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‘City’ builds S.F., Broadway stands

Fall shapes up on Great White Way

Conor McPherson’s new play “Shining City” opens on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theater. Previews begin Oct. 18, with opening night set for Nov. 10.

Producers on the project are Barry and Fran Weissler, Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind and Debra Black. They present Rufus Sewell and Stanley Townsend in McPherson’s play, about a man who seeks help from a therapist after claiming to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife.

Keith Nobbs and Geraldine Hughes have also been cast. McPherson directs. “Shining City” is his first play to be presented on Broadway since “The Weir,” in 1999.

The Broadway run of “Shining City” follows an engagement at San Francisco’s Curran Theater, running Sept. 13-Oct. 9. The play had its world premiere last year at London’s Royal Court Theater.

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MTC has announced casting for its Broadway revival of “Absurd Person Singular” at the Biltmore Theater. The Alan Ayckbourn comedy, set on three successive Christmas Eves, will feature Mireille Enos, Clea Lewis, Alan Ruck, Deborah Rush and Paxton Whitehead. The production opens Oct. 18. John Tillinger directs.

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Olympia Dukakis, Veanne Cox and George S. Irving headline Barra Grant’s new comedy “A Mother, a Daughter, and a Gun,” set to open Nov. 1 at Dodger Stages. Jonathan Lynn directs. Producers are Brian Reilly and Nelle Nugent. The production has a pre-Gotham run Sept. 23-Oct. 9 at the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack, N.Y.

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Jodi Kantor leaves her editor post at the Arts & Leisure section of the Sunday New York Times. She now puts on a reporter hat, working for editor Suzanne Daley’s team on “The Way We Live.” According to a memo from Times culture czar Sam Sifton, Kantor said of her job switch, “After a couple of years in the building, I’m dying to actually get out and report some stories myself.”

Kantor came to the Times in early 2003 with the mandate to revamp Arts & Leisure. According to many observers, theater coverage decreased significantly during her tenure. Kantor’s replacement has not been announced.

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Christopher C. Wilson has departed the Dramatist Guild of America as its executive director, a position he held for nine years. A guild release states, “The change was made effective after the expiration of Mr. Wilson’s contract, in a decision mutually arrived at by the guild’s governing council.” Prexy John Weidman heads a search team for Wilson’s replacement.

Ralph Sevush, the associate director and director of business affairs of the guild since 1997, has been named acting executive director. Rebecca Frank joins Sevush in August as director of business affairs. Frank worked as the guild’s legal intern in 2003.

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