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Pendleton will cast ‘Shadow’ Off B’way

Show begins previews March 1 in Gotham

Austin Pendleton’s “Orson’s Shadow” is that rarest of legit beasts: a new play receiving a commercial production in an Off Broadway house.

Planetearth Prods. and Scott Morfee have announced a March 13 premiere for “Orson’s Shadow” at the Barrow Street Theater.

The producers are going two-for-two: Planetearth and Morfee also produced Tracy Letts’ drama “Bug,” which closed in January after a 10-month run at Barrow Street. The Letts play made recent legit history when it became the first Off Broadway play since 9/11 to recoup its capitalization.

“Orson’s Shadow” melds fact and fiction: In 1960, Orson Welles returns to the theater to direct a West End production of Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright. Vivien Leigh and Kenneth Tynan co-star in the drama, if not the play within the play.

In a Barrow Street reunion of sorts, Letts will don his thesp hat to portray Tynan. Ensemble also features Susan Bennett, John Judd, Lee Roy Rogers, Jeff Still and Ian Westerfer. David Cromer directs.

“Orson’s Shadow” begins previews March 1 in Gotham.

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