Slate includes works from LaBute, Weller

A new musical from the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, based on a book by Neil Gaiman, is on the bill for the 2008-09 season at Off Broadway’s MCC Theater.

Also on the company’s upcoming slate are world preems of plays by Neil LaBute and Michael Weller.

Season kicks off with “Fifty Words,” a show by Weller (“Moonchildren”) about a turbulent night in the marriage of a Brooklyn couple. Austin Pendleton directs the production, set to run Sept. 10-Oct. 25.

“Fifty Words” has been kicking around as a potential Broadway production with Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead role; that incarnation now looks unlikely to materialize.

MCC resident playwright LaBute (“Fat Pig”) will bow “The Break of Noon,” centering on a man whose sudden and unexpected conversion to religion alienates him from the people in his life. Show, the seventh LaBute outing to be produced by the theater, runs Jan. 14-Feb. 28, 2009.

Merritt provides the music and lyrics to “Coraline,” an adaptation of Gaiman’s novella with a book by thesp-scribe David Greenspan. Plot follows a lonely girl who discovers a magical doorway to a skewed version of her own reality.

“Coraline” is the first tuner to be produced by MCC. Directed by Leigh Silverman (“Well”), show runs May 6-June 20, 2009.

All shows will be performed at the Lucille Lortel Theater, which has been home to MCC productions for the last few years.

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