New plays bow Off Broadway

Mackie headlining Hughes-helmed legiter 'McReele'

Off Broadway hosts two world premieres in early 2005.

Stephen Belber’s new play gets a name change and an opening date. “McReele,” formerly known as “For Reele,” will have its world preem Feb. 17 at the Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theater. Previews start in January. Doug Hughes directs.

Anthony Mackie headlines the show about a death-row inmate who, after his exoneration and release, goes into politics. Mackie was last seen on Broadway in Regina Taylor’s “Drowning Crow.” He also appears in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film “Million Dollar Baby.” Belber wrote the plays “Match” and “Tape.”

David Mamet’s “Romance” goes to the Atlantic Theater, where it opens March 1. Previews begin Feb. 9. Neil Pepe directs the comedy, set in a modern-day courtroom.

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