'Johnny Baseball' joins 'Madison County' musical
New productions of Marx brothers tuner “Animal Crackers” and 2010 musical “Johnny Baseball” are among the titles joining “The Bridges of Madison County” on the 2013 slate at the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Screwball comedy “Animal Crackers” (June 26-July 14), which bowed on Broadway in 1928 prior to its 1930 film version, will be adapted and staged by helmer Henry Wishcamper (“Graceland,” “Spirit Control”), while Red Sox musical “Johnny Baseball” (July 24-Aug. 4), which bowed at ART in Cambridge, Mass., in 2010, gets a new production from director Marc Bruni.
Also joining the lineup are Robert Sean Leonard, toplining a Nicholas Martin-directed revival of “Pygmalion” (July 17-27), and the world preem of Bess Wohl’s “American Hero” (June 26-July 7), a comedy about the co-workers at a sandwich shop to be directed by Leigh Silverman (“Chinglish”). Kate Burton will headline a revival of Tom Stoppard’s brain teaser “Hapgood” (July 10-21), helmed by Evan Yionoulis, while the fest’s annual free outdoor theater offering will be “Dracula” (July 10-19) adapted by Steve Lawson.
Of all the shows on the 2013 lineup, the musical adaptation of “Bridges of Madison County” (Aug. 1-18) remains the biggest magnet for Gotham interest, at least for now. Main Stem regular Bartlett Sher (“Golden Boy,” “South Pacific”) helms the stage version of the 1992 novel, adapted by book writer Marsha Norman (” ‘night, Mother”) and songsmith Jason Robert Brown (“Parade,” “The Last Five Years”). No cast has been confirmed, although at one point Kelli O’Hara (“Nice Work if You Can Get It”) was attached to star, returning to the venue where last summer she appeared in the musical version of Todd Haynes’ 2002 movie “Far From Heaven,” which will arrive in New York in May with a run at Playwrights Horizons that will also star O’Hara.
Summer festival in Williamstown, Mass., is close enough to New York to attract both Rialto talent and producers on the lookout for promising properties. For this year’s lineup, one more production and other details — including complete casts of all shows — remain to be set.