Thesp assumes ‘Command’

Cooper joins Shanley's last effort

Oscar-winning thesp Chris Cooper has joined the cast of John Patrick Shanley’s new play “Chain of Command,” which New York Stage & Film will present as a July 29-31 workshop at its Powerhouse Theater in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Legiter, from the scribe whose “Doubt” won this year’s Pulitzer for drama and Tony for play, was previously announced as a one-day-only reading at the Powerhouse on July 16. “Command” has been bumped up to a spot previously occupied by “The Talk,” which has been postponed.

In other legit news, Jennifer Jason Leigh will star in a production of Mike Leigh’s 1976 play “Abigail’s Party,” to be produced by the New Group and helmed by company’s artistic director, Scott Elliott. Perfs will begin at Theater Row in November.

The New Group will then produce “The Music Teacher,” a world premiere play-opera with libretto by Wallace Shawn and music by his brother Allen Shawn. Director and cast have not been announced for the production, which will begin performances in February.

Marta Goes’ “A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop,” produced by NYS&F in summer 2004 in a production starring Amy Irving, will be produced by Primary Stages in Gotham in the spring, also with Irving. Richard Jay-Alexander, who directed the NYS&F production, will helm the Primary Stages version, to run March 21-April 30 at the 59E59 Theater.

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