The world preem of Terrence McNally’s latest play, “Unusual Acts of Devotion” — which was to have bowed at the Philadelphia Theater Company in a production starring Kathy Bates this fall — has been replaced by a Philly stint for “Being Alive,” the Shakespeare-Sondheim concept revue currently running at the Westport Country Playhouse.
Bates, whose legit credits include the original Off Broadway run of McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune” in 1987, pulled out of “Devotion” for health reasons, according to PTC. Theater’s artistic director Sara Garonzik has said the company, which also preemed McNally’s “Master Class” and “Some Men,” still intends to produce “Devotion” in a future season.
Instead of that play, PTC auds this fall will see “Being Alive,” conceiver-director Billy Porter’s amalgam of Shakespeare poetry and Stephen Sondheim tunes organized around the seven ages of man. All-black cast performs songs that have been orchestrated with the sounds of jazz, blues, hip-hop and gospel.
“Being Alive,” which ends its Westport run Sept. 9, plays PTC Oct. 23-Dec. 2.