias.

Tickets are $67.50 and can be reserved by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212. Group and student rates are available. For group ticket information, call (212) 399-3000 x 134. Student tickets are $25 and are on sale for all performances based on availability on the day of the performance, up to one hour before showtime.

Visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com for more information.

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