‘Goat’ herds new cast

Field, Irwin prep B'way stint

Edward Albee took over the top floor at Angus McIddoe restaurant Monday to introduce his new cast for “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”

“Mercedes Ruehl and Bill Pullman . . . have gone on to do lesser things,” the scribe joked, referring to the play’s previous tenants, who gave their last perf Sept. 1. Sally Field and Bill Irwin begin Friday.

The title character was nowhere in sight for the photo op. “Sylvia’s having her nails done,” producer Daryl Roth apologized.

Although “The Goat” eventually won the best-play Tony and several other honors, Albee has definitely not forgotten those naysayer critics who are, as he put it, “always hostile to my work. If I turned into Jesus Christ for the Second Coming, they would give it a bad review.”

Otherwise, Albee couldn’t feel very persecuted with all the current attention accorded his 1962 drama “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“A lot of ladies want to play Martha, which is nice,” Albee said, confirming reports that he would meet this week with Jessica Lange for a possible Broadway production. Ruehl and Judith Ivey have also been circling the project. As for which he prefers, Albee offered, “I haven’t made up my mind at all.”

For her part, Field said she did not even meet with Albee before accepting “The Goat.”

“Scott Rudin called and asked if I’d do it,” the actress said of “The Goat” producer. After reading the script — “I hadn’t seen the play” — she said OK. That was in late July. Two weeks later, Field found herself on a plane to Gotham to begin rehearsals.

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